Saturday, October 13, 2007

Eli Parker is Getting Married?

Thursday night I went back to P.C. to see my old college buddy, Mark Jones, who was there for a showing of his independent film, Eli Parker is Getting Married?. I was really impressed with his film, but I was especially happy to visit with an old friend who I haven't seen in about 10 years.

Mark and I were good friends all through college. We were in FCA, Bible studies, and proud Smyth Dorm residents together. We climbed to the top of Neville Hall on night to touch the "Nipple of Knowledge" (Legend had it that anyone who touched the Nipple of Knowledge would make a 4.0 that year. This turned out to be a myth.) I recall that we even double-dated and/or took dates to the same dances and stuff occasionally. So, when Mark came out of the closet, about five years after we graduated, I was really shocked. In fact, I really didn't even believe it at first. At it's core, Eli Parker is Getting Married? is about that very topic, a comic story about a gay guy coming out of the closet to his old college friend years later and the friends reaction. (Of, course, there's more to it than that and it's hilarious.)

I know that every artist wants to touch someones soul and although I doubt Mark was trying to send a message specifically to me or all his old friends, it did make me realize that my initial reaction wasn't really unusual and that it definitely wasn't the barrier to our friendship that I thought it might be. I've always been a bit ashamed of how I reacted to my friend when he bravely decided to share his deepest secret. I won't pretend to understand the whole "Gay thing" and I probably never will. However, seeing this film and talking with Mark about it afterwards helped me forgive myself for a temporary lapse in friendship. Thanks Mark, your film made an impact on me.

Mark has a new film, Fraternity Massacre at Hell Island, making its rounds at film festivals. Apparently, it's a "fun B horror movie." Although I haven't seen this one yet, I suspect that this film will probably make me feel less guilty about all those fraternity guys we killed back in college. (Just Kidding) Below is a clip from the movie.
Click here for Eli Parker is Getting Married? on IMDB.
Click here for Fraternity Massacre at Hell Island on IMDB.


Rick said...

Great post, great story. And yeah, good friends still have the ability to put (our) foot in mouth and react badly. Glad things have worked out.

Looks like he re-created the nipple of knowledge run in his film - just noting the similarity in the photo of you (not in tighty whiteys, thankfully) and the one on the movie poster.

George said...

Yes, I noticed the similarity in those 2 photos too. In my "Nipple of Knowledge photo" we had to take off our shirts to keep from sliding off the dome as we climbed up it on our bellies. In the movie, the 2 guys are left naked and handcuffed in a field as part of a prank played by some vengeful fraternity brothers. Two clearly different stories but with the shared elements of nipples and college friends.