From Memoir to Movie, an Artist's Vision of Hope

In: Film and Music

Submitted By trevbelnap
Words 1132
Pages 5
Trevor Belnap

Eng 272
Desi Poteet
From Memoir to Movie, An Artist’s Vision of Hope “I don’t like the word no. And you know, if you declare something so, it can be. And so, I don’t see there’s any reason to accept things the way they are,” declared Julian Schnabel, acclaimed painter and director. Schnabel is the director of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, a film based on the memoir written by Jean-Dominique Bauby. Bauby’s memoir is his story of finding meaning and joy in a seemingly hopeless reality. Bauby suffered a massive paralyzing stroke at the age of 43. He awakes from his coma weeks later to find he is paralyzed. The only parts of his body that he can control are his eyes. To prevent his right eye from becoming septic, the doctors sew it up, making the blinking of his left eye Bauby’s only method of communication. The death of Schnabel’s father, the location of the filming, and creative departure from the actual text are elements that helped shape the movie. Schnabel uses his experience as an artist and human being to make choices that take the story from pages of Jean-Dominique’s memoir to movie screen. In 2003, Schnabel’s father, Jack, became terminally ill with cancer and came to live with Schnabel and his family. Jack had never been sick in his life and was horrified of death. During the time his father was with him, Schnabel was sent the script for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. “I wanted to help my father not to be scared of death,” Schnabel told Lynn Hirschberg at the New York Times. “It was the only way I failed my father. And I didn’t want to be scared of death, either. I wanted to make the movie to overcome that fear.” In the film, Bauby’s first words after learning to form them were “I want death.” Bauby’s journey to overcome the fear of death became Schnabel’s journey as well. Bauby realized that even…...

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