My earliest cinematic influence was The Wizard of Oz. (Clip—Judy singing “S.W.O.T.R.”) By seeing this film yearly between the ages of five and ten, my destiny was clear; from that point on, I would remain a Friend of Dorothy’s. In the debate over whether being gay is a consequence of nature or nurture, I personally support nature. Millions of kids sat through those annual broadcasts of The Wizard—and within some of those millions, there was a seed, a chromosome, that made Dorothy, the Wicked Witch and Glenda our muses for a sensibility which, in our early years, would have to remain secret.
My next influence film-clé came from my mother who cultivated within me a cult-like devotion to the film Gone with the Wind. I first saw the film at the age of nine, by which time I was also reading the novel. At that age I could not really understand some of the plot’s dynamics, such as the scene where Scarlett is lying in bed singing like a bird the morning after an especially good fuck by Rhett. But I did understand adultery and the red dress preceding that scene—living in suburban America in the late sixties helped me understand that much. But the scene that made the most to me is Scarlett, alone and afraid in a shelled-out field trying to eat some dug-up turnip, retching it and making her vow. It would take me half the intermission to stop crying.
19 December 1993
One response to “Storyboard for “A Life from Pirated Film Clips””
Editorial notes: Sorry if you saw an earlier bowdlerized version of this post. It has been returned to its original form, f-word and all. I will remain honest to what Peter wrote. Here are some of the occasions where I face difficulty in transcribing his work: occasionally the penmanship is jerky (maybe written while on a bus?) and I have to go with my best guess, given the context; a word or phrase has been crossed out and another inserted (in which case I include both – it’s amazing how much of the writing has very little editing); where there are two or more versions of a story, poem, or… I will generally include only the latest version (I do intend to do some selecting of his work, or the published volume may prove to be more than any of us would like to read – I’ll retain all the original work should anyone like to examine it in its detail). Your comments are important to me – please share.