Painting Pictures with Words

March 9, 2009 at 12:09 am (Reaction)

A nice little link from Dr. Lieb’s Web site drew me to encounter Sound Portraits. It surprised me. I felt as though I’d stumbled upon an artistic treasure. Being an amateur photographer, myself, I’ve dabbled in portraiture – which should be all that’s necessary to tell a story (being that a picture is worth a thousand words). But words and photograph can work really well together – they can enhance each other. At the same time, maybe there is no true portrait to tell a story, so words and voices not only fill in the voids, they provide the story that couldn’t be told by a reporter.

I listened to “Remembering Kitty,” the story of Kitty Genovese – the woman who became infamous after she was raped and murdered in 1964 – told by her then-girlfriend. It wasn’t until yesterday, after being filled in on some back story of The Watchmen, that I found out that Genovese was a real person. I thought the story was just scripted for Boondock Saints.

After that, unfortunately, I decided to listen to “Witness to an Execution.” I regret it a little bit, because it totally brought me down, although, that was probably the intent. No photos (outside the ones from the Washington Post, which I couldn’t access), but the words were enough. The voices of 11 people, involved in different processes (from the warden and chaplain of the Walls Unit, to the officers who strapped down the inmate, to reporters who witnessed the execution), told their stories and left me with the feeling of numbness that Leighanne Gideon felt after witnessing her first executions.

Of course, after the documentary was finished, I had to peruse the extra materials and found myself reading two actual Dead Men’s Tales. It was such a bad decision – very interesting, but so strange to hear the voices of the now-deceased inmates.

I should have read the “Cynical Santa.”

Anyway, the voices of those involved made such a grand effect on the stories.


1 Comment

  1. TL said,

    Nice job of delving into this material. Hope you’ve recovered from all the downbeat stories!

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