Today’s short film for the letter L is The Last Knit, and it not only lacks dialog, it doesn’t have much of a score either. It uses effective sound design and basic animation to tell a deceptively simple story. This is another one where I think much of what people take from it will be informed by their own lives. It’s about six and a half minutes, so if you have some time, give it a watch:
For me, this is partly a film about the dangers that occur when any activity turns into an obsession or addiction. I’m the type of person who has to do everything perfectly when I do it. For example, I hardly ever clean because I can’t just straighten up the magazines and whip around the feather duster. I have to haul out the toothbrushes and cotton swabs to scour every crevice and buy colored folders and filing cabinets to organize the magazines by date and usefulness of the articles. It’s just easier and less stressful to let things stay messy. So I can really relate to this woman who turns a simple thing like knitting into a dangerous obsession.
I also think it is a metaphor for writing (or any artistic endeavor). If we are serious about our writing, we have to be extremely focused, just like the woman. And when things get tough, we have to be creative about finding ways to persevere like she does with using her hair when the yarn runs out. I also think it’s a good illustration of how we have to put some of ourselves into our work.
However, as important as it is to be focused and believe in our dreams, we have to be careful about finding the right balance so we don’t fall off the cliff’s edge where determination turns into something destructive. Our writing is vital to us, but so are other things in our lives. And it’s important to put parts of ourselves in our writing, but not so much that our very souls are crushed when someone says something less than glowing about it.
And as the lady learns at the end, we also have to know when to cut our losses. We hear those stories about bestsellers like A Wrinkle In Time, Gone With the Wind, and Carrie being rejected multiple times, and they give us hope. Encourage us not to give up. And this is a very good thing. But sometimes it’s just not in the cards for a particular book. If you’ve learned as much as you can about the craft of writing and rewritten it many times to make it the best book it can be and you still can’t find the right home for it, then it might be the right thing to put it in a drawer and start a new project. This doesn’t mean you’re giving up on your dream, it just means that wasn’t the right book to get you there.
So while being hopeful, dreaming big, and staying focused on our craft, we also need to make sure we have our eyes open wide enough to see the edge of the cliff before we tumble over into the abyss.
What did you think about The Last Knit? I’ve seen lots of different interpretations about it on the web, so what did it say to you? How Lovely is Lily with her letter L?