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Thread: "The Surrogate", Sundance award winning film

  1. #1
    Senior Member Wesley's Avatar
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    Jul 2003

    "The Surrogate", Sundance award winning film

    this looks like a good one.

    In The Surrogate, a 38-year-year-old man named Mark O’Brien hires a woman to relieve him of his virginity. But wait, there’s more: Because of childhood polio, the man can’t move his body below his neck, and when he isn’t spending hours in the iron lung that helps him breathe, he’s lying flat on a gurney, cared for by a rotation of attendants. Also there’s this: The woman he hires isn’t a prostitute but a surrogate partner, trained as a sex therapist and experienced at working with disabled clients. The real O’Brien, a poet and journalist, wrote eloquently about his life, including the article “On Seeing a Sex Surrogate,” published in 1990; he died in 1999 at the age of 49. The movie O’Brien is played by Winter’s Bone’s wonderful John Hawkes; Helen Hunt is frequently, frankly, and rather elegantly naked as Cheryl, the therapist who teaches him How To. O’Brien was a devout Roman Catholic, and William H. Macy has a great turn as a priest who becomes the poet’s great friend as well as confessor. (With more priests like Macy, there might be a boom in church going.)

  2. #2
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Windsor ON Canada
    Awesome actors, that's for sure. Will keep an eye out for it.
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  3. #3
    Senior Member Wesley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003

    Mark O'Brien

    I was reading today about the subject of this movie, Mark O'Brien. He was also featured in an Academy award winning documentary called "Breathing Lessons".

    In Google books, I read parts of his book "How I Became a Human Being". It's a series of articles he wrote which includes the inspiration for the movie "The Surrogate", "On Seeing a Sexual Surrogate".

    He spent just about his entire life in iron lung. I love this poem. sounds like he was a hell of a guy.

    Breathing by Mark O'Brien

    Grasping for straws is easier;
    You can see the straws.
    "This most excellent canopy, the air, look you,"
    At fifteen pounds per square inch,
    A dense, heavy, blue-glowing ocean,
    Supporting the heavy weight of condors
    That swim it's churning currents.
    All I get is a thin stream of it,
    A finger's width of the rope that ties me to life
    As I labor like a stevedore to keep the connection.
    Water wouldn't be so circumspect;
    Water would crash in like a drunken sailor,
    But the air is prissy and genteel,
    Teasing me with its nearness and pervading immensity.
    The vast, circumambient atmosphere
    Allows me but ninety cubic centimeters
    Of its billions of gallons and miles of sky.
    I inhale it anyway,
    Knowing that it will hurt
    In the weary ends of my crumpled paper bag lungs.

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