Usually their character’s blindness means they seem a little learning impaired. Certainly they have been horribly abused or suffered great trauma so are withdrawn and tend to sit silently in rooms and scare people. They can be bitter. But really, once you get to know them, they are very wise..oh and sometimes even funny…but mostly very w I s e. Ohh and tragic…and very easy to stalk.
I have just sat through the gut gimacingly appalling ‘The Eye’ where Jennifer Alba plays a blind woman who although, traffic-stoppingly attractive, lives alone and has no friends or lovers except an inept sister (Parker Posey? What were you thinking?)
Alba, although she doesn’t really seem to care one way or the other, is given a cornea transplant and is immediately able to see dead people. She meets a random and really unpleasant shrink who keeps shaking her and telling her to ‘pull herself together’ and leaving her alone in dark buildings. Together, they discover that her eyes were donated by a young Mexican woman who could – guess what…also see dead people. The Mexican woman it seemed lived in a medieval land called Mexico where she was accussed of being a witch and killed herself. Alba and ugly shrink ..oh I am bored now….get dead woman to forgive herself, save a bus full of people from an explosion and following a very plasticine plot line whatserface then loses her sight again.
But don’t worry about old Alba..no oh no.. She may be blind but she will always have her looks and music..oh did I forget to mention she plays the violin. We leave her gloriously lovely on lead violin performing Strauss to ugly shrink and audience. She is better off blind apparently. At least that seems to be the moral of the story. Oh now damn…I ruined the plot for you…am I bad?
Strangely almost exactly the same film was made with the more attractive and much more convincing Madeleine Stow in the early 90’s. That film was called ‘Blink’ and was rather well directed; experimental, rough and weirder. And had a serial killer in it. Maddie played blind with Doc Martins on. Literally. And believe you me if one is any way visually impaired in New York, Doc Martins are the only boots to procure. She was tough and vulnerable but mostly bloody tough. …Strangely she also played the fiddle. (It must be a blind thing..i wonder if I have to get one.)
Who else has been daft enough to thump around with a cane? Al Pacino of course. Hoo Haa. ‘The Scent of a Woman’. For f***s sake! Morgan Freeman’s done blind. He showed us this by wearing dark glasses and being a piano tuner. Val Kilmer’s done blind (the end of a career Val) , Richard Pryor, Uma Thurman’s done blind and been stalked by a serial killer as has Audrey Hepburn (and they wonder why I’m paranoid?) and don’t tell me you’ve forgotten Mary in Little House on The Prairie?.
I think my very favourite was Ben Affleck doing blind in Daredevil. He could see with his ears! I watched it on video in Lusaka with a bunch of my mates. They got very quiet and embarrassed on my behalf until they notice I was rolling around on the ground holding my stomach with glee not sickness.
In honour of ‘Daredevil’ I have my own superhero outfit that I get out at night when there is noone around. It looks a lot like a pair of old pajamas..but it has really, really deep pockets for all my superhero tools..tisues..pencils, Japanese rice crackers (when push comes to shove there nothing more deadly then a rice cracker if handled correctly so says my inner psycho ninja). I am, however, still working on my secret powers. How about this… ‘by day a timid visually impaired loner..by night a gin fuelled fantasist!’… now there’s a film.