I walked into the Staller Center last night and ran into Cody Blue Snider, whose short film, “All That Remains,” was about to be shown as part of the Stony Brook Film Festival. He was running around trying to make sure that his friends and family were all seated, so after talking to him for a minute I went upstairs to the auditorium to take my seat. There I found Yoon, one of The Statesman’s photographers (who has so kindly been photographing the directors and cast members of the films who decide to stick around for a Q&A period).
Coincidentally, my seat next to Yoon was directly behind the seat of Youn, one of The Statesman’s Arts & Entertainment section writers. Yes, I sat next to Yoon and behind Youn; and yes, their names are pronounced the same way. I found so much joy in introducing male Yoon to female Youn. They’d never met before and I jumped at the opportunity to make that happen.
Anyway, Cody’s short film was incredible. It told the story of a war veteran suffering from dementia and struggling to cope with the memories of the deaths of the ones he has loved throughout his life. Interestingly, every time he remembers the tragic events in his life, he then has flashbacks of the woman with whom he fell in love. The man’s memories of death and loss and heartbreak are juxtaposed with his memories of love and hope and happiness, and the contrast truly colors the piece. Cody didn’t seem to be entirely impressed with his own work, but the audience definitely was. I think that sometimes we don’t see in our own work what others see in it. Everyone interprets a work differently, and Cody’s film can be interpreted in many ways. I think that’s the aspect of the film that impressed me the most.
Cody (who happens to be the son of Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider, but is talented in his own right) took to the stage to answer questions at the conclusion of the 20-minute film, and seemed to instantly win the hearts of the crowd as people laughed and applauded enthusiastically. He spoke of his next project, which he is currently working on, as well. His next work will be a short film depicting a class of students who pull pranks on their teacher and end up accidentally killing her. Her head is blown off. A woman in the audience raised her hand to say that she was affected by the film shown tonight because her mother passed away with dementia, and that she was slightly disappointed in his idea for his next film. As I sat wondering how or why anyone could have the nerve to say that to a young filmmaker, my question was answered by the woman herself. “I was your ninth grade Earth Science teacher,” she said. And then it all made sense. Cody reassured her that she was not the teacher in the film, saying that it is about a third grade class, and that his third grade teacher, who everybody loved, was Mrs. Stark. As I mentioned in my opening night blog, Cody and I went to the same elementary school, but he’s two years older than I am. Mrs. Stark was my second grade teacher.
To read more about “All That Remains,” and about the film that followed it, see my next blog post.