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Fluid(s) Filmmaking: Lance Oppenheim and Daniel Garber on Spermworld

Two people, visible in silhouette, sit in a blue-and-purple-lit room.Spermworld (courtesy of FX)

Like Lance Oppenheim‘s first feature, 2020’s Some Kind of Heaven, his follow-up Spermworld follows three nonfiction protagonists through a niche American context. Heaven focused on three residents of The Villages, a retirement community in Florida that’s the largest in the world, through cleanly composed, academy-ratio images of seniors who’ve self-selected to live in something like Back to the Future’s ’50s backlot suburbia writ large. Per its title and subject, Spermworld is a grimier follow-up in the wider 2.1 ratio, all sickly blue and green colors and degraded frame edges, following three main sperm donor subjects who tell themselves different stories about why they do what they do. For Tyree, sperm donation is a priority as a function of being an LGBTQ ally; his partner Atasha is theoretically supportive but practically sometimes uneasy. Steve strikes up a not-relationship with Rachel, a younger woman with cystic fibrosis; he develops romantic feelings, she doesn’t. Most manically, there’s Ari—raised Orthodox Jewish, with 138 children across the country, all of whom he tries to see as often as possible. With such a prolific rate of fatherhood, he can unsurprisingly overcommit himself; in one of Spermworld’s standout sequences, his birthday party—with many, many children in attendance—is interrupted by women showing up for donations, necessitating two retreats to the bathroom.

A satisfyingly scuzzy follow-up to Heaven once again shot by Oppenheim’s longtime collaborator David Bolen, Spermworld‘s protagonists are representatives of a classically gloomy Americana searching for meaning in upsettingly anonymous parking lots. The unorthodox relationships they attempt to form are pursued in part (whether or not they admit to themselves—and they generally don’t) as an alternative to the unrewarding conditions of normal contemporary American society; if the paths they’ve chosen are unintuitive, the yearning for something beyond the dreadful present is eminently understandable.

A few weeks after the film’s premiere at this year’s True/False Film Fest, I spoke with Oppenheim and his editor Daniel Garber. Spermworld premieres tonight on FX and joins the Hulu platform tomorrow.

Filmmaker: You have three main characters here, as you did in Some Kind of Heaven. I want to know what about that structure, or that number, is appealing to you, and I would love for you to talk about documentary casting, because it’s a bit of a dark art.

Oppenheim: It’s not by design that both movies ended up becoming structurally similar to one another—there’s a lot of difference in what the movies are actually about. But with movies like this, where you aren’t sure where things are going to go, it’s almost an insurance policy. Each storyline has at least two people: Steve and Rachel, Tyree and Atasha, Ari and arguably his mother or his best friend, Brian Brier. The main thing we were chasing at the beginning was following the way in which these relationships normally work, where you have men in this purgatorial place in the Facebook groups. They stick around there for a really long time; the women in these groups mostly come and go. So, we met and cast through the men. There were many other people we were following; over time, to try and whittle this down into something immersive and fun to watch, it ended up becoming three storylines.

In terms of casting, at the beginning of this whole movie it was me, Dan, [field producer/co-producers] Christian Vazquez and Sophie Kissinger on the ground. Then we brought on [producer] Lauren Belfer, who became one of the real creative key leads in this, and [associate producer] David Malmborg, who helped with a lot of casting on The Rehearsal. I met him through Nathan Fielder. We did some initial shooting, which ended up becoming the first scene [in which a sperm donor awkwardly chats up Anica before they have sex in a motel room; neither character is seen for the rest of the film]. But after that, I knew I wanted to recast the movie to some degree. I wanted to start the movie with that and never return to that storyline. So, it was a lot of trial and error. There were months of Zooms. I would let everyone talk, then try and preserve the initial interactions I’d have with each person on the ground. I would watch all these videos and make mental notes of people’s routines and what they were after, and we’d do a two-day shoot with each person. Dan would then watch that, and we would go from there.

Garber: It is actually a pretty self-limiting casting process in a lot of ways. There are a lot of criteria that have to be satisfied for documentary subjects to be viable as subjects. It helps if they have a biography that’s interesting, it’s necessary for them to have real screen presence and ideally there should be forces in their lives that would obviously unfold into story. Somebody who’s stuck in neutral does not seem like a very good candidate for a documentary. There was an extensive interview process too. Christian, Sophie and David were talking to various subjects, often recording these interviews so I could watch them. So, even before they were actually shooting on the ground, there was a lot of material for me to react to and be able to say, “I think this person seems very compelling. There’s potential for this story to unfold in an interesting way.” And other instances when I thought, “This probably isn’t going anywhere. Maybe this is not something you should prioritize.”

With limited resources, you can’t chase down all these leads. You have to pursue a handful and hope that they have good screen presence and are comfortable with having this enormous camera around, and that there’s going to be something that keeps them around for longer. Certainly people we filmed dropped out relatively quickly. One person was considering going to the donor groups if her husband was unable to produce viable sperm. There was some uncertainty, because they had to reverse his vasectomy. When he was successful, she ended up not using the groups. Honestly, if it works out in a way that is, in many cases, better for them, it doesn’t necessarily make for a story that will sustain interest.

Oppenheim: This process ends up becoming very collaborative very quickly. Every moment in this is almost like I’m adapting their life with them in real time. There’s nothing scripted or rehearsed or performed at my behest, but I come into every situation having known a lot more about them than they initially know about me. Immediately, there’s this process of getting to know each other and trying to crack whatever artifice we both have. I tell them why I’m interested in their story: “Tyree and Atasha, how do you make this work? He’s donating, while you would like to have a child and be engaged. What’s the dynamic here?” Sometimes it’s a very uncomfortable conversation about why I’m interested in their stories or what I’m interested in filming. They know what the lens of the production is, and more or less what I’m hoping to get out of every time we’re shooting. A lot of times, my interest will start somewhere and by the end of filming it completely goes to another place, or there’s a revelation that happens while we’re shooting something that’s more intentionally captured. We were looking for openness while casting. The people we ended up following didn’t feel like they had a sense of community, and this shared but very isolated sense of loneliness brought every single person to these Facebook groups. We were giving them an opportunity to say and do things that they wish they could do normally but didn’t, almost like group therapy.

Filmmaker: When you’re in the middle of this process and talking to somebody, is there a moment where somebody says, “Hey, you’re 26. Why are you interested in this, and what’s your ability to represent me?” How would you handle something like that besides saying, “Well, this is obviously interesting”?

Oppenheim: Interestingly, it doesn’t ever come back to my age. I think I’m interested in asking questions that people are interested in asking of themselves, like, “Why am I doing this?” We met Steve as he began this journey. So, in a way, we were going through the very same things he was going through, trying to figure out what the blueprint was supposed to be when you’re giving away your sperm. Then I think there’s the bigger questions that the movie ended up becoming really about: What exists of me when I’m no longer here? All these people are chasing something bigger than themselves. They want to be bigger than life and feel in different ways that they haven’t achieved that sense of importance. I relate to that. That’s more or less why I make movies, right?

I’m generally interested in other people’s lives and tracing back parts of myself and where the intersection is, trying to understand people’s emotions and trying to understand myself. That’s always the challenge with these movies—really getting to understand somebody as well as we possibly can and collaborating with them to create sequences and images that are representative of not only their life, but also how they feel, an inner life or subjectivity that you normally see more in a fiction movie. Because we have spent three-and-a -alf years getting to know somebody, and they know me just as well, there’s this degree to which they know what’s going to be in the movie. There’s nothing that’s ever really going to surprise them, because they went through this very invasive but very collaborative process with us.

Filmmaker: Lance is partially describing a quasi-therapeutic director-subject relationship that involves a lot of back and forth and trustbuilding. Dan, do you find yourself coming in as the next part of the psychological chain when he needs input on how he’s interacting with a subject?

Garber: Yeah, sometimes. It’s useful to provide feedback in terms of being able to see, with a little bit more distance, how a subject reacts to being interrogated and to say, “Maybe this is a more fruitful way of engaging in the conversation in the future.” But generally, I see my role more as trying to remain true to what I know to be true to these people, whether or not that’s the most immediately obvious thing when I see the footage. So, these conversations with Lance while he’s shooting can be really informative for me because I can know about things said off camera that reveal something about these people, even when that doesn’t fully get represented in the footage. That will clue me into what [additional] footage might do to flesh out those aspects.

Oppenheim: While he’s editing, Dan likes to remain behind the computer, but I will sometimes force him out of the edit chamber. We would go out for dinner with Ari, or I’d FaceTime with Steve while we’d be editing or call up Tyree and Natasha. There’s conversations that Dan also has with them. Sometimes he’d be like, “Come on, I’m trying to work. Can you stop distracting me?” But other times I think it would actually be really helpful for him to have that FaceTime and form his own relationship.

I bought Steve Transcendental Cinema by Paul Schrader, and we would watch movies from there together. I gave him my Criterion Channel login, and I showed him Paterson. With Rachel, the sequences that we use during the movie of their voice memos, their messages [which act as voiceover narration], we’re trying to borrow from the lyrical poetry sequences in Paterson. Dan and I watch movies and talk about music and how we want this film to feel; those kinds of conversations also happen with the people in the movie. And a lot of the time, when Dan’s editing a sequence and I return after being gone for several weeks, I’ll show them: “Here’s what we did—it’s not the final result yet, but just so you get the picture.” Because over the years of making a movie like this, it’s easy for everyone to forget sometimes: Well, what are we doing? Why are we doing this? How is this all going to come together? The back and forth between edit and production, and my relationships and Dan’s relationships with everyone in the movie—what you end up seeing needs to feel like a fully congealed terrarium of experiences together while we made the film.

Filmmaker: Maybe you can talk about how you conduct interviews, then we can move into an example of a larger scene. I was thinking about Ari’s birthday, because there’s a lot going on.

Oppenheim: There’s always a gulf between how people see themselves and present themselves, and I find that you experience that most when you do an interview. There’s a gap between what I’m able to achieve when I witness something happening in real time versus doing a sitdown talking heads interview. Personally, there’s nothing more artificial in some ways than doing a sitdown talking head interview, because the people in the movie are suddenly so conscious of the fact that they’re on camera. The camera is literally right next to me, and there’s this sort of performance that I end up having to do—which is why I tried to avoid it as much as I possibly can, because then the conversations I’ve had with everyone off camera suddenly become this sort of rehearsed thing and everyone feels like they’re performing. Procedurally, it was important for me to allow people to forget that we were all standing by, zone out, look up at the ceiling and not have to look at me as we would talk about really intimate things. There’d be a lot of times where we would take breaks, have lunch, discuss what we just talked about, then get back into it. The more I can remove myself from it and not let the camera get in the way, the more honest and emotional the interviews become.

Garber: I think about interviews in two dominant modes. One is what Lance is talking about, this interior monologue approach where you’re trying to access something that isn’t readily observable in observational documentary footage. The scene unfolds and people aren’t necessarily completely frank about their emotions, or are oftentimes trying to hide their emotions completely. So, interviews are sometimes a way of revealing psychological aspects of characters you wouldn’t otherwise have access to. The other way is to think about them as scenes unto themselves, which is less the case in this film than it was in Some Kind of Heaven. Very often, when you put two people in an interview frame together, there’s a dynamic between them that is giving you something useful beyond just the existence of the interview or what is coming out of their mouths.

One of the risks of interviews that Lance is getting at is that people view it as a performative space, in which they think they need to present the most polished versions of themselves. When you have people like the woman from the opening of the film or Rachel, they’re incredibly articulate about their emotions. Part of this goes back to their training: Anica [who appears in the opening scene] is a therapist, Rachel is a social worker. These are people who are very practiced in talking about their emotions in ways that I think sometimes can feel a little bit less raw because it’s been processed through this vocabulary they have to describe emotions. So, often the task of editing the interviews is about cutting through the ways that people mediate their emotions and trying to get through to something that feels more like raw, unimpeded access to what’s going on in their heads.

Oppenheim: A good example is Steve and Rachel. They both expressed separately that they really wanted to talk to one another. They spent the whole day looking past each other, not making eye contact. Eventually I was just like, “I’m going to set the camera up here. You guys should just talk.” They didn’t know where to sit, they didn’t know what was going on. We turned on the light, the camera was really close to them. They knew that obviously they both want to have this conversation, they knew that I’d like for it to happen, and I just let it happen. Eventually, when there was a lull in the conversation and it felt like they remembered that they’re sitting in front of the camera, I came in and asked questions that they could volley to one another. The more it feels like the interviews become less like interviews and more very fluid conversations, I think it helps contribute to some dreamlike qualities to the movie itself. There’s a degree to which everyone knows what I’m interested in, because I’m consistently peppering them with questions. Eventually we move the camera in—everything is a single camera.

Every year, Ari has this birthday party and invites all of his children to it, as many as he possibly can. He had a recipient whose name was Snowden—like Edward Snowden, but no relation. She had this party space, and when we got there it was completely chaotic. Ari overbooked himself, and sometimes that’s very much the norm. He forgets that he’s scheduled people for a donation and suddenly has to choose: “Where am I going to go?” That scene was a massive production challenge. There were so many children there, and he forgot to tell all the children’s mothers that he was going to have us around as well, so there were quite a number of people who didn’t want to be in the film. Credit and testament to Lauren and Christian, who were there, and Sophie, who was afar on that day—a lot of back and forth had to go on. [Associate producer] Richard Carlos did the sound because of the amount of emotional management—so many moments where it would be like, “Ari’s over here, but there’s 10 children whose parents don’t want them to be in the movie over there.” So, it would be a lot of herding people over to a different part of the room, then letting reality unfold again. I remember emerging from that being like, “I have no idea what we shot or if there’s anything useful here, because I feel like we just emerged from a war zone.” It was true entropy for five-and-a-half hours and two donations.

Garber: With many scenes Lance shoots, there are a lot of options. Conversations will cover four different topics, and you have to decide which of those is actually going to be the one used in the film. Ari’s birthday party is the most extreme example of this. There was this whole beat up to all the kids arriving where Ari’s freaking out because everybody’s running late. He’s worried that nobody’s going to show up. That was condensed into the first few shots. There are so many different digressions within that scene, and we had to be clear about what it was going to be about and deciding to showcase the fact that he’s making two donations and Brier’s speech about Ari never retiring.

Filmmaker: We should go backwards a bit and talk about establishing the look of the film, meaning both what you literally did and what the conceptual process was in arriving at that look.

Oppenheim: It all went back to the Facebook groups. I joined them after a great reporter, Nellie Bowles, told me about this world. There were all these posts of people advertising themselves, sometimes in very heartbreaking, poignant ways, along with biographic passages about where they were, how they got to where they are and what they’re looking for, then someone pushing the “Like” button underneath and commenting with two words: “I’m available.” That tonal distinction, the tenderness and also the uneasiness, the automation of human connection and emotion, [was key]. Then also filming interactions that are extremely transactional in places devoid of any intimacy, like a shopping mall or a roadside motel or Walmart parking lots—places that don’t have any real life to them, yet we’re filming something that is quite possibly one of the most important and awe-inspiring moments of people’s lives. You’re literally watching life being potentially created in places devoid of any humanity at all.

I’ve lost count of the amount of films I’ve made with David Bolen, my very-longterm cinematographer. We’ve always loved this painter, Jake Longstreth, who paints a lot beautiful compositions of American architecture encroaching upon the natural world. [He also made a poster for the film.] There’s Nick Drnaso; I love the way the colors worked and all of his compositions in graphic novels like Sabrina and Acting Class. Then there was Alec Soth, his photograph series Niagara. We like to look at a lot of images and keep passing things back and forth. The aspect ratio shifted; we didn’t quite know exactly how to shoot this from the very first frame. But we knew that we would want to have it locked off, to give the audience a way to be in the room for these encounters where you see two strangers meeting for the first time and not let the camera get in the way of those interactions. And once you get a sense of the awkwardness, the fact that two people are trying to relate to one another but don’t know each other, the camera starts to move in, just as the conversation starts to move in as these portals of intimacy start to open up.

Filmmaker: My question was actually more about the color and what I think is pantyhose around the lens, but since you brought it up: when you’re in those moments and start zooming in, is it like you and David have the mind meld and he knows when to do it, or are you leaning over and being like, “Zoom in”?

Oppenheim: Even talking with him when he’s not shooting, he’s probably one of the most emotionally intelligent human beings I’ve ever been around. I think he just knows instinctually at times. There’s a shorthand where I can just look at him and he knows to move in, but there are a lot of times where he can sense the natural flow of a conversation, and when and where the camera needs to be to find hopefully something great.

Garber: It’s rare to find a DP who has the emotional intelligence to understand what’s unfolding in a scene, as well as the command of the image on a technical level, that David has. Very often, especially in documentary, you get one or the other: somebody who’s very concerned with the toy that he’s holding and then kind of checks out of what’s actually happening and is perhaps not that aware of what the subjects are going through, or people who are much more attuned to the rhythms of the scene but may not be quite as tightly controlled in how they maneuver the camera. To your other question about the colors: Damien Vandercruyssen is a phenomenal colorist. He also colored Some Kind of Heaven. The fuzzy look was actually something that emerged in the post—not actual pantyhose over the lens, but added in after.

Oppenheim: Very early on, we sent Damien a bunch of our references and he created a LUT for us. It was, like, nuclearly cold in certain places, and when we were in warm places, it was also nuclear, in a different way. I think it inspired David to use these Kowa lenses, Japanese glass that’s completely detuned in some cases. You can’t really pan with the camera because if you do, it just looks like a remarkably distorted, warbly image. We wanted to make something that looked really dirty. I talked about a terrarium before, but we wanted it to feel like you’re inside of, like, a sperm collection vessel—not to be crude, but like there’s artifacts of human fluids on the lens. We didn’t want to make something that felt so dirty that you couldn’t really connect with the people, but we wanted to make something that felt reflective of the experiences of these different settings. There were sequences we did shoot with the pantyhose on the lens; Nate Hurtsellers, who shot [Oppenheim’s forthcoming MAX miniseries] Renfair, would come in when David wasn’t available, and David would do the same for Nate on that project. Nate brought his pantyhose and that whole opening sequence with all the babies was shot with that. We were like, can we take the look of that and apply it essentially everywhere? Damien at times would be like, “I think you guys are pushing it a little too far.” And I’d be like, “We have to go further. Let’s make this as dreamy as possible.”

Filmmaker: In no universe would this movie, with the production partners you had on it, have sex scenes on camera. However, would you have considered that?

Oppenheim: A big thing that was hard to get right was, how can we allude to the idea that someone is masturbating in a bathroom and their sperm is being collected in a cup, or two people are engaging in intercourse—how can we show that while being respectful to the people in the film? I don’t think anyone in the film is interested in showing all of themselves, but a big part of it too is it’s more interesting to me to get creative with that than actually showing the physical act. For example, the cartoon that plays when Ari and Elaine meet at the child pageant, it’s a guy who’s smashing a whack-a-mole. There was comedy to be found. It’s always about, like, “where is the sperm going and who is it affecting,” rather than, “Let’s see a climax.” We’re not Love, the Gasper Noé movie. I don’t want to really show that in this sort of movie, but I also don’t want to be tame and not allude to it. It’s always a balance.

Filmmaker: The single camera thing: Do you ever have a scene where it’s like, “Damn it, I wish I had two cameras, let me break my rule”? And Dan, what is it like for you? I feel like a lot of your projects have been single camera, so you have some experience with it.

Oppenheim: For a movie like this, I think it’s really important that everyone feels the camera on them when it’s on them, and the reason is I think sometimes it can bring about more honesty. It forces us to be honest with them, it forces them to be honest with us. And sometimes, if we miss something in a conversation, it gives us more time to return to that point later, when something else can unfold from a point brought up earlier that we missed, or it was talked about but people moved on. For David, aesthetically, as much as we’re trying to just let reality unfold, we also want to go into every moment with as intentional of a frame as possible. Not to say that you can’t do that with two cameras—on the Renfair project and this other project that I’ve been working on with David more recently, we’ve had to adapt to using a few cameras at once, because the reality and environment called for it.

Garber: There were absolutely moments when I felt like, “Steve says something really important and I’m actually much more interested in how Rachel’s reacting to that than the way Steve says that on camera. I wish we had a second camera for that exact moment.” Despite that, the single camera approach yields so much more quality material for a couple of reasons. One is exactly what Lance is saying: people stand up a little bit straighter, the material is generally better if you know that you only have one camera to work with. The second thing is that it drastically changes the way you maneuver the camera. If you have to accommodate two different cameras and not have the cameras going into each other’s sightlines, you have to move the camera way back. With the slow and methodical way that Lance and David work, that simply would not work. I really think that the single camera approach is just more effective in terms of yielding the highest quality shots, and this has been true on other projects that I’ve worked on where there’s been the option of two cameras, fiction films like The Drop or How to Blow Up a Pipeline. There are moments of improvisation and looseness where it would be really helpful to have two cameras, but in both of those cases, the directors always had the option of a second camera but generally chose to work with only one camera, because that was going to yield the highest quality footage.

The main reason to work with multiple cameras is to have more options to cut with. That makes a lot of sense in instances when you have very little latitude to keep shooting, where the conversation is by definition very short or a one-off. But in situations like this, it’s not like we’re dealing with somebody storming into a politician’s office and they get one minute to make their speech and you need to be sure that you capture it that one time. Ordinary human conversations are incredibly repetitive. People talk about the same thing several times in a single setting. If you have enough time to record that conversation, inevitably people will circle around to the same points. So, you have what essentially amounts to multiple takes of the same idea, because people repeat themselves, and you’ll also have multiple opportunities to get reactions and additional coverage.

Filmmaker: We’re doing this interview with Dan at Lance’s suggestion. I was hoping that Lance would suggest it, but I can’t think of another time where I interviewed a documentary director and they said, “My editor should be with me.” I sometimes feel like on every documentary, the editor should be co-credited as a director just because of the nature of sculpting the footage, but I would like to hear both of your perspectives on that relationship. Am I overestimating that idea?

Oppenheim: Every time I’ve worked with Dan, I feel like he’s the co-author of the movie. When I have the idea, I immediately go to Dan and ask him, “Is this worth something?” Sometimes I don’t fully understand why I’m instinctually drawn to something, and in a lot of cases I find Dan to be a lot more intelligent than I am. So, working with him sharpens the things that I think I’m interested in. In documentaries, editors are writing the movie with the filmmaker. The way I’ve worked with Dan in the past, I’m talking about the things I’d like to capture, then I return and we discuss what we did capture. Not to say that there’s any scripted elements to this movie, but there’s hundreds and hundreds of hours of footage. There’s intent behind every image, but so many different movies you could make out of the experiences we’ve captured.

Garber: This could be a whole separate conversation. First of all, I don’t feel like I can speak for anyone outside of this dynamic. I also think that it’s almost a cliche to say that editors don’t get their due, or editors aren’t sufficiently recognized, and I think editors in particular are a driver of this narrative—which may actually be true when it comes to the general public, right? A lot of people lack the media savvy, the knowledge of how documentaries are made. I think because [the perception is] “It’s just reality, it’s the world unfolding in front of the camera,” people don’t really see the task of editing as actually creating a story. There is so much structuring that has to happen, and perhaps acknowledging the amount of writing that goes on in the edit feels like it diminishes the veracity of the narrative. So, I can totally understand why this may be the case, structurally speaking.

Obviously, for purely egotistical reasons, I would love to have some recognition, which is why working with Lance is so nice. But I think the other thing that’s great about this particular dynamic is, I often think of editor-director relationships, whether in fiction or nonfiction, as a meeting of idiosyncracies, and you hope that people’s individual proclivities are complementary. So, the things that Lance is obsessed with are not necessarily things I care that much about; I’m going to care about other things. As a result, we have our eyes on different aspects of this puzzle. There are different things that we’re going to be perfectionists about, which allows us to restrain each other’s impulses, and it also helps fill out those blind spots. I think that that’s one of the most fruitful ways that the director-editor relationship unfolds—some sense of shared priorities and shared interests, but also on a technical level, having very different ideas about how to go through the process.

Oppenheim: The first thing I remember Dan said when we started working on this was, “How can we push ourselves to not deprive the audience of context, but give them just the right amount, so that they can remain engaged emotionally with the people making these choices?” It was the reason for the whole movie’s existence in some ways. How do we let the audience engage with each scene the way that they would in a narrative film, where every moment, every scene is about an unspoken question of, why? Why are these people doing this? Why are the men interested in donating their sperm in this way? Why are they interested in donating at all! And why are the women doing the same thing? Why are they interested in having a family in this way? How do these people feel about each other? Those questions are never explicitly asked, but they run through the DNA of the movie. It’s almost like this mystical mystery that is completely existential, and it ties back to bigger questions we both find ourselves asking in our own lives. Why do we make movies? Why do we spend our time doing this? Why are we even on this planet, and are we the things we make? What exists after the thing we make? That’s a question I’m asking now that the movie’s done. In a lot of ways, that’s what the people in the movie are asking themselves too. How am I remembered? How do I form some sense of purpose while I’m alive and walking the planet? I think that’s where both of us started and where the movie really ended. It all came back to the same question.

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