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This film, in short, is about reflection and redemption. It was built to inspire our intimate nature and encourage the idea of selflessness. Please check out our page for more info; thank you for all of your support!
I believe that the older community is underrepresented in film, so that is why I wrote a script surrounding that demographic. I simply adore ethnicity in film as well; it gives a sense of inclusion and therefore inherent uniqueness to any film with well-rounded characters and backgrounds.
About The Project
The story, ‘Chicken or Fish?’, fully embodies and embraces my eternal being. It has stuck with me for several years and during that time, it has adapted into something that I couldn’t be any prouder of. The mere essence came to me at a Christmas Eve party two years ago, I was a freshman in Film School at the time. I remember this elderly couple, who, didn’t seem elderly at all… Rather, they transcended time and space with their abundant energy—they spoke on their 40th anniversary. As it turns out, the last scene of the picture is what ended up happening. After a series of joyous recollections, the waiter became fed up and, in turn, responded with the now all-encompassing quip, “Chicken or Fish?”.
It seems as though this quote single-handedly inspired the entirety of the script, but that would prove irrelevant when the true theme presented itself…reflection. I find this theme isn’t often explored in student films, certainly not with older folk as the main cast of characters. It just so happens that the phrase, ‘Chicken or Fish?’, plays harmoniously into this idea—when you reflect, you determine what you did wrong and what you did right. This is nothing revolutionary by any means. It’s actually one of the more accessible concepts that is easily translated onto the big screen. Some would even suggest that it’s a “cop out” altogether. Normally I would concur with this suggestion however, I find, ‘Chicken or Fish?’, uses this tool in a graceful and seemingly justified manner.
I encourage the audience to understand that life is about reflection. If there is something greater in this world, which I am inclined to believe, then it is imperative that we incorporate reflection into our daily lives. Young or Old, we were given a conscience to determine such things. The protagonist of this picture, Marvin, is a man literally at the end of his rope. He knows what he’s doing is wrong, but he can’t seem to break out of the cage or the bottle. He’s trapped in the terrible disease that is alcoholism, and his wife is suffering in the wake. It’s unmistakably relatable even if there’s not a single person in your inner circle tormented by this formidable illness. I want people leaving this film with a revolution in their hearts. Whether it be for themselves or somebody close to them, this film has the power for re-evaluation.
Living without a father is not easy, and every day it’s an uphill battle. The way I relate to Marvin is just that, my father passed away when I was nine months old. It’s two different examples of the same tragedy, Marvin knew his father and I didn’t. Conversely, having an alcoholic father might feel like you never knew him either—this is the stance I take in the film. The line goes as follows, “Come have a drink with your old man, the one we never got to have.”. In my mind, sharing a drink with someone is synonymous with getting to know them. I feel I am qualified for this reason as well as the religious themes planted throughout.
In terms of originality, I would argue this film has an unprecedented amount. As stated previously, this film fully encompasses and embraces my eternal being. I was made to tell this story and I was made to tell it now. I want people to become comfortable with regret, it’s a natural part of life. Nobody on the face of the Earth has played every single card correctly because there’s only so many good cards within a deck. You are required to lose hands, more so than win them. We see more of Marvin’s downfalls than his triumphs because that’s life and that is how we perceive life.
Moreover, the style of the film resonates with that idea perfectly. There is trials he’ll have to overcome in order to become more cognizant of his deteriorating marriage and life. Some surrealistic, some undeniably real, and some in between. It’s an experience of life with regret, not a linear story similar to our own. Regret tends to bounce around and alter the truth simply due to the way we feel. There’s a sense of duality with regret, even at our most vulnerable thoughts comes positive ones to reminisce on. Regret tells the story and pulls the strings; I am but only the puppet.
Indeed. Truly it is a melancholy existence, and ‘Chicken or Fish?’, is no exception. But within that, love is a beautiful relic and is the closest thing we have to the idea of spiritual paradise. As Shakespeare once efficiently said, “My love is deep. The more I give to thee, the more I have, for both are infinite.”.