The baby was actually a 2-3 year old little girl and she was crying because the part is scary. I was mortified. Without thinking, I just jumped up and went over to the Mom and said, "You're kidding, you're not really going to stay in the theater with her?" She looked at me kind of shocked and said. "What?" I replied, "This movie is completely inappropriate for her!" I went and say back down and a woman behind my seat leaned forward and told me thank you for confronting her and agreed this was not ok. When she cried out, more than just a few people had our same reaction, sitting up and looking around like what in the world is a little kid doing in this movie? Regardless of my comment and her daughter's distress, they remained in the movie. My heart was racing and it made the rest of the movie really uncomfortable for me. I was worried about the little girl the entire time.
In case you haven't seen the movie...It is haunting, violent, loud, scary and would give most kids some really bad dreams. It was unsettling for all of us and we're all adults. It's a hard movie. It asks a lot of really complicated questions about the dark side of human beings. It is an incredible movie if you can tolerate the hard stuff.
Christopher Nolan does an amazing job writing and directing. Chris Nolan's brother, Jonathan, was the screenwriter. JN also wrote the original story that became Memento as well as the screenplay for The Prestige. Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Christian Bale are awesome.
But I digress...after that first child cried and we had the initial drama, I saw other people walking in and out with kids who were probably about 10 or so. I was just so shocked. I mean the movie started at 9:30 and ended at midnight. It's rated as a PG-13, which shocks me too. Maybe I'm conservative but a knife in a guy's mouth, a guy with half of his face melted off, mob violence, a guy stitching up his own wound, etc. all seem pretty "R" to me. To give you some food for thought, fairly tame movies like Dumb and Dumber, Men In Black, Clueless and Reality Bites are all PG-13 too. I'm starting to have some serious questions about what constitutes a PG-13 movie. I guess it's all okay and PG-13 so long as no one uses the "F word" right? That's an entirely different rant blog post though.
I just feel so stunned by it. The worst of it for me was when she got upset and they didn't leave. So maybe you, her parents, didn't realize it would be scary or maybe you thought she would just sleep through it? Be that as it may, once she freaked it was time to leave! The parents were kids too though. They must have been 20-something at best.
My heart just went out to that little girl and I'll be thinking about her for days now. I am sending a wish out to the universe for her...I hope you don't remember what you saw. I hope that your parents think twice the next time they want to see something like that. I hope this was an isolated incident and that this is not your norm. Hang in there.
In case you are curious and want to hear some other opinions, here's an article that I found talking about the movie and whether or not one should bring children.
The movie trailer:
It's official. We're back in Texas. Today was my first full day back at the studio and the kids had their first day back at school on Friday. The jet lag is mostly behind us and life is getting pretty much back to normal.
I feel compelled to say a huge thank you to my friends and clients...
Thank you Brene for coming up to the studio with Gatorade packets and chewable advil on the day that we left when I was stressed and under the gun and Sayer was sick. Your kindness helped us get through our flight.
Thank you to my clients for waiting 5 weeks to see pictures that I took of your family right before I left. I know you were all anxious to see them and your patience is not lost on me.
Thank you for being patient with Julie while I was away and she was holding the fort all alone.
Thank you Julie for holding down the fort all by yourself.
Thank you Mom and Mignon for keeping our dogs Phoebe and Milo safe and snuggled. We knew they were in good hands and that is worth so much.
Thank you all for allowing me the space to be with my boys and my family. My children thank you too. They really need the Mommy time and so did I.
With this in mind, I was driving around the other day just thinking about things. Earlier, I had been listening to his single "Dream Big" from the final performance show (which I just loved by the way). I am in the process of dreaming big and I'm trying to break down the parts of me that get in the way of that. I am trying to chase away fears and doubt. I want a lot less of those these days.
While all of this is floating around in my head, I am hearing the voice of Obi Wan Kenobi from the 2nd row speakers in my van. I love Obi Wan too by the way. My kids are Star Wars crazy and they watch the movies over and over again. They watch and listen and I just get to drive and listen. I have listened to Obi Wan and friends for hours and hours...Obi Wan is amazing. He can be in the middle of a battle and be totally calm. Crisis can be right in front of him and he is okay. How nice it would be to have the mind of a Jedi.
On this particular day I decided something. I want to be part Jedi and part David Cook.
When the going gets tough and I start to worry, doubt, have fear or get stuck, I am going to try and hear Obi Wan's mantra "Patience,
Luke Farrah!". When I feel nervous or ruffled or have eyes on me, I am going to channel David Cook. I will try and relax, allow the creativity to flow through me (yes, like The Force) and keep my honest, true-to-self face on me. I will try to be grateful, humble and confident in a single moment (man, that's hard). It's like that famous scene in Empire Strikes Back where Luke is on Dagobah and, before he walks into the cave, he looks at Yoda and says, "What's in there?" and Yoda says, "Only what you bring with you". So, for now, I am trying to pack a new bag. I am looking to take some new things with me as I walk into the next cave. Wish me luck...you know the Dark Side can be strong.
I got an email the other day with a question like this. The photographer was asking advice about a recent mistake she had made in her business. She was frustrated, spread too thin and wondering if she was even doing the right thing. I knew exactly how she felt. Having my own business is one of the most difficult things that I have ever done. The only thing that rivals it for me is the stamina needed to be a good parent. There have been many times where I have sat asking myself, is this worth it? It's just so hard. The truth is that it is hard for sure and I really think that anything as potentially rewarding as your own business is bound to be so.
I think it is easy for us to look over at others and imagine that it is all perfect in their world. It seems glamorous, easy (or easier at least), more organized or just simply better somehow. Their businesses look more prosperous. You imagine that not only did they file their taxes on time but they also pick the kids up early from school. When I heard the familiar tone of defeat in her email I rushed to respond. I wanted her to know that we are all out there making lots of mistakes. I make them all the time. I wish that I didn't and I try hard not to but the mistakes keep coming. Whenever I share these kinds of stories with one of my friends, she always asks, "Do I need to reality check this for you?". The reality check is necessary.
In my email response to the struggling photographer, I talked about mistakes that I had made and urged her to push on and give herself a break when she screws up. As I was writing it was good medicine for my own ears too. I need a break now and then and I am bad at giving myself one. I tend to give myself too little credit and too much criticism. I am working on it and hope that you are too. So, in the hopes that some of my mistakes will help "reality check" and give yourself a big huge break, I thought I would share a few...
There was the time that the lab developed all my film wrong on a job that I did out of the city and could not duplicate. Then the time when I did a group portrait of a bunch of out of town people and it was all horribly underexposed. Or the time when I showed up to photograph an entire office full of doctors and realized that the cord that I need to make my lights work was back at work. There have been typos and missed deadlines. The time, earlier in my career, when I sent a file to the lab for retouching instead of doing it myself and the customer said they looked like a corpse. There have been lost papers, lost orders and lost mail. I have double booked people. One of my personal favorites was when I was shooting at the park and the little boy fell into the lake (in November).
And finally one of the worst ones of all...when I missed an event at my son's school because I got the time wrong. He had a costume, had memorized a song and was one of the only kids there without a parent. I was devastated. I cried in the car on the way home. What made me finally feel okay about that one was when a friend of mine told me that she had done the same thing. She shared her terrible story and how torn up she had been about it. So, take heart my fellow busy Moms, photographers, students and so on...We are all out there screwing up (even if we look like we have it all together).
I want to wish everyone a happy Mother's Day! Many thanks to all the amazing Moms who have shared their families with me and allowed me to photograph them. I have an amazing job...I get to witness monumental events like weddings and the birth of babies and see families grow up together. It's a privilege!