Epiphany: A moment in which you suddenly see or understand something in a new or very clear way.
“Inside each and every one of us is our one, true authentic swing. Something we was born with. Something that’s ours and ours alone. Something that can’t be learned… something that’s got to be remembered.”
Bagger Vance (Will Smith)
The Legend of Bagger Vance
Screenplay by Indiana-born Jeremy Leven, from a novel by Trinidad-born Steve Pressfield
There’s a mystical side to golf where, along with various sand traps and water hazards, there are inner demons to battle. Since it’s Good Friday, I thought a scene from The Legend of Bagger Vance would be fitting*. (I think it was screenwriter Gary Ross who said Seabiscuit is not a sports film about victory but about life’s struggle. (Same could be said about Rocky and many other fine films)
In this Robert Redford directed scene, Will Smith helps golfer Matt Damon work through his inner and outer struggles.
P.S. Steve Pressfield who wrote the novel The Legend of Bagger Vance: A Novel of Golf and the Game of Life is an avid golfer and counts screenwriting guru Robert McKee (Story) as his golfing buddy. He’s quoted as saying, “I’ve stolen concepts from Bob over and over and they’ve always worked. And he’s a pretty good golfer too.” He covers some of this ground in his book The War on Art.
P.P.S. Bagger Vance screenwriter Jeremy Leven earned a graduate degree in Child Psychology from Harvard and was a fellow at Yale medical schools.
* In the book Gita on the Green: The Mystical Tradition Behind Bagger Vance by Steve Rosen (and a forward by Steve Pressfield) writes that Bagger Vance was loosely based not after the Christian tradition of light, but the ancient Hindu spiritual poem Bhagavad-Gita. But Pressfield is also Jewish so maybe we can say Bagger Vance, like The Shawshank Redemption and Groundhog Day, is more ecumenical than dogmatic.
Writing Quote #38 (Steve Pressfield)
‘Groundhog Day’ And Cheap Therapy
Screenwriting Quote #171 (Garry Marshall) “Audiences like to watch characters whose lives change for the better.”
Screenwriting and Slavery to Freedom