I am scared to ride the subway.
Scared to go to the airport or on a plane. I avoid going to the mall, the movie theater, Times Square, theme parks, churches, banks. I can’t enter any public place without looking around me, planning my escape. Perhaps my fear of humanity began when I was eighteen walking towards the World Trade Center when the first plane hit, and it hasn’t been assuaged by what seems like a daily headline that yet another shooting has occurred. It’s an epidemic. It has become a living nightmare, our worst fear.
BEAUTIFUL THINGS has the potential to be terrifying, exciting and deeply relevant. There is a great responsibility in telling this story not to glorify the shooters (who desperately want to be immortalized), or worse, to inspire imitation. I also don’t want to make every person who goes to the zoo think they need a gun to be safe. In fact, I’m sure some gun-control activists will consider this film a glamorization of violence, but I don’t think denial is the way to change anything. I think it is important to examine the dark corners of humanity to understand it better, especially when mass shootings have become numbingly frequent. The deeper our understanding of a problem, the better equipped we will be to confront it. Storytelling - moviemaking - lets us reach beyond conventional boundaries of class, politics, region and religion and speak to the broadest possible public. We can entertain while asking questions; excite while provoking conversation.
BEAUTIFUL THINGS needs to be the most fucking relevant and real thriller we’ve ever seen. I put together these ideas and images to share my initial thoughts on how to make this film live up to its potential.
– Elizabeth Wood