LSC Event Descriptions

March 8, 2007

← Previous | Spring 2007 schedule | Next →

87 minutes

A Special Free Screening and Discussion:
So Much So Fast (2006)
March 8, 2007 at 7:00 pm in Wong Auditorium

So Much So Fast follows the story of Stephen Heywood and his family after he is diagnosed with ALS. Stephen's father, MIT Professor John Heywood, will give an introduction to the film and answer questions afterwards. Admission is free, with a suggested $5 donation to the ALS Foundation.

From the MIT News Office:
MIT family fights disease together
Stephen Heywood, son of Prof. John Heywood, dies at 37

From the Academy Award nominated directors of Troublesome Creek, Steven Ascher & Jeanne Jordan, comes a new documentary film, So Much So Fast. A black-humored cliffhanger of romance, guerrilla science and the redefinition of time, So Much So Fast unfolds like a nonfiction novel. Stephen Heywood finds out he has ALS. His brother Jamie becomes obsessed with finding a cure. And the woman who's falling in love with Stephen has a decision to make.

When asked what he would do differently in the five years since his ALS diagnosis, Stephen Heywood replied, "Have more sex on film."

What would you do if you were 29 and found you may only have a few years to live? So Much So Fast is about the remarkable events set in motion when Stephen Heywood discovered he had the paralyzing neural disorder ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease).

Made over 5 years, So Much So Fast tracks one family's ferocious response to an orphan disease: the kind of disease drug companies ignore because not there's not enough profit in curing it. In reaction, and with no medical background, Stephen's brother Jamie creates a research group and in two years builds it from three people in a basement to a multi-million dollar ALS mouse facility. Finding a drug in time becomes Jamie's all-consuming obsession.

Stephen's position is you can't live every day like it's your last (since you'd be hung over every morning). Instead, he gets married, has a son and rebuilds two houses. He and his wife Wendy's laser-like observations of the world and their predicament go to the heart of the fragility of being alive.

Filmmakers Ascher and Jordan were inducted into the stunning world of ALS when Jeanne's mother, who is featured in their film Troublesome Creek, came down with the disease. Like the Jordan family of Troublesome Creek, the Heywoods are smart, acerbic and capable of upending the cliches of their situation with black humor and real insight.

So Much So Fast makes tangible the bonds between parents and children, husbands and wives, and siblings who are also best friends. We watch as some of these bonds withstand unimaginable pressure and others break. Audiences get an inside view of scientific discovery and what happens when a group of researchers goes up against the scientific establishment.

In So Much So Fast there's a lot going on under the surface. It's about the biggest questions of life. The answers are never what you'd expect. []

It is harrowing, heartbreaking, cheering, and unforgettable.
      -- Ty Burr, Boston Globe. Read this review.

March 8, 2007 ← Previous | Spring 2007 schedule | Next →