November 3, 2015 | Miriam Beerman: Expressing the Chaos | Wilmington, DE
Chaos. That’s the theme of my film. It’s nice to talk about it and discuss it in an art context. But living through it is a different realm.
The drive from suburban DC to Wilmington, Delaware is 1 hour and 40 minutes. For my first screening I leave 2 hours. All good, right?
The main highway corridor running through the nation’s megalopolis from DC to Boston is Interstate 95. It carries millions and millions of cars every year. So when they close it during afternoon rush hour? Chaos.
It was hard to believe when the overhead digital sign said “Interstate 95 NB closed after exit 67.” A fatal car accident. In the more mundane world, my under 2-hour drive now became a 4+ hour drive. The frustration was compounded by the fact that I was going to miss my Q & A after the film screening. If I couldn’t get there by 7, then it would be over.
So as I’m literally driving in circles and the Waze app tells me 7:53 for an arrival time, I call Judy who is running things at Light Up the Queen Foundation. More chaos! She tells me the bulb in the projector has burned out, they had to delay the screening, and that they won’t be finished showing the film until 7:30.
Still not looking good for me. I realize that my only hope, as I’m still 60 miles away, is to get back on 95 and hope it clears. I get on the entrance ramp and it is smooth sailing until I round the first corner. Then it’s a dead stop. Now I’m really trapped.
I exhale deeply and accept my fate. Inching along is silly at this point. All of a sudden, Waze recalculates that I will now get to Wilmington at 7:22. What? All the cars are going to vanish? 7:24. 7:26. 7:35. 7:38.
And then the road literally opens up. Like a blind person recovering their vision, we slowly grope forward, unable to comprehend what was agita, frustration, and man’s limited ability to comprehend the state of the world into something fluid, familiar, and reassuring.
As the miles get gobbled up at a very high rate of speed, I calculate there will be an eight-minute gap between when the film ends and I arrive. Judy is certainly surprised to hear that I am 13 minutes away when she calls to say the film is almost done.
When I walk into Film Brothers Co-op, an airy place with a screening area at the far end, there are a handful of people remaining who are enjoying some food. We have a nice talk about the film, and Miriam, and traffic. Some local art students and their teacher have just left, so I will make it a point to do a Skype talk with them. Tomorrow is the screening at Long Island University—and I will be there early. RIP Clifton Whaling.
Post by OSIP touring filmmaker, Jonathan Gruber.