Sling Blade and Teenage Film Makers


We watched Sling Blade again the other night, a favorite film of my wife’s, my sons’, and mine.  I’ve always been partial to Arkansas, and not just because we canoe there or because my Dad’s side is from the Ozarks.  I love the extremes of that state.  If you’ve been there, you know what I mean.

I’m still amazed by the character Billy Bob Thornton portrayed.  If you’ve spent time in The South, you’ve known guys like that.  Hell, I’ve worked with guys like that, back in the 70s, in factories and warehouses, when I was putting myself through school.  But gentle giants of that sort had no college in their futures; just misunderstanding and hardship.  Ever notice however that they’re incapable of hate?  This is what Russian peasants used to call being “touched by God.”

Last night my oldest son was up late filming the final scenes of his independent film.  Don’t know the title yet, all I know is those buttheads were running around the house until 2:00 a.m., crashing through stage windows, smashing stage furniture, and spurting blood.  If I were a different man, I’d have kicked all their asses out, seeing as I had to rise at 6:30.  But what the hell, it’s just sleep.  So I read about J. Edgar Hoover instead (talk about an American dictator). 

Anyway the crew finished filming, but were so excited they stayed up talking until dawn.  I love that kind of intense creative joy.  I’m glad they can live it.  I’m glad I still do. 


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