Categorized | Features, Media

Living in the Material World

 

The Amazing Transformation of Dr. Kitchin

 

Award-Winning VIDEO

 

Joshua Izenberg
Filmmaker

 

 

Slomo came into my life at an opportune moment.

Having just rolled into my 30s, I was looking for both a film subject and some wisdom on how to approach the encroaching “middle third” of my life– the years when youthful idealism is so often blunted by adult responsibilities.

Around this time, during a business trip to San Diego, my father had a chance meeting on the Pacific Beach boardwalk with John Kitchin, an old medical school classmate.

My dad barely recognized Dr. Kitchin, who was meticulously skating up and down the promenade, blasting inspirational music from speakers hidden under his shirt.  Disillusioned with a life that had become increasingly materialistic, he had abruptly abandoned his career as a neurologist and moved to a studio by the beach.

The locals called him Slomo, knowing little about his past life, but cheering and high-fiving him as he skated by in slow motion.  He had become a Pacific Beach institution.  

I was intrigued.

I’ve long been fascinated by people who make seismic changes late in life.  It goes against the mainstream narrative: “Grow up, pick a career, stick it out, and retire.”

I was also curious about Slomo’s concept of “the zone,” a realm of pure subjectivity and connectedness that he achieves through his skating.  The only thing Slomo loves more than being in the zone is talking about the zone, so it wasn’t hard to persuade him to take part in a documentary film.

Slomo’s combination of candor and eloquence made him a natural on camera, and his background as a neurologist legitimized his metaphysical theories about skating, lateral motion and the brain.  But like many of the people who saw him skating by, I couldn’t help wondering: was this guy nuts, or was he onto something?

And was his mantra – “Do what you want to” – translatable to those of us without the nest egg of a retired doctor?  But just like the throngs of Slomo fans on Pacific Beach, I couldn’t get enough of him, and was determined to capture the effect he had on people in a cinematic way.

With this film, we hope to create a window into the ecstatic experience that Slomo has every day, transcending the trappings of the material world.

And for my part, I continue to be intrigued by the particular joys and conflicts that define a person’s life once he decides to do exactly what he wants.

* * * * * * * *

Josh Izenberg is a filmmaker based in San Francisco.  “Slomo,” his first documentary, received more than a dozen awards including Best Documentary Short by the International Documentary Association and the jury award for best short documentary at SXSW.

This film blew us away on a number of levels.  We hope you like it too.

Oh, one other thing:  it’s never too late to reinvent yourself.

 

~For Herrmann and Cheyenne Spetzler, Dr. Bill Hunter, and Jim Bella; 
  with the best of wishes for happiness and health.

 

 

Thank you for making us the best
little blog in Humboldt.

Please share and join us
on Twitter and Facebook

 

5 Responses to “Living in the Material World”

  1. Karen Thomas says:

    Awesome video, awesome story, very well done! Thank you!

  2. Brandon says:

    After being in the army my entire adult life and having to more or less start over with a brand new career, or a lack there of, I’ve been getting increasingly harder on myself. Honestly, I think you may have changed my entire outlook on life and what is important before I could finish my first cup of coffee this morning. I’m not giving up on chasing the career that I’m chasing, but I feel great anyway. I think I’ll be taking my hobbies off the back burner and establishing my own standards for success. Great job on the video and thanks so much for sharing it!

  3. Skippy says:

    Thank you, Brandon.

    We don’t suggest giving up on the career by any means. There are bills to pay and a family to feed and the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

    One day I asked a very wealthy man his secret for success. He was a sharp and fascinating elderly gentleman who had done many things: he was a banker, owned the Pan American Bank, wrote bond issues, developed land in Florida during the 20s and the Depression, and did countless other wheeling-and-dealing projects over the years.

    He thought long and hard before answering me.

    He said: “Son, remember this: every man should have a trade, a hobby, and a profession. Having all of those and you’ll always be able to provide for yourself and fall back on something both during the good times and the bad. Ask yourself what yours are.”

    Looking back on my life and taking his thoughtful advice, he was right.

    We were inspired by Dr. Kitchin, too, who reinvented himself later in life. I guess he developed his ‘hobby’ after reviewing his career and values and what he was unhappy with. Granted, he had made his money and was able to pursue his pleasure. Rollerblading doesn’t pay much nowadays.

    Brandon, we wish you the very best in your endeavors. And thank you for your service. Good luck and Godspeed to you in your new career– wherever that lies and wherever it takes you.

  4. lost says:

    A message that touches all. nice video, inspiring idea. we all should be so lucky!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks


Leave a Reply

HumSentinel on Twitter

RSS Progressive Review

  • Word: Why the Baltimore Orioles aren't playing tonight
    John Angelos, COO Baltimore Orioles -  My greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night's property damage nor upon the acts group but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working class jobs away fr […]
  • Sustain yourself
    Sam Smith - Just solved a longtime problem, how to store earphones easily. Answer: An empty container for Orbit chewing gum. […]
  • Morning line
    Based on our three poll moving average: Hillary Clinton now has a 7 point lead over Rubio and an 9 point lead over Paul and Bush. All other GOP candidates are double digits behindAmong Republicans Bush and Rubio are tied at 13 and Walker is one point behind them. Paul has 10 and everyone else is in single digits. Among Republicans, Walker leads in 6 states, […]
  • Word
    One of the reasons I like going to restaurants is because they are a rare place that asks you what you want and when you reply, they say your choice is "awsome." - Sam Smith […]
  • Jazz break
     Duke Ellington with Johnny Hodges: Sunny Side of the Street […]
  • Word: George Washington on religion
    Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by a difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought to be deprecated. I was in hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far […]
  • Why are we fighting in the Mid East anyway?
    Sarwar Kashmer, US News -  Prof. Larry Goodson of the U.S. Army War College has told me he believes the Middle East is in the midst of a 30 Years War, similar to the one that roiled Europe from 1618-1648. It is an intriguing comparison with which I largely agree.The 30 Years War wasn’t just one war, but actually a series of wars fought by numerous nations fo […]
  • Chipotle to drop GM foods
    Time - Chipotle becomes the first major restaurant chain to say “no” to GMOs. As of this week, the 1831-restaurant fast food chain will only serve food that is free of genetically engineered ingredients, the New York Times reports, disdaining the use of crops whose DNA is altered to be resistant to pests. “Just because food is served fast doesn’t mean it has […]
  • Department of Good Stuff: Spooks
    Bill Binney Thomas Drake Glenn Greenwald Guardian Gov Acountability Project Chelsea Manning Project on Gov Oversight Tim Shorrock Edward Snowden Jeff Stein Spy Talk Wikileaks […]
  • Word
    I live by my principles and one of my principles is flexibility - Senator Everett Dirksen […]
  • Why is Hillary Clinton in so much trouble already?
    Sam Smith – I confess I’ve been a bit startled by all the trouble that Hillary Clinton has found herself in more than a year before she’s due to be nominated at her party convention. Even the stupid Republican stuff – like the Benghazi incident – has gained a prominence you wouldn’t have expected if the Secretary of State had been, say, Bill Clinton. And the […]
  • The beginnings of the war on drugs
    From a long interview with Johann Hari, author of “Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs.” Johann Hari: The most influential person who no one has ever heard of is Harry Anslinger, the man who invented the modern War on Drugs — way before Nixon, way before Reagan. He’s the guy who takes over the Federal Bureau of Prohibition just as […]
  • Some good news about war
    From our overstocked archives Sam Smith, 2013 - There is some good news. This is the first time in modern history that the American public has gotten its leaders to back off on their war plans - at least for a while.Even if not permanent, what has happened in the past few days has been extraordinary. But, although we don't talk about it, this achievemen […]
  • Widespread opposition to drones
     Pew Reseach […]
  • Toddlers using tablets and smart phones
    Washington Times - A new medical study reveals that the tiniest Americans are tapping on smartphones and tablets even before they learn to walk or talk, and by 1 year of age, one in seven toddlers is using devices for at least an hour a day.The research found that even a third of the babies under a year could scroll down the screen, while a fourth managed to […]