Mark Twain & Mary Baker Eddy - A film by Val Kilmer

Director's Notes

The “Feeling”

  • an intimate, incidental story
  • it’s about LOVE not religion
  • a tragic-comedy
  • unconventional lives, unconventional story
  • he’s involved with the past, she’s involved in the future
  • we think we know where we are, then we’re in a different place

11 Responses to “The “Feeling””

  1. Gwen Putnam says:

    Thanks so much for the chat about this film on this morning. So interesting! I’m one of those who was dubious when I first heard of the plans for this movie, but am totally supportive now. Thanks for all you’re doing, Val. And thanks too for Ingrid’s and Mike’s substantial contribution to the chat.

  2. Samuel Harris says:

    I would have loved to be present had Mark Twain ever met with Mary Baker Eddy in person. I almost think you should draw on poetic license to create that encounter for the movie. I think Twain was in awe of Eddy personally, though publicly he was a harsh critic of Christian Science.

    I guess the problem for the screenplay to solve is how to present MBE to this age through the eyes of the age in which she lived. You have former Ebay CEO billionaire Meg Whitman running for governor today and we are impressed; but in her day Mary Baker Eddy’s organizational and financial success was unprecedented.

    Had this woman been involved in any other enterprise besides religion, today she would be championed by woman’s rights advocates as the most successful example of equal rights and female empowerment of any age. Mark Twain was keenly aware of her “power” and was deeply suspicious of it. I think in seemed unseemly to him that her religious movement was so profitable.

    I suspect many Christian Scientist would like this movie to champion the cause of CS but I think that would be a mistake. I think Val is correct in stating that this should not be about religion. I think perhaps the movie could be most successful if it creates this simple dramatic tension: perfectly articulated atheism encounters perfectly articulated faith. I can’t think of a more powerful story for our age.

  3. Debby says:

    Dear Val,

    After listening to the audio chat, I was impressed to hear that you were willing to sell your ranch to make this independent movie.
    I understand that Mel Gibson funds independent Hollywood directors and their projects.
    Have you considered asking him for financial backing? He can only say No!
    You certainly have my prayerful support.

  4. Malcolm says:

    An incident that might be considered for inclusion comes from a book I once read, written by an expert witness sent to interview Mrs. Eddy for the court in the “Next Friends” suit. He paints a wonderful picture of an exquisitely turned out woman of advanced years without hint of old age. During interruptions in the interview this stunningly acute female executive (one of the world’s first) through whispered exchanges quietly continues running a large enterprise with the soft firm expertise a kind woman brings to authority.

  5. Mary says:

    “… perfectly articulated atheism encounters perfectly articulated faith” – love it! My sincerest hope, in addition to providing much needed insight into Mrs. Eddy’s character, is that you will keep the scenes true to the truth. I don’t think Mrs. Eddy would want – or accept – it any other way. Praying to know that the world cannot be prevented from recognizing Truth when they see/hear it. God bless you and everyone involved with this project.

  6. Angela says:

    I’ve always called myself spiritual because I am not a big fan of religions because they tend to separate people. But to me God IS LOVE so that’s a far more positive energy to connect to for me.

    So I like your point “it’s about LOVE not religion” :)

  7. mary Zieglgansberger says:

    I think your timing is perfect for a film on MBE! I wish you success on your project to make the movie a reality.) I’ll be darned if I can think of one actress at the moment to play her part. I am not sure I get at what age you are focusing your movie on. I don’t know…maybe demi moore…would have to see her in character…but, her raspy voice wouldn’t work for me. Judi Dench? again, not sure what age you are looking for.

  8. Dalemarie Davis says:

    Dear Mr. Kilmer, I am praying for the success of your project and do believe that you will find substantial backing for the film. Miracles happen! I suggest that perhaps you could have Twain’s voice “as he hears himself speaking in his head” (pondering) with him seated or even pacing in his home. He is alone and wrestling intensely with the spiritual healing ideas of Mrs. Eddy. He is very internally conflicted. This goes on for some time, and then there is the “smallest glimmer” of his realization that we ARE all of God and that Mrs. Eddy’s healing IS the Truth of God in action through Mrs. Eddy being the conduit. It needs to be, I think, a quick glimmer that the audience can pick up on, and take away with them to ponder on their own. It is a small seed of Truth (like the mustard seed) that can be planted in the moviewatcher’s minds. It can be so subtle as to seem as if Twain did have this moment of Crystalization of True Thought but then he can dismiss it instantly. I hope this will help. I continue to support your efforts to make this film, Mr. Kilmer and I believe that you will make it so well and so appealing as a story of love with an underscore of Truth. I am talking about it to people I meet and in e-mails to my friends. God is absolutley at your side with your project!! Please think “out of the box” and go for sources of investment and gifts that seem like longshots to you. Spirit will unfailingly assist your intense desire to bring your film to the public.
    God Bless You and your Children.

  9. Bernice Policastro says:

    Ok Val, maybe it could be where Mark Twain will be telling the story as he would have had it be, not as it really was. The entire love story, tragic comedy, whatever it is that you feel you want it to portray. After all it is a movie, it needs to be marketed and sold and enjoyed. But while you/Twain are also telling the story of Baker-Eddy as it was, you would be merging the 2 stories to give us a modern day Twain-Eddy.
    The part of, we think we know where we are, but then we are in a different place…. It would be moving back and forth between those 2 thoughts, real and portrayed, the acting and the movie would be dramatic and interesting enough to captivate everyone.
    You will be using the Two Characters, Twain-Eddy but recreating their lives, jobs, what they are about and morph them into 2 people who might represent Twain-Eddy in today’s era. We would be seeing the old and the new.
    You see, in this part, these two character can actually get together and live what it is Twain really wanted, while in the other part it would be as it really was.
    Just a thought.

  10. Bernice Policastro says:

    It’s all about love, not religion.
    Twain is a reporter in the modern movie.
    Mary Baker Eddy is the head of a Holistic Medical group using a new breakthrough in a different type of modern medicine. She studies the Metaphysical, Quantum Physics, Astral Projection, Ascension Mechanics, Mind Body Healing, raising vibrations,Quantum Jumping, & Spirituality. She is sucessful mastering one if not all of the aformentioned.
    Twain used to be a stand up comic, dabbled in writing, before he ventured into the field of reporting. He is now a major investigative reporter on his way to the top. This gives him the perfect podium to criticise Eddy or praise her.
    Twain, falls in love with Eddy, Eddy notice’s Twain, she’s interested, I can finish this love story but…I want to see you do it.
    Eddy is Genius in her field, she is a new modern healer or scientist, always in the spotlight. She has Seminar’s and a major following, she mixes spirituality with her form of healing and clones speakers who do her work as well. IE; Tony Robbins, Earl Nightengale, Napoleon Hill, etc. The money keeps rolling in and her following keep getting more massive by the minute, she now has a TV station who show’s her healing program and sells’s them too, books, cd’s video’s, Twain disapproves, he think’s she is in it for the money. Eddy is not, she finances her studies and supports a multitude of causes, and has done someting so profound with the profit’s which Twain doesn’t see until the ending of the movie. Eddy doesn’t keep any of this money for herself only what she needs to run her houshold and run the business. It is the magnitude of what she does with the profit’s that makes Twain into a believer in the end, his daughter is healed, Eddy and Twain get together. Val, you take it from here.
    Don’t forget the alternate scenes from the old,just enough to interest everyone.

  11. unconventional lives, unconventional story…..
    he is an actor she is a writer, he has lived his life in the spotlight, she has lived her life making her way in the world of business, she has gone through different type professions and independent business, meeting people along the way who could have changed her life had she been in tune spiritually. Even though, she had always been about healing.
    He lived in the fast lane, wanting his career to speed up and wanting his personal life to be this side of normal, just like he suspects her’s is, and she wanting her life to speed up and find healing, yet looking for the same type relationship with life she suspects he has always wanted, but which was elusive to him and also to her, up until now.
    something happens to change her life, she gains spiritually, her being abounds with energy, her world is filled with love, and all encompassing love which came over her as she found her spirituality inside herself, propounded by a dream of what her life could have been like, what she had found inside of her, that which never emerged until now.
    He in turn was working on his masterpiece when his spirit was propelled into her consciousness through a metaphysical experience/dream. She tried but she couldn’t ignore it any longer, she had to find out why, why she, all of a sudden, had this urge to find him, to learn about him. She had without a doubt taken notice of him. He wondered too, he had this nagging feeling in the pit of his stomach, a good feeling, but nonetheless a feeling he just couldn’t ignore any longer.
    He was also a writer, a modern day rock star of his profession, but he was noticing her now. He found her through her writings. Who was she, who did she think she was, writing all of these things? But he had that psychic feeling about knowing her. He was a public figure and this sort of thing comes in and out of his life all the time he thought, but not like this, not like her. She made too much sense not to be real. The others came with passing obsessions about knowing him, but this one came with depth of soul and purity of heart and a keen spiritual awareness, one that he never knew existed, of course not until he decided to take full notice of her. He was now hooked, he would get angry at times and say terrible things about her especially when she would ignore him for a while, then she would notice him again and write something that touched him deeply, that gave him inspiration which would help him concentrate in writing his masterpiece. He would then say wonderful things about her, he would then look for her writing, he would wait in anticipation to see what else it was she had written about him, so he thought, just for him.
    but did she?
    He was Mark Twain……She was Mary Baker Eddy in the modern world. What is her business he thought, who is this ungrammatical girl/woman who writes and speaks and tells people she has had contact with the spiritual world, the metaphysical, the minds positive healing energy. Who was she really writing about? What was it about, was it about him, for him, for the world. He had to know, he just had to find out, he just had to ultimately know her.
    She on the other hand, would think about healing herself, she would write about love, love found, love lost, the mosaic of relationships about love. Love of the spirit, all encompassing love…..the kind he so wanted and needed in his life, his unconventional life.
    was it about love or about religion. No, he thought, it has to be about love, that’s all she writes about…spiritual love…. the love of love…love for the sake of healing….love for the sake of love!!!
    He now is siting there in deep thought, in almost a hypnotic concentration.
    As the scene opens with him as a young Mark Twain hiking up a mountain in west away from his home in Missouri, he is now in New Mexico, with a back drop of Mountains which when you see them almost take on the appearance of sandstone with a pink hue. he now see’s horses far off, and one that comes closer to him (with a black tail), he now sees an Indian man get on this horse and ride away and disperse into thin air as he looks back at Mark Twain, sort of an almost smokey dreamy like feeling then it switches off to a picture of his projected wife and a feeling of love comes over him, you now see him writing, older, working on his masterpiece… the scene fades and now you see Mary Baker Eddy (a young woman) waking up from a dream she was having about a man (maybe her husband, maybe not) who came to her in this dream, he kissed her, now she wakes and this feeling comes over her of all encompassing love. She jumps out of bed as she runs to the mirror and stares strangely at herself, she’s older now, as she goes into deep thought and you now find her sitting in front of her typewriter /computer, thinking…. writing.

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