Holy Moments & the Magic of Film

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Liz.

There are rare moments when I speak to someone and I feel like I have met a kindred soul; someone who lights a spark of wonder in me and to whom I feel inexplicably drawn. Such moments are fleeting and scarce, but remain etched in my memory. And when I recall those moments, it’s as though I were a part of a movie. After reading Otessa’s ebooks on GoodReads, I started looking around at other film scripts and I came across this one for Waking Life. I saw this movie a long time ago, but rereading the script again I came across a few great lines that, I think, capture the essence of this kind of “holy” moment.

First, here’s a quote from the movie when filmmaker Caveh Zahedi is speaking:

Truffaut always said [...] the best scripts don’t make the best films, because they have that kind of literary narrative thing that you’re sort of a slave to. The best films are the ones that aren’t tied to that slavishly. So I don’t know. The whole narrative thing seems to me like, um … Obviously, there’s narrativity to cinema ’cause it’s in time, just the way there’s narrativity to music. But, you know, you don’t first think of the story of the song, and then make the song. It has to come out of that moment. And that’s what film has. It’s just that moment, which is holy.”

Also in the movie, script writer Kim Krizan says:

What is, like, frustration? Or what is anger or love? When I say “love,” the sound comes out of my mouth and it hits the other person’s ear, travels through this Byzantine conduit in their brain, you know, through their memories of love or lack of love, and they register what I’m saying and they say yes, they understand. But how do I know they understand? Because words are inert. They’re just symbols. They’re dead, you know? And so much of our experience is intangible. So much of what we perceive cannot be expressed. It’s unspeakable. And yet, you know, when we communicate with one another, and we feel that we’ve connected, and we think that we’re understood, I think we have a feeling of almost spiritual communion. And that feeling might be transient, but I think it’s what we live for.

I think these quotes speak to that same feeling I get when I feel someone has understood me, my thoughts at that moment, or even the core of what makes me “me.” This is something that I can also appreciate in Otessa’s script and OJBG episodes. Reading the Season 2 ebook, I love reading the scene where Sarah meets Gwen for the first time. That insignificant, little exchange between them leads to an unforgettable friendship and an even more epic love story.

And I think Otessa avoids the trap Caveh Zahedi explains. When you read the OJBG scripts and watch the episodes, you don’t feel that its “tied slavishly” to the script. Otessa gives those little “holy” moments time to unfold, she gives credence to their weight to the story and narrative overall. I think this is why OJBG has resonated with so many people–not just teens–but people who appreciate reliving an honest moment through another person’s lens. While we know as an audience that what we’re watching isn’t per say “real” and is being acted out, we get the feeling that those “holy moments” captured on film have some sort of resonance with reality and personal experience.

Here’s an episode with the holy moments that started it all. This episode always makes me smile! Those unforgettable feelings of new love!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/otessa1 Otessa Marie Ghadar

    Aww :) thank you Liz. Your writing is always so lyrical and grand and thank you for the kind words