Syd Field taught me that my life is like a screenplay. I’m not sure if that was his intention, but I learned that this past weekend. About a year ago, I started researching screenplays for fun. One of the names I came across was Syd Field, who is sort an expert on the subject. For my birthday, my loving wife got me a ticket to attend his crash course in screenwriting last Saturday. I learned a lot about the craft of screenwriting and also discovered some interesting connections to my own life.
I used to think people who liked Woody Allen films were pretentious. You know the type–charlatans, participating in Hollywood snobbery at its finest, who only watch art movies and don’t appreciate good story telling. I used to not like Woody Allen films because I thought it they were all angst-filled one liner comedies with no story. But I’m beginning to see I was wrong. He is a brilliant story-teller. I didn’t appreciate his movies before because they didn’t make sense to me. Truthfully, I hadn’t lived enough when I first saw them.
There is a beautiful line in the movie Garden State where Zach Braff and Natalie Portman talk about coming home. Zach’s character has returned home to find things are different and will never be the same. He goes on to say you become “homesick for a place that doesn’t even exist.” I love that line. I wonder if the church is a gathering of people who are homesick as well. But not for a place that doesn’t exist, but for one we’ve never been to.