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Saturday, May 02, 2015

Sean Kelly

Hot Docs 2015: TransFatty Lives

TransFattyLives

A man documents his experiences with ALS in TransFatty Lives.  Patrick O’Brien was an aspiring filmmaker, internet personality, and New York DJ, who went under the name of TransFatty.  In 2005, at the age of 30, O’Brien was diagnosed with ALS and given 2 to 5 years to live.  In light of this diagnosis, O’Brien turned the camera onto himself to document the progression of this degenerative disease.

Also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, ALS is described as one of the worst diseases known to mankind.  Most would probably know ALS in relation to Stephen Hawking, though much is still not known about the condition.  TransFatty Lives is a very intimate and self-reflexive portrait of a man’s experiences with ALS.  Over the years, Patrick O’Brien slowly loses motor function and is eventually placed in a care home.  However, he remains determined to go on for his young son Sean.

It is probably an accomplishment in itself that a man with ALS set out to make a documentary about his experiences with the disease.  The film is narrated by O’Brien’s now-computerized voice, in the form of a love letter to his son Sean.  The film also features a number of montage sequences, which demonstrates how O’Brien is still able to express himself, despite his condition.  Overall, TransFatty Lives shows that even if you have have a degenerative medical condition, it doesn’t mean that  you have to stop living.

★ ★ ★ ★ | LIKED IT

Screenings:

  • Sat, May 2, 6:30 PM – TIFF Bell Lightbox 2

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).