A kookie psychologist paid to teach my husband how to hypnotize me during labor, likened the moans of childbirth to the sounds made during orgasm. We practiced hypnosis for several months, yet when it was time for our little bundle of joy to arrive, it felt exactly like a bundle being expelled from my womb. My cries were not a climax, clearly I was in pain.
As a mommy and a filmmaker, I liken the process of bringing a child into being to the process of bringing a film into being. Filmmaking is a mixed bag of ecstasy and pain. It is for me a labor of love, nevertheless it is labor.
Imagine sweating for 48 hours under intense hardship to deliver a child. A passerby approaches, not just any old fellow, but one who has been deemed an expert because he has seen thousands upon thousands of born babies.
This passerby looks at yours and says, “My oh my what an unattractive child.” But he doesn’t stop there. He goes on to describe, in detail, what exactly makes your kids so ugly. Now if the dad of this newborn hasn’t punched this guy at this point, then the mother sure as hell should.
That passerby is the film critic, and not just any critic, but the kind who has never made a movie himself. I loathe that “motherfucker” - and that is a pun intended!
You won’t read me publicly denouncing a film. Those talks will be reserved for intimate acquaintances. However, I will rave about the movies that have wakened me in some way or another up from that hypnotic trance into a state of rhapsody.
Here are six films I wish I had been genius enough to make myself.
You The Living
A Single Man
Eyes Wide Open
A Serious Man
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest