Session ID: Workshop 3A
(Monday) 14:30 - 16:00(GMT+00:00) View in my time
WORKSHOP The Scene Reveals: a film scene linked to the deceased workshop format: I’ll show a clip from “Oklahoma!” (1955, dir. Zinnemann,
The Scene Reveals: a film scene linked to the deceased
workshop format: I’ll show a clip from “Oklahoma!” (1955, dir. Zinnemann, with Shirley Jones, Rod Steiger, Gordon MacRae), the film my brother chose to watch on his last night on Earth. I’ll share what in that scene is connected to my brother’s life-while-dying from Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis. In turn, each participant will be invited to show a film clip of their choice (up to 5 minutes), then share the connection between the scene and the deceased—A film the deceased loved? A scene that reveals tensions or decisions for a vulnerable person? A moment of hilarity or absurdity, during a fraught time? We’ll take time for closing observations, as well. Note: Each participant should be prepared to share screen with their film clip.
background: My brother would watch a film every day of the final year of his life at 5 ‘o clock sharp. Unwilling to die without having re-read favorite novels and without having viewed again favorite or classic films, i.e. The Maltese Falcon (noir), West Side Story (musical), or It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (comedy), he wanted others to watch with him. His rules: No talking, no breaks. Complete immersion in the film.
As I continue to feel, grieve, think, write, publish, teach, and to live during our Earth’s climate change and the pandemic linked to it, I understand Carroll’s dying and death increasingly through the film genre, especially the scene unit. Scenes from his death months often flash into mind, unbidden visitations —scenes from films we viewed together as well as scenes from his actual life as compromised by the disease.
Speakers for this event
California College of the Arts
I'm a writer, maker, professor, family member. My father was a minister, my mother a social worker. I grew up in a small town that featured death by farm accident and gun accidents. I have cared for several close relative during their dying process and in the moment of death: my father, my mother, my aunt, my mother-in-law, my brother Carroll. Death, dying, and illness have been part of my life since childhood, but to be with my brother as he legally ended his own life was like nothing I'd experienced. background: In April 2018, my brother Carroll ended his life after three years of living with the neuron degenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), as it is known in the U.S., or, motor neuron disease (MND), as it is known in the United Kingdom. With family and partner present, under the auspices of the Death with Dignity Act in Washington State, he legally ended his life by taking a cocktail of medication. The prognosis for sporadic, spinal onset ALS is three to five years, with muscle atrophy, loss of motor skills, insomnia, and paralysis on the road to death. Carroll's partner, son, and three siblings, myself included, were with him through the months of his decline and at his chosen end-of-life time. During the final months, in Carroll's home of Spokane, Washington, raging forest fires of our climate-changed world made the air ash- filled, grey, unsafe for breathing.
California College of the Arts