Thursday, November 10, 2016

Super 8 and Some Movie Therapy

by Patrick Bromley
This has been a rough week and I'm looking for help.

"I know bad things happen. Bad things happen. But you can still live. You can still live."

So, this week. I know I'm not speaking for only myself when I say it has been a difficult one. Many of us are feeling hurt and disappointed after the 2016 presidential election, and it's not necessarily because the candidate we supported didn't win. I have supported losing candidates as many times as I have winning ones and it didn't feel like this. The hurt is because of the person that received the majority of electoral college (not popular) votes and will be taking office in January. You may like Donald Trump. You may have voted for him. That is your right. It is my right to say that he is the worst candidate and very possibly the worst human being to be nominated for president in my lifetime, because George Wallace predates me. And now I live in a country in which millions of people either don't mind the truly heinous shit the man has said and done and stands for or they outright support it. My faith in most things feels completely broken.

It's hard to get up the energy or the excitement to talk about movies when we all feel like this.

So I'm going to talk about something that I haven't talked about publicly at all. In fact, it's not something I've even talked about privately with anyone outside of my doctor and my wife. I have suffered from depression for what I suspect is many years; again, I can remember sitting on a set of stairs at my grandmother's on my sixth or seventh birthday and weeping uncontrollably because I hadn't accomplished anything in the last year and because I was a year closer to dying. The actual clinical diagnosis has only been for a while. I'm getting treatment for it and every fucking day is a struggle, some less so and some more so.

This isn't a case of me feeling sorry for myself, either. I know that I have a good life. I have the best wife whom I'm crazy in love with. We have a great marriage. I have awesome kids who are like a little present every day. We have a house. We have jobs. I have family and friends who I love dearly. I have this place and all of you. But the reason that depression is such a motherfuck is because it doesn't care about any of that. Look at this way: I'm also diabetic, but diabetes doesn't give a shit if I had a good day and I'm happy in my marriage and all that. It's still going to attack my body. Depression is like that. Just because things are going fairly well for me one day doesn't mean it's not going to make me want to kill myself that same night. I know many people reading this (including my very good friend Adam Riske, whose openness on the subject I have always admired) experience the same thing, so I am not a snowflake.
But I have kept it a secret, because I know that there is still a stigma attached to the subject -- people who talk about depression are just dramatic or looking for attention. I don't want to be a burden to anyone, so I don't talk about it. There are people close to me who I think about telling from time to time and then I realize they have their stuff to worry about and I don't want to put it on anyone else. But I also don't want to be guilty of playing to the stigma, which I'm doing if I continue to treat it as a dirty secret. And then this week happened and I got tired of suffering silently. Many of us need to lean on one another more than ever before, and I can't get help or be of help to anyone else if I'm not being honest with myself or others.

I hate writing this. I'm not one to talk about myself a whole bunch. One of the reasons I like hosting our podcast is because it gives me a chance to talk with my friends about something other than me or my life. But I got so low this week (to be fair, it was even before the election on Tuesday) that the only thing that brought me back was some of the friends who reached out. Doug. Rob DiCristino. Amy Coppage. Josh Pearlman (a prince). Heath Holland sent Erika and me a note that may have singlehandedly brought be back from the brink. And while the majority of days I see social media as being a mostly poisonous place where everyone can be anonymously shitty and divisive, it was a respite around election time. Everyone I'm connected with was expressing the same things I was feeling, only more hopeful and optimistic. And while it doesn't have the power to cure this particular depressive episode, it does make me want to at least try to fight it off. I got messages that said that our site and our community has helped people through difficult times, and that it would be something that these same people would turn to for help now. I don't take that lightly. It means more than I can ever express, actually. Thank you for that.

Which brings me back to movies and to Super 8. I have been laid up with back pain since the morning of the election, trying to find movies to take my mind off of everything. It's always worked in the past. Back in the '90s, when I had more time and fewer responsibilities, I would disappear into a dark theater for 12-15 hours at a time during an especially difficult day. But this time, nothing was helping. And the thought of trying to actually write about any movie -- be it The Love Witch (so good) or Don't Fuck in the Woods (you're fine) or The Frontier (still haven't seen it) -- seemed totally impossible. It all felt hopeless. I felt hopeless.
And then I thought of that quote from Super 8 and seized on it, and for the first time it felt like I wanted to watch and write about something. Like a lot of my favorite movies of recent years, be it Cloud Atlas or this year's Beyond the Gates, it is a movie about healing -- sometimes too explicitly so. I get it. It's not a subtle movie. I know that people have major problems with Super 8, whether it's writer/director JJ Abrams' slavish attempt to recreate an '80s Spielberg/Amblin film or his overreliance on lens flares or an alien monster that shows up in the second half and throws off the balance of what is already a very good coming of age movie about some kids trying to make a horror movie. I can't begrudge anyone their issues with the film, even if I don't agree with them. I love Super 8. I have loved it since I saw it opening weekend. It was my favorite movie of 2011. I continue to love it every time I see, and rewatching it tonight when I'm at one of the lowest points I can remember made me appreciate it in a whole new way. It is medicine for my heartbreak.

I'm sure a big reason I'm finding solace in Super 8 is because its naked appeal to my sense of nostalgia is comforting, even though that's a big part of why people attacked it when it was first released (and for some reason, many of these same people are jizzing all over Stranger Things because memory is a fickle thing). But I don't just love Super 8 because it reminds me of the movies I used to watch as a kid. I love it because it reminds me of what it was like to be a kid. Joe Lamb was me. His friends were my friends. We spent our weekends shooting little homemade horror movies and comedies. We might disagree because we liked the same girl (though, unlike Alice Dainard, the girl in my story never liked me back). I know what it feels like to care so much about something so small and weird like monster movies when the rest of the universe is saying I should be going to baseball camp.
Super 8 is also a movie about finding respite in movies when the world around you is falling apart. Joe Lamb's mother has just died. His father doesn't understand him and makes no real attempt at having a relationship. He disappears into movies and models and monsters. Most of us can relate. It's why we're here, reading a movie site and trying to connect to one another at a time that feels so scary and hopeless. Like Joe Lamb bringing his friends together to survive and hopefully defeat the alien monster -- even picking up new friends like Alice and the stoned kid who works at the PhotoMat -- we have all assembled here or on Twitter or on Facebook or anywhere you find community and we're trying to survive together. It's not just this election, either. It's every day. Life can be hard. The world can kick your ass more often than not. But we have each other and we have movies. That, to me, has always been one of the great messages of Super 8. How can I possibly not love it?

There's a great scene in the movie -- one of many -- in which Alice Dainard sneaks into Joe's room and they watch some Super 8 footage of Joe's late mother. Forget just how absolutely wonderful the young actors' performances are. Forget how lovely and delicate Abrams is in the way he directs the scene. Those are reasons the scene is always great. There's a particular moment that stood out on this viewing, though, in which Alice, now in tears as she reveals that her father was supposed to be working the shift on which Joe's mom died at the factory, says that she knows he wishes it was him and that sometimes she does, too. Joe's immediate response is "Don't say that." There is such sincerity, such decency in those three words. After a year and half of absolutely poisonous rhetoric, it felt revelatory. Joe could easily blame Alice's dad for what happened to his mom. Part of us always wants to find a scapegoat to help ease our own pain, because it's easier to feel angry than it is to hurt. I heard so much of that during the election. I have heard a lot of it since the results, too. Joe doesn't do that. He takes the high road. Him, a 13-year old kid.

I won't make the case that Super 8 works as a 1-1 metaphor for this assfuck of an election, even if it does tell the story of a "kid" who longs for the presence of a "female figure" and who feels like he's misunderstood in his own "home" and then there is an enormous nomination explosion signaling the arrival of giant monster, who begins stomping around and destroying everything in its path and eating people and instilling fear in everyone until the "kid" finally accepts that he must let go of the hope that his female figure isn't coming to save him and gives the speech quoted above: "I know bad things happen. Bad things happen. But you can still live. You can still live." I mean, you can maybe read it as a metaphor but it's not like it's all that accurate.

Or maybe that monster is like depression. It shows up out of nowhere, tearing your whole world up and leaving you confused and scared and the only way to face it is to say "I know bad things happen, but you can still live." When Joe watches the alien fly away in the movie's final moments and lets go of his mom's locket as Michael Giacchino's score (one of my favorites ever written) swells, there are no words for how deeply I am affected. I cry every single time. I'm crying right now as I write this, though I'm not sure if it's because I'm remembering the scene or if I'm just terrified of letting go and putting all of this out there into the world. I'm scared that I can't take it back. I'm scared that it's going to change the way everyone looks at me or thinks about me. Or maybe it's because this has been such a difficult week and the uncertainty and disappointment at being on the wrong side of history that weights on us all is breaking me down once more. Maybe it's just late.
If you're rejoicing this week because your vision for the country is now closer to being realized, hey, good for you. But if you're like me and you're crushed over how we got to this point where we are so divided and one side doesn't even recognize the other and scared about what tomorrow will bring (and the day after that, and the day after that), at least know that we have movies and we have each other. I can't promise that "we'll get through this" or "it's all going to be ok," because that's just not how I feel right now. What I can promise is that we can try to get through it the way I've had to learn how to get through everything: one day at a time. One movie at a time. If all of us at F This Movie! can do anything to lighten your load, to entertain you or make you laugh, to give you a community of like-minded movie lovers or just distract you for an hour, we will do our best to do it. One day at a time. One movie at a time.

Thanks for reading this, not just today but any day you're here with us. I know bad things happen, but you can still live. We have each other and we have movies.

73 comments:

  1. I don't know what to say?

    All I can think to say is all us people on here have all found each other, enjoyed entertainment, shared loves, shared jokes, Era! Shared victories like the Podcastathon and Xtro and a million others! You and what you have created have made me smile from over 2000 miles away so many times, with all of your podcasts and even introducting me to more you have helped get me through a Thousand Shitty days, my problems were different going through a rough time being unemployed for a while that I am Thankfully through now but your site and podcasts and community got me through it much easier than it would of been, I hope my message will help you get through just one of your bad days and the Love which I know is coming in the comments below will help you get through more, each day is always a challenge I know, Your the best Patrick, I don't feel like any of this helps and I know you don't like any type of appreciation so sorry about my openness about my thoughts, but I genuinely hope you feel better for speaking about it and this action of putting it out there might somehow change something for the better, F is for Family, We do Love you Patrick
    Maybe Doug has the writing down better than me, he just got straight to the point!

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  2. This was like reading a hug. Thank you, Patrick, for writing so lovingly about movies for a group of humans that need this shit to process. We're with you.

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  3. I'm a sucker when it comes to finding the proper words at the proper time, but I'll try. I just wanted to say that I've been listening to the podcast for 3 years, that I've never missed a single episode, that knowing that I had a new one waiting for me helped me several times to get through a really shitty day, that I laugh (at loud) at every "era", "it's been a while" and Dracudoug reference, that I spent a splendid October month thanks to all of you guys, that I even wrote about F this Movie in a publication I work for (I'm French, btw), that this text made me very emotional, and that I send you and each F Head who's feeling betrayed right now every single good and warm vibration that I can possibly have. You've built something really special and really strong here. Thank you Patrick.

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  4. hello from canada, i feel for you guys. you'll probably have 4 years of hell because of that guy, but in 4 years republicans will probably be stuck with him while democrats will have the option to choose a better candidate than hillary. also... comedy fodder

    that being said, super is very very good. it's one of those movies that i had to watch a couple of time before truly appreciate it. but now, i defend it tooth and nails. even to justify the last act that some people seem to not like. i had a great discussion with my friend when he saw it.

    anyway, stay strong, this too shall pass

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  5. I agree with what everyone above me is saying. We love you, we appreciate you, and we're here for you.

    Speaking personally, this community has pulled me back from the brink more times than I can count. A lot of us are going through similar struggles (and similar fears/concerns/etc. regarding sharing those struggles) and we lean on each other and we lean on the movies we love and we push forward and we get through it. Thank you so much for writing this and sharing it with us. Thank you for creating this community that has given us all so much joy and support and, in times like this, hope.

    For every single person in the FTM family: thank you. Every one of you, thank you. Pieces like this help so many of us move forward when we're not even sure if we can anymore. We can, and we do.

    Always.

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  6. Get a room.

    No, like, everyone. Let's all get a room. Together.

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    1. Can I suggest my place? It's a little cold but our leader dances like a happy fool at Gay Pride Parades and such.

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    2. If anyone from this amazing community are visiting Utah for Sundance I am quite literally offering my room.

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    3. I'll offer the same to any Fthismovie friend should they venture down under.

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    4. I will second that down under offer for melbs as well 😀

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    5. The offer also stands if you find yourself here in Orlando, FL.

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  7. Thank you for this, Patrick. You are not alone, and you won't be.

    We do love you. We love each other. I have faith that some days that will be enough. We're going to see a lot of ugly shit, but we all have to remember that you can't have one without the other.

    We have this, our love and faith in each other. That is not a small thing.

    And it is beautiful.

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  8. Depression is like having The Force but the opposite.

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  9. Thanks Patrick - I feel privileged to be part of the community that you were able to open up and say all that too and I'm sure it will only be met with love and compassion and in many cases understanding. I'm fortunate to have not suffered from it myself but I have suffered with it alongside several loved ones - for now about the best I can hope for you is that the bright days outnumber the dark ones - I admire so much about you buddy - your talent, your work ethic - this only makes me admire you more. I'm sure you weren't fishing for compliments like this but, hey, it's a good time to let you know how I feel about you and I think you're pretty great.

    So is Super 8! I love it - I get the criticisms but I don't care - that scene especially, which almost makes me cry just thinking about it - I just get it - I've never experienced quite that situation but the scene makes me get it and that of course is the real beauty of film and art in general.

    As for the election - the results of which and the feelings associated with it we are not immune from in my neck of the woods - I won't really bother commenting on - I think we all know how we feel about it.

    Thanks Patrick.

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  10. Thank you for sharing this about yourself, Patrick. Those who suffer from chronic depression know what a daily fucking grind it can be to just live, and put up with ignorant (and often well-meaning) friends and associates who tell you to "just snap out of it."

    I'm glad you mentioned Cloud Atlas, because that is indeed a movie about healing. It ends up being hopeful and cathartic, because it acknowledges that not everything will be repaired and redeemed in our lifetimes. But gradually, in fits and starts, we do seem to move in the right direction. When this country started there was slavery. Women would not get the vote until much, much later. Only recently have alternate sexualities and gender identities felt anywhere close to revealing themselves. In bits and pieces, we move in the right (meaning correct) direction. We are stronger than one man, and one election.

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  11. Hang in there and keep up the good fight. You are one of the best people I have come in contact with on the interwebs. :)

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  12. Patrick, you are the best. I'm so happy I read this today. It helps. Thank you!

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  13. Thank you Patrick! I pray for you and I pray for all the people who are having a really shit week. I am comforted in the fact God has control over all things. Patrick and the F this movie family has been a blessing to me and too all who listen and read. We can get through these rough times.

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  14. Fthismovie has always reminded me of my favorite art, writing, movies etc. in that it feels like it was made specifically for me. This is the first online community that I've ever consistently interacted with. In 2013, during my last debilitating bout with depression I almost obsessively read and posted on this site. Laying in bed with the curtains drawn staring at an iPad doesn't seem that "healthy" but it proved invaluable to feeling connected and less desperate and alone. This piece really puts my connection to all of you into sharper focus and has given me some tools to deal with today. I'm on the verge of tears of joy sadness and rage as I write this and I feel pretty ok about that. Thanking you doesn't feel like near enough.

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  15. An absolutely beautiful piece, Patrick. I Am eternally grateful for this thing you have built here at FTM, and am honoured to be part of such an empathetic, friendly, funny and insightful community. I love my internet family.

    All the best from Australia.

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  16. Bravo!

    I'm a pretty reserved guy. I don't show emotion all that often, and I don't really have huge emotional reactions to most things in general. This is even true when it comes to films. There are only a handful of films that have ever brought me to tears. Sometimes I hear you and various other film community members mention how they cried during this film or that film and I wonder what the heck is wrong with me?

    Anyway, I myself also remember the Bush years, which is the last time I was on the losing side. Those elections never even came CLOSE to bringing out any of the emotions I felt during this election.

    On the night of the election I was talking with my wife and she kept saying things, things like "Why is this happening?" or "Did we miss something?" I didn't have answers. None of us did. I was physically sick and I was on the edge of tears, which like I said before is not a common thing for me. The fact that half of our fellow Americans chose this man as our President was incomprehensible. I can only think of a handful of days that I have ever felt worse than that night, and they are all days when I was informed of family member deaths. This election meant so much to my wife and I, and it means that much and even so much more to so many others.

    I just want to say thank you so much Patrick, and thank you to all of the rest of the fthismovie crew as well. This is and always will be my favorite place to come and enjoy the company of like minded film lovers, and for that I will forever be grateful! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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  17. I love this site, I love the discussions, I love each of the hosts in their own special ways, and I love all of you, regardless of how long you've been here or how much we've communicated. Stay strong, everyone, and thanks for creating this wonderful cinematic paradise that serves as a safety blanket to laugh, learn, and love what we love: Movies.

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  18. Best internet community ever, run by genuinely good people. Think about how rare that is. Thanks for this, Patrick. It's tough putting shit like that out there and to confide in the people on here speaks volumes. Keep your head up.

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    1. Yes! i have never known a community like it, it really is rarer than the Ivory Billed Woodpecker, an in-joke for any Bird lovers out there, for any normal people the Ivory Billed Woodpecker is extinct, that's how rare it is

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  19. Very nice Sir, thank you. Without getting super explicit, I'm pretty new here, and your and others work legit helped me through a tough year plus of shitty work situation/mental health problems/severe substance abuse issues. So thank you. As far as this recent crap, I've watched V for Vendetta 4 times since Tuesday. Obviously not a flawless movie but for me it's important to not feel powerless. I'm not talking about violence of course, but I need to stop being a sideline citizen and try to counter hate/ignorance to protect what I believe in. Less then 1/4 of the vote eligible population chose this president, and more than that is mighty pissed off about it. I'll stop now, but thank you and everyone again.

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  20. I've suffered from depression since my teenage years. It's an off and on thing for me. I tried zoloft and sertraline or whatever it was called and it made me even worse, like suicidal really bad one day, so I got off of it. Since then I've sworn off prescription drugs and I've just done my best to deal with it. I think a lot of my depression had to do with not feeling good enough or that I'm never satisfied with who I am and my situation in life. It sucks and it's constant.

    Patrick, you're absolutely not alone. I'm so happy to have found your podcast, it has helped me through some of the worst times of my life. When I found the show (so glad, feel very lucky) I was dealing with so many terrible things and a lot of doubt that I wasn't going to be able to pull myself out of the situation I was in, but I'm proud to say that I have. My life has been better than ever in the past year. I am forever thankful that F This Movie has always been there when I needed to escape reality for a little bit. That's one of the reasons I've always loved film and movies.

    I think the most painful part of this election has been watching my friends and family become so misinformed about these candidates. Anytime they try to bring up some argument they just spew out this amazing ignorance that makes no sense. I blame the media and social media for our situation. People are reading these articles posted on Facebook thinking they're credible sources and they bought into all the bullshit. I can't tell you how many people would bring up her emails and have no idea what the issue was with them or why it was important. Ugh, I'm sorry, the amount of stupidity I've had to deal with the past few months has been unbelievable. I'm up here in Wisconsin and the amount of Trump signs in my city of Wausau really had me worried and still has me worried. WE HAVE TO STAY POSITIVE THOUGH. I'm trying my best and I hope everyone here does as well.

    Thanks for sharing Patrick, we all love you here.

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  21. Patrick I commend you on your honesty and sincerity. It is always tough to be open with those around you, its much easier to close yourself off and internalize your issues. It takes a person of true integrity to write an article like this and I respect the hell out of you for it.

    Everyone at F This Movie gives people the chance to be a part of a community. To not feel weird about our obsessions with giant sharks, masked men, roundhouse kicks, or flux capacitors. Everyone who writes for this site and who comments is filled with so much passion and love for movies, you've created a pretty amazing place.

    Scary Movie Month may be over but there's still a lot of horror out there, so thank you Patrick and everyone else at the site for helping us all through it.

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  22. I'm not articulate enough to fully express how moving and insightful this article is. I'll just say that I'm sending a hug and positive vibes from across the pond. Thank you for F This Movie and for everything you do.

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  23. I know I am adding my voice to the choir, it must have been hard to write that article, thank you for your usual honesty, sympathy and sincerity you seem to bring to everything. This community reflects you, which is why it attracts the great and the good. Everyone here, people who work on with you and the FHeads are genuine. There is no other place like it.

    Again like a lot of other people the podcast and site have helped me through some bad anxious and low times. Plus it was through the words and podcasts of this site that gave me a love for genre. Your impact has been able to reach over oceans. I know I keep saying thank you, but thank you.

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  24. Patrick, I can't tell you enough how moved I was by this.

    Thank you so much for your openness and honesty in putting this piece out there. I have been a devoted podcast listener, website reader and general member of the Fthismovie community for about almost 4 years and I know in your writing and in the podcast discussions you generally are pretty reluctant to discuss yourself. Obviously I think that's a privacy thing but I think it also says a lot about who you are and your humility.

    Here in Australia we haven't been immune from the reverberations of the Trump victory. We have a political, economic, social, and emotional tie to America and I have no doubt those ties, particularly politically and economically are going to be tested.

    I felt physically ill as it became apparent that the orange one was going to win. I felt bewildered and bemused as to how a country that stands for so many wonderful things could stoop to this point. It is not my place to question really, and if I felt that way I can only image the confusion and frustration many of you felt.

    I am fortunate thus far to have never suffered from depression, however, my younger sister does, amongst a myriad of mental health issues. She also has a mild intellectual disability which means, painfully, her ability to understand and manage her mental health issues is made even more difficult. It is an awful awful cycle.

    She, like most of us here, finds comfort in movies though. I think she has terrible taste and mostly watches trash but that isn't the point. The point is movies do offer comfort, storytelling offers comfort, and sharing stories with each other is as comforting and old as humanity. So I echo what Patrick says that we do have movies and we do have each other.

    Fthismovie has been, and continues to be one of my favourite things, full of some of my favourite writers, movie lovers, people and sure...friends.

    While we wallow in disbelief at what has gone on over the last couple of days, lets not forget we just finished another great October - and to badly paraphrase and appropriate your inspirational (still current) President; come tomorrow, the sun will rise again, come next June we will have Junesploitation, and come October we will again have Scary movie month.

    Together.

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  25. There's a message board community I've been part of for over a decade. A couple years back, someone made a thread asking for advice on how to deal with clinical depression. Around 20+ of the regular posters (a fairly sizable percentage) responded, most of whom suffer from depression themselves, and others with a spouse or immediate family that does. A couple of them had mentioned it before, but the vast majority had never given any indication of it previously, and as I said these are people who have known each other online a long time. The reasons for keeping quiet about it are usually the same: the stigma, and not wanting to be a burden on others.

    Clinical depression is something a lot of people still don't understand but the truth is whether they know it or not, everybody likely knows at least one person who suffers from it. I have multiple close friends and relatives who suffer from it. I appreciate you having the courage to talk about it Patrick, because as more people do the stigma lessens and it becomes at least slightly easier for some people to go to the doctor and get diagnosed.

    The world could potentially become a much scarier place over the next few years for all of us. It's hard to comprehend what brought us here, or what convinced that many voters that this is the path the country should go down. What truly bothers me is that as sick or disgusted I might feel, I know that there are people in this country right now (Muslims for instance) who may be downright terrified and with good reason.

    I can see why Super 8 would bring some comfort. I had Tuesday and Wednesday off work this week and as soon as things started looking bad I dove into movies to get away from it. Samwise's speech at the end of The Two Towers was particularly helpful, but just the escapism in general, even just the act of doing something normal rather than just sitting there feeling defeated by the election, it all helped. Also, it has been important just reminding myself that there are millions of good people out there and this election doesn't change that. Ultimately what Sam said is true. There's still some good in this world and it's worth fighting for.

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  26. Thank you so much, Patrick. I struggle with depression as well and have all my life. Hearing Adam talk about his own depression in relation to SLP (I won't bring it up again!) really stuck a nerve with me and reading this article did the same. I know it's not an easy thing to talk about, so thank you for your generosity and candor.

    This podcast means a great deal to me, as do a lot of the movies this site has helped me discover. Like a lot of the comments above mine, I can genuinely say that the pod and the hosts, the relationships and the humor, have lifted me up when I've been low.

    I love Super 8 too, but my comfort movie is The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Problems? F-yeah! But it soothes my soul like nothing else in this world. I think tonight is a Life Aquatic night. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  27. This was very moving, Patrick. I know that I am repeating what many others have already said. But your podcast and website has gotten me through some stressful times of my own in the past few years. I was in a failed seven-year relationship. My parents split up due to alcoholism and I moved to a new city for a job with hardly any money. But while all this was happening, every Wednesday felt like Christmas morning because I knew there would be a new episode of my favorite podcast. Now my life is ostensibly better. I live in a great city and neighborhood, have a good job and have a wonderful girlfriend who I love. But even then some days I feel detached from my own reality. Tuesday night didn't help.
    I don't post on here too often because I have a hard time articulating things. But when things seem grim, I want you to know (and I'm sure you do given everybody's reaction) that we think you are a wonderful person and deserve so much appreciation for what you do. Even though I've never met you I feel like you are a friend. I hope things get better for you and I'm sure they will.

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  28. Thank you, Patrick, for your heartfelt and sincere words.

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  29. Thank you, Patrick. This was deeply moving. I don't post here often enough because I'm shy. But I listen to the show every week and it's gotten me through so many awful times--parent deaths, relationship woes, medical concerns, family problems. You name it. And I think the podcast is going to help get us all through this one. I'm heartbroken today and deeply frightened--for my country, for my male and female friends of many ethnicities and religions and sexualities, and for all of us, really. I think all of us are going to have to fight very very hard for the next several years. But I believe in goodness and I believe in decency and I believe in love. And I believe in movies, and I believe in the collective power of all of those things.

    We're going to be spending a lot of time needing to be strong in the years to come. Let's all be strong together.

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  30. Thank you so much Patrick, you are a true gent and the fthismovie family is a truly marvellous thing in a world where the comments sections on YouTube etc. are just vile places to be... Be it a love for Xtro or Texas Chainsaw 3D... Should and hopefully when you guys get another decent president (hold in there, you guys have got this...) may i suggest it is finally time you all make Junesploitation! AND Scary Movie Month national holidays!!

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  31. F This Movie is my favourite website and my favourite podcast. My all time favourite episode is High Fidelity, when JB likens you to Rob Gordon. You are a critic who has done so much more than just criticize - I used to read Ebert, now I read F This Movie. Stay strong man. We're all here for you :)

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  32. It must have been extremely difficult for you to be so open about your personal struggle. It is bravery and openness like this that will chip away and hopefully eliminate the stigma associated with depression. As the previous posts by the others illustrate, what you do has an immeasurable positive impact on so many of us. Your point about how it doesn't give a shit about how the rest of your life is going rings painfully true. Personally, I've found that a happy home life can make it even more confounding, as it truly defies logical explanation. As cheesy as it sounds, you are a role model and an important voice in so many lives.

    As a Canadian, I've been following this campaign with a morbid fascination. I'm not looking down on anyone, our political system is just as broken as yours. The fact that he was the direction that half the country wanted to go in speaks to a great divisiveness and discontent. It's unfortunate that his only opposition was a virtual onion of unlikeability and deception. Sometimes the worst situations can bring out the best in people (not so much Orange Julius, more everyone else) and I truly hope this provides an opportunity for social improvement, even it comes from learning from a mistake.
    You can use whatever analogy you want, die has been cast, pants have been shit. There are always only two options. You can dwell on the negative or you can move forward being the best person you can be with all that you can control.
    We're all in this together. Again Patrick, thank you for your service.

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  33. Be strong Patrick and lean on the many strong people who surround you.

    I'm not an overly emotional person and am very reserved in most situations, but I've been moved to tears twice this week. Once when losing a furry friend and tonight when reading your story and the outpour of support from the great FThisMovie! family. It's a very liberating event.

    Time spent with you and the other great contributors to this site is always a highlight of my day.

    Continue your hard work to get better every day. We are all here for you.

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  34. Patrick, thank you for writing this and now I will look at you differently; with much more respect and admiration. Which is saying a lot because I've always held you, the crew and everyone else here in the highest regard. Sharing a love for movies is one thing, but sharing the qualities of good human beings is the best.

    #fucktrumpinhisfatfuckingass

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  35. Incredible read, Patrick. One thing I know as an F-head since the early days: You have created the online community you deserve. You're the man, man!

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  36. I would like to chime in and say thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone for your comments and words of support. This has been a very weird day because everyone has been so nice and sincere but it's all so personal that earlier I likened it to leaving my diary open for everyone to read. Though I'm always uncomfortable being the focus of attention, I can't begin to tell me how much all of your comments and messages and tweets have meant today. The piece was never supposed to be about me. I really wanted it to be about all of us and our need to confront how we are feeling so we can move ahead from here. So many of you have shared your own stories and experiences and it has been so helpful and such a force for good. It's never easy for any of us to talk about, but the fact that you all have been willing to either say "me too" or just empathize is proof that we will ultimately be ok.

    It's not just words when I say that I love all of you, and that we are lucky to have found one another and be able to laugh and discuss (and even sometimes disagree! [Amazing Spider-Man 2 #NeverForget]) and share in our love for movies. This has been a hard week no matter where you live, as so many of you have pointed out. But no matter how down we get, whether it's just a bad day or a bad week or a lifelong illness, we have built a community that nothing is going to break. Except maybe zombies. Fucking zombies.

    Each new message has brought me close to tears if not full-on ugly crying because I am so touched at all of your words and your capacity for support and kindness. Like I said, I don't want it to be about me. The fact that we can all show this much kindness and support is exactly how we're going to make it through this difficult time, whether it's the next few weeks or the next four years (only time will tell on that one). We have each other. And movies.

    Something something do for it. Era.

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  37. Oh dammit, Patrick. Seeing my name in your article made me fall apart. Both because I'm so glad I managed to help you in any way, and because depression has been part of my life in one way or other forever. My dad suffered from it, and in a not-too-oblique way it killed him. My husband suffers from it, and we've just separated after 23 years because he doesn't want to fight it anymore, and I need to have hope in my life. I suffer from it, and if it didn't suck so completely and utterly I would be fascinated by how efficiently it re-writes reality, reweaves it so perfectly that it IS awful, not feels awful. It changes reality. it makes it unbearable.

    Right now I hold onto anything that is good, anything at all, so I can to get through each hour of the day. I manage to do things I have to by promising myself movies later. Knowing I'm not alone in finding solace this way is an enormous shift in my thinking.

    I don't know if I can express how truly your podcast helps with my busy fearful brain, with my sense of doom, it can quite literally be a rescue. I listen and I am not alone, and these funny guys love to talk about the same things I do. As well as validating the young me who snuck downstairs to watch late night crappy made-for-tv movies when I was 5. It took me years to realize that movies saved me, and I gravitated towards them because I had good instincts. I am not alone, and I'm among such cool people.

    And there's not a more perfect movie to give me hope than Super 8. It not only reminds me of being a kid, but of being the kid that I couldn't quite be but wanted so much to be. Like if I'd found this group back then I'd have fit in so well. I found this movie through your podcast, like so many others. Thank you is an understatement.

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  38. I am glad you have good people around you to help with your depression. Thanks for sharing, it was a brave thing to do.

    I can understand your pain over election results. Considering the state of the electorate being so closely divided a sweeping change could happen in 4 years. Time will tell, we just keep fighting for what we believe in.

    Favorite movies can be a great comfort during times like these. I wish you well, thanks for all you do for F this Movie. It is appreciated.

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  39. If you want to see ugly crying you can watch me watching the end of Armageddon. Saw it in the theatre with my Pops and it was the only time I've seen a tear come from the man's eyes. So now I bawl like a baby every time.

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  40. This is so beautifully written Patrick. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. The bravery of your words have such a great impact. People are talking about their mental health together here in these comments for instance, because of your strength. You might not feel strong, because the illness tells you that you are the opposite, but you did this amazing thing Patrick. And this is an amazing place. I might not comment as much as I used to. My eyes have become easier to get visually stressed since my head injury last year. Luckily, it is getting better but I still get really bad headaches. I just wanted to say I read the articles and love them, I listen to the show with great admiration and enjoy every one. I think people who comment here and belong to the community are fantastic people who make me have faith in human beings. When you are so low in Depression, and you feel that glimmer of hope come in it can be life changing. I have had debilitating mental health issues over the course of my life and I cannot stress how much this community, podcast and website has done for me. Thank you so much everyone. I really could not be without this place and all of you.

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  41. I just wanted to add that if anyone wants to talk to me I am always ready to lend an ear. I think talking is a huge part of dealing with Anxiety, Depression or any other mental health issues you may have. Even if it is a small thing you want to talk about, come find me on the twitter @GabbyFerro01 and I will try be of some help. Even if it is just to listen, or to read, though I may be thousands of miles away, I care about you guys deeply. That includes you Patrick. I will promise to not judge you and try support and hear anything you want to say. Any time, just a message and I can talk to you about any of this stuff if you want someone to talk to. You guys are all so great, and I am proud to belong to such an amazing community.

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  42. Sometimes when I face crushing adversity I have the tendency of putting my head down and just outlast whatever is trying on that day, or week, or month (or 4 years). But I have to remind myself not get too horseblind and notice the things that are good and wonderful. Because even in the shittiest of times those things are always there, and eventually they will outlast it with me. Oh, and I also put on Tuff Turf, truly a balm for your soul.

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  43. Sorry I'm late to the discussion here, but don't despair Patrick! Life is full of peaks and valleys, and while you're low now, the best part is always riding that roller coaster back to the top. You are an incredibly sensitive man who inspires joy-joy feelings in all those around you!

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  44. I've tried to write this a couple of times today but I couldn't come up with anything I thought was worthy. Everyone here is just the best. I happen to think the greatness of these people reflect the person responsible for it. You've created this thing that people not only love but have a tremendous respect for. It is something special that people can go to when nothing else seems to make sense. I don't know about you but I think that's pretty fucking awesome.

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  45. Thank you Patrick. You and Doug and the F this Movie crew have gotten me through so many tough times. I too suffer from depression and there are days when it all weighs too heavily.
    Like today. This terrible day when the reality of what has happened to our country began to set in. The hurt is real and raw and I don't
    know how these wounds will heal and I truly don't know how we will get through this. But
    it helps to know you are out there on the other end of this darkness. I cannot tell you how many times I have repeated those lines from Super 8, which like you I love and which makes me weep with sadness, joy & nostalgia (I'm a child of the 80s). Is it true? Can we still live? I think so, but only if we come together in whatever way we can and find the things, like movies and corny jokes (era), that lift some of the heaviness and help us remember to breathe in and out and keep putting one foot in front of the other even though it feels like we are walking through water. I hope this darkness will lift for all of us but in the meantime, stay with us. We need you.

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  46. I spent the majority of today in a fetal position watching horror movies (Kinda missed SMM on the counts of life)

    No politicking here. He who shall not be named is a documented racist and misogynist exemplified by his own public speech. Children have a tangible grasp on what the President is and what hate is, and I don't know what to tell the children in my life who are confused by his election.

    I'm bipolar. I'm queer. I am a citizen of the US and I am saddened by the results of the electoral college. The only way the entire world will survive is if we look out for one another. Otherwise, we will destroy ourselves and bacteria will reign supreme.

    Gonna fall asleep to the Monster Squad.

    Thanks Patrick and FTM <3

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  47. Much appreciated, Patrick. I am tired and weary after finding out that everything I've been reading, watching, hearing and intaking over the last few months has been...f-ing WRONG. I kind of want to see at the top of every news site, "OH CRAP, WE WERE SO WRONG, SORRY" (looking at you NYTimes projecting 86% chance win for Hillary, Washington Post, NPR, etc). Well, I would want that, if I didn't think they feel the worst already.

    I still want to know how this happened, who is this other America that voted for this? In this time of insecurity and uncertainty it feels so grounding to read something personal and true. Something more than 140 characters, more than one side of a story. And I'm searching my soul to understand how WOMEN - WOMEN could vote for this person. In my need and loneliness I know I've perpetuated an image of myself as an object, not an equal to men. I know what it feels like to excuse men's misogynistic behavior. I know what it feels like to miss them anyway. It feels very murky and unclear...and shameful, and you don't tell anyone about it. That's why specific words like "misogyny", like "abuse", "sexual assault" help to make things more clear and concretize understanding of the past, present, and the way to get out of the darkness. For a minute there everything felt so hopeful and clear. Everyone knew that treating women like sex objects is "intolerable" and we should be equal...

    I admit I'm not a big scary movie fan, although I swear I would try to be if I had time. Sometimes I feel like a bit of an imposter in this community. But I really appreciate you, Patrick, and the other contributors. For someone who suffers so much, you seem to do a hell of a job at living life and helping others. What could be more inspiring?

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    1. Awesome comment Meredith. I may watch a lot of horror movies these days, but I'm really just waiting around for one of these guys to get obsessed with Albert Brooks :-) It takes all kinds and you're no imposter. These conversations aren't going anywhere (thankfully) and I'm so grateful that you're a part of it.

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    2. ​:) aw, that makes me feel better, Charles, thank you. And those are wise words - "it takes all kinds". Albert Brooks wasn't really on my radar until now. Hey, you should do a guest contribution piece!

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  48. This was a really great read Patrick, and it means so much to hear you open up. There's somehow still a big stigma about depression and anxiety in our world, and it makes me sick. I don't suffer from these issues personallh, but I have a couple of direct family members who do. As a child, I knew about it, but wasn't allowed to tell anyone outside of our house because of fears about what people might think. I can't speak from personal experience, but I do know from what I've seen from the outside looking in that it can be debilitating, and often times there's nothing you can do about it. But if you can find that one person who actually gets it and realizes your complaints are legitimate, it lightens the burden significantly.

    One of the reasons I love movies is that they give us a chance to relate to people (be it the actors, the filmmakers, or other fans) in a way we could never do through casual conversation. Some of my favorite films are on that list because I get to watch characters express emotions that I thought were exclusive to me. Like in Dazed and Confused, when Pink says he hopes he doesn't look back on his present situation as the best days of his life. Like in The End of the Tour, when David Wallace talks about treasuring his regular guy-ness, and his constant fear that people will see him as some sort of a fraud. There are millions of people out there feeling what you're feeling, they just don't know how to say it. So they write a script about it.

    As far as the election goes, I have no idea what our next president is going to do. I'm hopeful for one thing, though. I'm hopeful that people who voted for him will take to the streets and march alongside the ones who opposed him if he ever tries to go too far. And I believe they will. I guess I'm just a dumb optimist that way.

    Thank you so much for this site. It's the only online community I've ever wanted to be a part of, even if I don't comment nearly as much as I used to. It's a place without pretentious, cynical judgement. A place where we just like what we like and support each other's choices. You've given us a safe haven from negativity for a long time, so I hope you can find the same in us.

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  49. The best of people are shining through right here. It makes me VERY happy and hopeful. That's on you Mr. Bromley. :) Blub!

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  50. I've always considered myself lucky that I stumbled across this awesome website roughly 3 years ago, and articles like this (and the wonderful responses) are the reason why.

    What a fuckin awesome bunch of people. Compassionate, open-minded, thoughtful and intelligent.

    While I only comment very occasionally, it's a pleasure to be even a fringe member of this community.

    Keep kickin' ass.

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  51. Thankyou Patrick for this article. Honestly it sort of floored me. I don't really know what to say, except that you and the f this movie crew are the best. This was the first podcast I discovered when I got into movies, and it's still my favourite. The genuine passion and love you guys have for the movies is amazing, and inspiring to me. Getting real sentimental here now, but you're all role models for me in a real sense.

    As everyone has said already, you guys are important to us. This community is important. I don't often comment but I promise, I'm always here! Thankyou, especially in this tough time.

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  52. I just really wanted to recommend two blogs by the great Hyperbole and a Half to anyone who is interested. She perfrectly communicates what Depression is like. For people who do not have it, I think it is a great insight into what it is like having it. To those who have it, you will feel as though someone understands you and you will probably laugh and enjoy it. So if anyone reads it let me know what you think. I just thought I would share this as these have helped me a lot in explaining my symptoms to people and have shared with felow sufferes many times!
    http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/adventures-in-depression.html
    http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/depression-part-two.html

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  53. A truly exceptional piece of writing, Patrick. The happenings in the US this past week really hit my friends and especially myself extremely hard - and we are Irish, living in Dublin, Ireland. I can't even begin to imagine the pain and worry it has brought to so many across the Atlantic.

    This is a special community. I love the openness, kindness, the welcoming nature and general good vibes of everyone involved. This site has helped get me through some tough times be it by reading awesome articles, engaging with interesting comments or relistening to podcasts about my favourite movies ( I have listened to the Harry Potter and Wet Hot - American Summer pods too many times to count at this stage)

    I really appreciate everyone involved here. Keep doing what you do and be you!

    I will leave you with this.. One day I hope to join Doug as a registered Potter-file

    "Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light."

    Much love to all from Ireland

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  54. I've been here since looking up Phantom Menace podcasts (don't ask why) back in 2011. In a weird, indescribable way, and more so than any other podcast I've listened to, F This Movie! has become like hanging out with really really good friends. And for a lot of people that can be invaluable when stuff gets hard. So thank you to all the F This Movie!-ers. And thank you, Patrick, for being brave and strong enough to share.

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  55. Way up above someone commented that this article was like a hug. Well, these comments are like getting a bunch of hugs and it's amazing. It's so wonderful that I can read Internet comments and actually think, wow, people can be great! You are all the best.

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  56. Well, Patrick, that was a very surprising and very sad revelation. Reading your writings and hearing you (and the rest of this fantastic crew) on the podcasts for almost 3 years now never made me think that you may also be suffering from depression. Which reminds me of the fact, that no one knows how other people feel inside.
    Interestingly a while ago, when Adam wrote about his depression, this site was the first and still the only one where I wrote a little bit of my own wrestling with that damn thing. I commented that sometimes, when the shit really hits the fan, movies saved my life just because I couldn´t stand the fact, that if I take the last step I will not be able to see the next few movies I`m looking forward to. That may sound silly but it worked in the past and hopefully will work in the future.

    I still don´t understand this illness, because I have a good life, a decent job, good friends, just last month married my boyfriend of 18 years (the reason I wasn´t very active on this years SMM), even never ever had problems with being gay and still there are days, sometimes weeks I´m just functioning because everything seems to be bad and hopeless.

    I thought the Brexit and it´s aftermath showed people what happens, when you are too sure about the outcome of elections and choose to stay at home, but here we are…
    I despised Trump before he won the election and now I despise him a lot more, even if I´m not directly affected here in Germany, at least not now. But our own german right wing people will pose an equally dangerous threat to the german democracy, as the orange one may do for the American democracy. The arguments are the same, the talking points are the same, the tone is the same and even the love for Putin and the opposition to any kind of facts is the same here as in the US. I think there will be more countries following this path until the people discover that easy answers to complicated questions don´t work in the long way.

    Anyway, despite my occasional suffering from depression, most of the time I am a really optimistic guy, so even if I´m pretty late on commenting here, I hope you find the strength to climb out of the current hole. I hope you find strength in the support from everyone in this great community who already posted something here. I hope Super 8 did it`s job and will do in the future.
    And I hope I didn´t fucked up any of these sentences with my not very elegant handling of the English language.

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  57. I know you're saying this isn't about you, Patrick, but it totally is. Without you, we wouldn't have this site or this community, so I'm just taking the opportunity to tell you that I love and appreciate you and the rest of the crew for what you do.

    This has been a rough week... month... year. I lost my grandfather last month to illness and then my uncle later that day in a car accident. We actually buried him on election day. The universe sure knows how to kick you when you're down. I actually haven't even been able to take solace in fiction because there are so many triggers, characters just having side comments about politics, or scenes in a hospital. I'm taking this post as yet another nudge to finally watch Super 8.

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  58. Late to post...but I don't have the words. Basically everything everyone else had said. Thanks for all the work creating this wonderful community, and best of luck with whatever personal demons you have.

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