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Young Frankenstein dir. Mel Brooks

It’s funny how our minds latch onto things and then make them our own. We hear a certain song, or see a certain image, and suddenly our senses overflow with memories. My life was molded by such memories: Don Lockwood singing in the rain, Benjamin Braddock pounding on the glass of a church balcony, Salvatore di Vita gazing at a cinematic montage of kisses, Frankenstein dancing with his monster, Wilhelm Grimm’s unwritten fairy tale characters begging him to give them life. I was nine years old when I saw The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm, and that one scene stood out among so many because it made me believe that reality does not exist until someone creates it.

My reality has always come from images—flickering and still —that I frame and fit within lines. I draw lines around everything—events, people, their speech, and actions—and subject them to the conceits, constructs, and compression of a filmmaker’s eye. Within this frame, I can impose context upon chaos, mess with people’s minds, and manipulate their perceptions.

I always dreamed that when I lay at death’s threshold, my unborn creations would appear around me to plead for their lives, that the room would ignite with two-dimensional characters begging me not to die.

But of course, it didn’t happen that way.

It didn’t happen that way at all.

What I got instead was a bed of squashed kiwi fruit…

(From Shadows and Ghosts ©2011)

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