Transfatty Lives.

Patrick O'Brien, aka TransFatty, is one of the few people who worked with both Karen/me in the late 1990's/early 2000's in NYC. All the work Patrick/I did was for a dotcom incubator and never saw the light of day, but Karen and Patrick were able to work on some projects that still make me LOL years after they were produced.

Patrick is a filmmaker, designer and Internet meme builder who is living with ALS. Being an artist, he knew his ALS would make a great character in a film about his life. TransFatty Lives premiered last night at the TriBeCa film festival

I'm jealous that I'm not in NYC for the premiere so I am vicariously living through all the posts on Facebook and the reviews of critics online. For those of us who are not in NYC, here are highlights from the reviews of those who have seen the film.

Without sentimentality, O’Brien captures the emotion, humour and absurdity of real life as he lives it and turns it into art. TransFatty Lives is a bold and sometimes brutal, engrossing and sometimes gross product of a unique freak hell-bent on sharing his truth.
— Angie Driscoll, Hot Docs
It’s so hard not to constantly question the fairness of life when a person of such acute mental sharpness and artistic genius would be shackled by a disease that threatens to take away most of their humanity. I wouldn’t dare comment on O’Brien’s ability to make the most of his situation. He’s made better use of his body and brain than most full-functioning humans, and it’s not because he’s been attacked by ALS, it’s because he’s an artist and a film director and he has thoughts worth sharing. Watching him change because of ALS is difficult, but the parts that will tear your heart out are the hardships O’Brien faces as a normal human man. Hardships of love, of fatherhood, of artistic struggle, and basic human needs. And that’s where he’s done what other films around ALS have not, reminded us that no one should ever be defined by the things they can’t control, but by what they choose to express and put into the world, circumstances be damned.
— Ananda Dillon, Way Too Indie
But “TransFatty Lives” stands out less for its inherently emotional topic than the appealing personality at its center. The portly, bearded O’Brien’s spunky attitude, epitomized by his online identity as performance artist TransFatty, comes through in his rambunctious camera presence early in the movie, when he playfully teases a doctor about his diagnosis. O’Brien’s vibrant attitude continually gives the tragedy of his condition a unique context. Rather than inviting viewers to commiserate with him, he invites them in.
— Eric Kohn, Indiewire

And my favorite.

Patrick thinks about sex a lot.
— my mother

Now you're thinking, "that's touching and all, but how is this something that is designed for the fringe?"

The Fringe Part

TransFatty Lives is something that is designed by the fringe. Patrick is lovely and wildly inappropriate. That's one of the things that makes him amazing. It's just who he is. 

But the person who will be most interested in the film is his son. Sean is the target audience.  

The rest of us, the fringe audience in this case, will try desperately to understand what it's like to have ALS while we watch the film. And since someone with a "disability" made the film, we get permission to hold Patrick up as an object of our inspiration porn (e.g. "He's so inspirational. He made a move about ALS while having ALS.)

I can't wait to see the movie. I know it will be arty, funny and inappropriate. Just like Patrick. 

P.S. Patrick is continuing to rack up praise for his film, even winning the audience award at the TriBeCa film festival over the weekend.