Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Woodstock Film Festival: “Patrick's Day”

Posted By on Wed, Nov 26, 2014 at 11:49 PM

Patrick's Day is a study in sainthood. I spoke to the director (and writer), Terry McMahon, after the movie. "Everyone hears the 'St.' in the title, but it isn't there," he observed.

"But the word is implied," I suggested. Terry nodded.

"In the opening scene Patrick is working in the supermarket, and his very first action is letting someone go ahead of him," I pointed out. "That's a saintly gesture."

"He's just a good person, who'll let someone else go first," Tom replied.

"But when you read the lives of the saints, most of them were clearly insane," I said.

"Or mythical!" he shot back. "St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland!"

"Doesn't seem so likely," I mused.

"You know it!" We both laughed.

Still, I say Patrick's Day is a film about sainthood. A 26 year old schizophrenic guy named Patrick meets a woman named Karen at a hotel bar in Dublin. It's St. Patrick's Day, and also Patrick's birthday. His mother takes him every year to see the parade, and somehow he's gotten separated from her. Patrick has a few drinks with Karen, and ends up in her hotel room. There he loses his virginity and falls in love.

Patrick's life is changed forever.

He seems mildly mentally retarded, as well as schizophrenic. He speaks very little. Possibly he hallucinates. But Patrick understands devotion more fully than most of us. He is perfectly happy to live his life as an act of love. Is this sainthood? Or delusion? Or both?

(I'm purposely leaving out most of the plot. I don't want to ruin this fruitful film for anyone.)

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