Lymelife the movie, Sundance, and subtlety

“It’s about subtlety, Blake.”

We had been batting some important ideas around for a lengthy seven minutes when I lined that little curve ball up. Blake was driving us to Sundance where we were going to stand in line for Lymelife, a coming of age film about Lyme disease. What attracted us was that somewhere in the blurb for the film online, Martin Scorsese’s name was credited. So we were off. On the way, we engaged in some heavy dialogue over Macarthy’s The Road and Burrow’s Running with Scissors.

“I know it’s about subtlety, but Burrow’s is so exploitive. It’s hard to believe.” Blake defined what he meant by exploitive, and I agreed that eleven year old gay sex was somewhat exploitive.

“that’s true, you’re right. But take the man and the boy in The Road. There is so much happening within the dialogue. Macarthy doesn’t need to describe every detail. With just a little conversation between the two, so much more is said implicitly.”

“Yeah, he, what’s the word? He illicits a response without actually verbalizing it.”

We touched on other important blog topics, like the importance of irony and the real meaning behind Running with Scissors, but subtlety was in the cards for us that night.

The ten minute jaunt to the box office was chilling. I imagined being a dog sled racer without dogs in the middle of Montreal. We had to wait before getting our standby numbers, so we defrosted in the Owl Bar for awhile. There weren’t too many Californi’s there, save one table with three blonde’s, all wearing large marshmallow fur coats and Versace hooker boots. They were drinking Appletinis. Thank Schwartzneggar there weren’t any more bleeths dripping wealth on their way in. The rest were probably all at the Premiere’s in Park City. I don’t mind California natives by any means. But when you’re on the side of a mountain in Utah and people dress up like they are attending a nightclub in a freezer, it’s somewhat annoying. The other fully occupied table was surrounded by two scraggly young men who hadn’t shaved for several weeks on purpose (who rode into the saloon piggy-back) and a brown-haired snow bunny. They all were wearing snow pants. The slopes closed over four hours earlier.

“Our waitress is cute,” I said.

“Our waitress is Palestinian,” said Blake.

After Blake had a burger and I a Coke, we retrieved our waiting list numbers five and six. Then it was off to Heber City to paint the town red for an hour before we had to be back for the film. We drove down main street a couple times and stopped at a quaint little cafe called, “Chicks Cafe.” I asked what was good, and the tired waitress had to dig deep to give me an answer. “The chicken fried steak. Lotsa people order it,” she said. So I did. Then Blake and I exchanged one liners from the great literature on our table. The books were called, 1001 ways to know you’re having a bad day. and, 1001 funny things to say while fishing. And, 1001 comebacks to people who say insulting one-liners to you. They were all by the same author. He had about thirty more publishings, too.

“That’s a lot of steak and gravy,” said Blake. “I bet it goes really well with the clam chowder you just ate.” My meal came with a salad which I knew was lettuce from Albertsons and bottom shelf ranch, clam chowder, a piece of fried steak the size of South Dakota and probably to scale, potatoes and gravy, and a scone. I was full after the chowder.

Then we were back in line. Blake was obviously annoyed. We had been herded to one side by an arrogant volunteer, and were about two inches from the women in front of us. “Excuse me,” said a short curly-haired man as he slid in front of me and then inserted himself in the two inches between Blake and the ladies. He looked straight ahead, and we noticed he was wearing seran-wrap around the tips of his boots. He was alone.

“I don’t like the standby experience,” said Blake.

“Yes, but it’s this or not seeing the film,” I said. I knew Blake didn’t see films he didn’t have normal tickets for.

Then there was the film. Lymelife. An introverted little brother Scott Bartlett tries to toughen up for his high school crush Adrianna Bragg and protect himself from the school bully. “Fartlett,” he’s called. Then he has to toughen up to deal with his over-protective mother and adulterous father, who cheats with Adrianna’s Mom who has fallen out of love with her husband who has Lyme disease from a tick bite. Then he has to toughen up when his idolized army brother Jimmy turns out to be scared and vulnerable like anyone else, and he has nobody left to rely on. Then you realize that the delicate balance found in the American Dream can tip so easily, drowning adults and children in its wake. Then it becomes clear that no matter how much your actions seem all your own, they never really are.

Rory Culkin and Emma Roberts and Alec Baldwin and Jill Hennessey were all phenomenal. After the film, Rory and Emma and Jill and director Derek Martini all did a Q and A and I asked, “Besides drawing from your own experience for your roles, how do you prepare for parts of your character you know nothing about, or you don’t have experience with emotions they experience?” Emma answered, “I read the script over and over, and I think that you can relate to almost anything from your own experience.” I respectfully disagreed in my mind, but nodded and smiled and was happy I interacted with an actress.

“I give it 3.5 Bitchin stars,” said Blake. He docked the film for its incontinuity. “Did you see how many times the Windsor knot Jill was tying on Scott switched to different hands between shots? It was so annoying.”

“Yeah, I like to nit pick the pointless details of a movie and render the large picture flawed because of small inconsistencies in a film as well.”

We left feeling good about o
urselves. I asked a question and Blake said Hi to Jill Hennessey on the way out. She engaged him in conversation as well. “She said hi back!” He said.

In the truck on the speedy trip home (blake was late for work), we continued our discussion. “Obviously Rory was made for that role because he was the same as he is in real life, but he was perfectly cast. His inward personality that interplayed with Emma provided a lot of emotion that was never verbally touched on or focused specifically on,” I said. It was true. A certain situation that the viewer sees portrays a great amount of detail that is implied. A slumped posture, sitting on the roof of the house, shady eyes, an outburst of explitives, four spoken words, fishing for a compliment, all shout volumes to the mind, but in such a quiet way where one only acknowledges silently, “I know what’s happening.”

“It’s just like the Road,” said Blake.

“Just like the road,” I said.

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4 thoughts on “Lymelife the movie, Sundance, and subtlety

  1. Cindroid says:

    Why did Blake get a burger when you only got a cola?Also, was your waitress really Palestinian? Park City is sooo multicultural.

  2. blake says:

    Our waitress was white. I said she was a Philistine, not Palestinian.

  3. John says:

    Hey Ben how are you doin? Looks like you staying busy.

  4. blake says:

    Jill Hennessy really does it for me now. You know. Before I go to bed.

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