It’s weird what life reminds you to watch at times. I’ve been meaning to rewatch Tim Burton’s adaptation of Big Life (DVD) by Daniel Wallace (Book). My aunt called me with news that my father had had a deep vein thrombosis that popped on New Year’s. Since my passport has expired, I’m stuck here whilst he’s in the Czech republic but that’s life. I gather he’s got a good case of old man grumpyitis about the whole affair.
I knew that Burton had made the film around the time of his father’s death and to some degree the film is a reflection of that coming to terms.
Watching the film reminded me of the way that fantasy sometimes drops an aside into real life and makes you appreciate it more somehow. Each person sees the relationship between father and son as a narrative which needs to be negotiated. The son sees his father’s tales as purely tall and fantastical without seeing the metaphorical aspects of them and the truths they reveal.
The shock of his mortality (there are times where I’d thought he’d pickled himself into immortality) is simultaneously liberating and terrifying. Somehow I need to negotiate the stories that both of us have told each other over the years.