Sunday, April 19, 2020
Thoughts on BECOMING A MAN IN 127 EASY STEPS: BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN (2020) Tribeca 2020
After watching the material provided by Tribeca I wrote the following paragraph as the next bit in the review:
Coming from a stage piece where the audience would shout out a number from 1 to 127 and Schofield would do the piece, This TV series sets itself up with a lot of ground to cover. Watching the "episode" that was provided for review where we see a couple of the pieces from the show I had the feeling that this really should have been a feature or some sort of interactive piece where we could choose our paths through the story.
I wrote that because the material I was given for the show/video really didn't have context. As with most of the TV material that Tribeca has run over the last few years what they screened was always offered as a stand alone episode, so I took the 18 minutes 127 EASY STEPS as a single episode. However that isn't really the case. In trying to find more information on the material didn't feel like an episode I came upon the project's website which had the following:
This transmedia anthology supports each story to be told in its own most authentic voice. Cinematic footage of Scott’s performance in front of an audience, as well as mockumentary, documentary, and experimental film techniques that give each filmed Step its own look and feel; the video Steps stand alone as short-form content, and a curated collection exists as a feature-length film.
A limited series podcast tells tales that must be heard; and an album of songs tell stories that only music can properly express.
Finally, written pieces of prose and poetry comprise a memoir that can be read in any order. The platform has yet to be determined, but some groundbreaking home is out there waiting for this.
Now what I saw made sense. Now the scope of the project could be seen. The piece screening at Tribeca is just a taste of something much much bigger. I realized that what I was seeing wasn't an episode but simply a piece of a much larger, much more important work. Reading the quoted paragraph I smiled because the 18 minutes were so good that I wanted to keep going and I was now aware that I could.
Assuming the rest of the project is as good as the 18 minutes I saw 127 EASY STEPS is one of the finds of this year's Tribeca.
What I loved about 127 EASY STEPS is that it worked on several levels. I love how Scott makes this thing that many people don't understand understandable. He brings us into his life and into his heart and makes us feel what he felt and experience what he experienced. He does this by bringing us into his life by doing so in ways that connect to our lives, his relatives are our relatives, his emotions are our emotions. The journey is never not Scott's, and never not about being transgender, but he let's us in in such a way that everyone can find some truth or wisdom. Yes, it speaks of being transgender but he also speaks of greater truths that connect us all.
Please excuse me if this seems awkward in someways. The problem is that I am fighting, and probably losing, a battle to speak about the larger project of which these 18 minutes are only a part. Only 3 or 4 steps out of 127 are covered. More importantly there is additional material, podcasts, journals. ect, that take the story farther. I am fighting to remain focused on what I saw and not on what I see in this huge important project.
If you can, watch the 18 minutes for yourself. Watch it, and decide if you are like me and want to see more. And if you do then go to the project's website and get more information.
As it stands now I think that 127 STEPS heralds the arrival of something not only important but great as well.