Ava's Odyssey - My Daughter and I Look at Footage and Talk About the Odyssey
I was cleaning out the storage facility yesterday for my 2008 film The Caller. Among the few things I preserved were a DVD from day 25 of the shoot. On it were low resolution copies of takes of a shot in which, in the background behind Frank Langella, I appear holding my daughter.
The shot had to be cut while a scene with my son made it into the film. That the scene with my daughter and I was cut is something of which she occasionally reminds me. Last night we sat down and watched each of the four takes that I had salvaged from the storage facility.
Now a sophomore in high school, she's reading The Odyssey, so we spoke about this ancient Greek poem. She found it funny when I became tearful when at The Palace of Alcinous, Odysseus begins to cry hearing a story about himself sung by Demodocus, a blind poet.
The Odyssey can be described as the tale of a man who learns though his encounter with women, mortal and immortal, the significance of sexual difference. A number of important contemporary writers, most of whom are women, argue that sexual difference changes everything radically forever, far more than what is contained by our contemporary notion of gender.
Literature is where this awareness of sexual difference has persisted when historically it has been effaced or suppressed. It comes as no surprise to me that my most important teachers of The Odyssey have been women. Today when my daughter texted me that she had caught the bus I texted her back to "Have a great Odyssey" and again I became tearful.