MAN: One day the children brought home an old camera. I don't know where they got it. They were very excited about it.
I used to be an actor. Well, I still am an actor, but I don't work much. My best days are behind me, as they say. And naturally, I had mixed feelings about a camera in the house because really, if you look at it in a cold light, photography is death. It's all about death. Memory and desire, aging and death. For an actor in particular, these things are not abstractions. These things are as real as looking in a mirror.
GIRL #1: [WHISPERS] Come on!
MAN: I had a dream a long time ago, before I had achieved anything professionally. I dreamt I was in the cinema watching a movie with an audience. And suddenly, I realized I was aging rapidly, growing horribly old as I sat there. It was the movie that was doing it. I had caught some kind of disease from the movie. And it was making me grow old, bringing me closer and closer to death. [CHUCKLES] I woke up terrified.
And look at me now. Look where I am now. You see? The dream is coming true.
I don't know how the kids figured out how to make that clunky old camera work, but you know kids. Nothing fazes them.
It bothered me to have it in the house, recording the moment. When you record the moment, you record the death of the moment. Children and death are a bad combination. So it made me anxious. If I'm not acting, if I'm not playing a role, I don't know what to do with my anxiety. I'm anxious a lot these days. But they were having such a good time; I couldn't bring myself to tell them what I was thinking, which was, “Get that damned camera out of the house! It will poison us all! It will do irreparable damage to us all!”
The fact that it was an old camera, the kind you only normally see in books about old movies somehow made it worse not better. [CHUCKLES] The camera itself had aged, you see? It had its own obsolescence and death to deal with. And it was a sad thing to see it in the house, gliding around like a clumsy, laughable old ghost. It was sad. It made me feel sad.
But then I began to sympathize with that wretched old camera. I began to think maybe we were growing old together, like a bickering, dotty old couple you'd see on a tour of the Washington Monument.
And then sadness gradually left me. It drained out of me and left perhaps only a taste of melancholy. And after all, the children were having fun. And it seemed pure and innocent. As far as these things can ever be pure or innocent.
BOY #1: Everybody? Ready?
BOY #2: Give me one second.
GIRL #2: Scene 1, take 1, mark.
BOY #1: Okay guys, in position.
BOY #2: Oh, just a sec. Frame.
BOY #1: Action.
MAN: One day the children brought home an old camera. I don't know where they found it. They were very excited about it.
MAN #2: Cut!