Friday, February 12, 2010

Western Union

Saw a special screening of "Prodigal Sons" last night at Lincoln Center, one of the most fascinating and I must admit disturbing documentaries I've seen in years. What started out as a planned film about a former high school quarterback returning to Helena, Montana, as a transgender lesbian for her 20-year high school reunion took on a whole other dimension when Kimberly Reed -- a magazine editor in New York who also directed this family saga -- was also reunited with her long-estranged brother Marc, the adopted oldest child who has spent his life insanely jealous of Paul (Kim's male identity) only to watch Kim "kill" this perfect ideal of a guy.

Further complicating things, Marc was in car accident 20 years ago that left him having seizures. Eventually, he wound up having part of his brain removed, which not only eliminated the seizures, it eliminated any ability he had to maintain control over himself. (He now goes from calm and sweet to angry and violent at the drop of a pin. The gay architect youngest brother who moved to San Diego is the "vanilla" member of the family.) As Kim continues to try to reestablish her relationship with Marc, he comes to discover that he is the grandson of Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth(!), which adds yet another fascinating twist to the drama. What I found most fascinating about this film was how eerily similar Kim and Marc were -- two people who on the surface seem nothing alike, but whose self-absorption and discomfort in their own skin is so palpable at times that it is almost difficult to watch. While Marc -- whose mental illness becomes more apparent as time goes on -- cannot see himself in Kim, it becomes clear that Kim knows it all too well, and it is enjoyable watching her try to come to terms with who she is and where she came from.

"Prodigal Sons" opens Feb. 26 at the Cinema Village in New York. (Click HERE for info.) For other cities, click HERE. And for the film's official Web site, click HERE.

1 comment:

Deep Dish said...

Looks like a very interesting film. Thanks for letting us know about it, Kenneth!

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