In my recent book, BEYOND THE RABBIT EARS, I write about various unexplainable phenomena while connecting the dots between the rising obsession with the paranormal within pop culture, television, and movies. I also share a number of stories from my childhood and adult life that are related. One personal story I didn’t share was how when I was young (6-9 yrs.) my parents would take me to visit my grandfather’s cousin Margaret May. She lived with her aging sister in a large stately house known as the “Emrich house” located in the center of our small midwestern town (Casey, IL).
Margaret May was a lovely lady, known for being gracious, kind, and genuinely interested in others. As a young kid, I was drawn to her gentle disposition, yet scared of her at the same time. With each visit, she would greet us, and insist that we sit down in the great room while she prepared to serve us tea. From my chair, I would watch her walk to the kitchen, open the cupboards, heat the water on the stove, place the china on a silver serving tray, and then walk out to wait on each one of us in our seats.
What’s so scary about that? One thing I neglected to tell you is that she was blind. It wasn’t her blindness that frightened me. I was mesmerized by her ability to navigate and serve each one of us in our chairs. For an elementary age child, this was completely unexplainable! What scared me was the hot kettle of water she was pouring from! I had been burned badly by boiling, hot water once while I was in the hospital undergoing surgery to regain my hearing. But… she never spilled… ever! Margaret May was brilliant, inside and out.
Recently, I talked with movie director Clint Ross concerning his new project, BLIND COURAGE. This film features the true story of Bill Irwin, the first blind man to hike the Appalachian Trail (2,168 miles). Listen as I (L.A. Emrich) talk with director Clint Ross about choosing Actor Bill Oberst Jr. to play the part of Bill Irwin in the concept trailer:
Please visit the website BlindCourageTheMovie to see the concept trailer and learn how you can help get this movie completed. YOUR HELP IS NEEDED! Together, we can get this story told like never before. I’m doing this for my grandfather’s cousin Margaret May. If she were alive, I’d tell her how she inspired me to trust and believe anything is possible…
Download a FREE SAMPLE of BEYOND THE RABBIT EARS to learn more about my life and the many unexplainable things capturing the attention of our generation!
Listen to the previous conversation between author L.A. Emrich & director Clint Ross: IT’S LIGHTS OUT!
Be watching for more audio coming soon!
Curious to see raw footage of Bill Irwin hiking the Appalachian Trail with his seeing eye dog Orient?
Pull the curtains shut; turn the lights out… MAKE IT AS DARK AS YOU CAN…
Close your eyes and rub them… Now open them and look into the darkness…
WHAT DO YOU SEE?
You see something, don’t you? Spots, dots, splashes of colors, comet-like floaters, and all sorts of bizarre patterns? Would you think to connect the dots and hike through the Appalachian mountains over 2,000 miles? I DON’T THINK SO! But that’s exactly what blind hiker Bill Irwin did, and more!
I recently talked with Atlanta-based movie director Clint Ross about his latest project BLIND COURAGE, based on the true story of Bill Irwin! We talked late into the night. Here is the first installment of our recorded conversation:
Learn howYOU CAN IMMEDIATELY BECOME A VITAL PARTof this project!
Both kinda go hand in hand, don’t they? At least, that’s what the general public has come to expect. There are plenty of social critics addressing the amount of sex, blood, and violence which appears on the big screen, not to mention on smaller TV sets nightly. However, I won’t be adding to the analysis. This is not intended to be an opinion piece.
Truth be told, abuse of power and sex is a reality that we all face, in and outside of Hollywood. I ran across a quote the other day that made me pause and think for a while.
“Everything in the world is about sex, except sex. Sex is about power.” – Oscar Wilde
Don’t feel like you have to continue reading further without pausing and reflecting as I did…
To be honest with you, exclusively pointing a finger of judgment at Hollywood is a bit disingenuous. After all, screen writers often draw their creative inspiration from real life stories – in other words, you and me. For instance, how many times have you seen a film open with the premise: “based on real life events”?
With this in mind, answer this question:can the human story be told apart from involving sex and/or violence? Or, maybe we could ask the same question a different way:could YOUR STORY be told apart from sexual references, brief power struggles, and/or the use of profanity? The ancient writers of the Bible didn’t think so. They told it all, the good, the bad, and the ugly. However, modern Bible translators have worked diligently to provide a mass market text with a G/PG rating. You might be surprised to learn there are over 1,600 Bible verses containing explicit references and content! If these passages were portrayed on film, the movie would most definitely receive a R-rating. For more on the subject, check out what journalist and author Joseph W. Smith III has to say on the subject: Sex & Violence in the Bible.
Recently, I talked with Actor Bill Oberst Jr. about his opinions concerning life, movies, what he reads everyday, the challenges common to us all… the good, the bad, and the ugly!
Find out the answer to this question and more by listening to my recent conversation with Bill Oberst Jr.
Listen to previous conversations between L.A. Emrich & Bill Oberst Jr.
Is it true that horror movies generally portray women as victims?
Sadly, long before TV and movies women have been victimized… for centuries. The most notable example is in the late 17th century Salem Witch Trials. Conservative estimates of the murdered range around 50,000 people, with women making up about 80% of those victims.
The debate is heated about women and the victim role in movies. One of the most intriguing positions is held by those who blame the Judeo-Christian ethos. They point to the fact that, throughout history, Christianity has struggled with its cultural and theological bias of generally viewing women as conduits for evil: “Eve ate the apple!”
For more on the influence of the Christian ethos in horror movies…
Another argument is that the portrayal of women in weaker, vulnerable roles is nothing more than good marketing, appealing to a mostly male audience generally more interested in sex and violence.
Beyond this, some argue that traditional gender roles are the main influence. Man is a hunter, and the killer. Woman is the gatherer and nurturer. And oftentimes, the public responds to those archetypes better than when these roles are reversed. As always, there are exceptions. Buffy the Vampire Slayer did a great job of breaking the standard stereotype.
To be honest with you, most of the critical analysis of horror movies and their preferred victims is done by people who don’t like horror movies. Truth be told, the scariest villains and killers are often women – i.e. witches, female ghosts, vampiresses, sweet-faced psychos, vengeful suductresses, demon dolls, etc. In short, many argue that the horror genre is one of the few genres that provides equal opportunity for both the victim and/or the aggressor.
“Contrary to popular belief, women aren’t mere victims in horror movies – in many cases they’re empowered.” – Anne Billson.
Regardless as to what your opinion may be, the movie portrayal of the victim and his/her aggressor casts light on a real issue in our society, past and present – those who are generally perceived as weaker are often preyed upon and abused by those who feel entitled.
My friend, Actor Bill Oberst Jr. is primarily cast in the role of a male psychotic-aggressor. If you knew him as I do, you would know he’s nothing even remotely like the roles he portrays on TV and in the movies. If he were, he’d be in prison! So, how does he get into character? How and why does he play such violent roles? And are there characters he would never agree to play?
“I delight in playing human beings… who think they have everything they need within themselves… which always leads to tragedy, death, and destruction.”