No Bigger Than a Minute

"What would the world be missing if there were no dwarves, no freaks, no people like me?" asks filmmaker Steven Delano, in his documentary film, "No Bigger Than a Minute."

Denver Post film critic Lisa Kennedy profiled Steven and his "twisted, thoughtful, thorny" film a few days ago. The film's taken him five years to do, and it's been a journey of self-discovery, Kennedy writes.

Five years means waking up one day, gazing into a mirror and realizing that you have spent your life like Gulliver in reverse.

You have made your way in the company of giants: your average-stature parents; your loving, extended average-stature family; your average-stature colleagues, friends and lovers.

Kennedy recounts how Steven's family--especially his "rough around the edges" father (who told Steven to "play the cards you are dealt"; his mother, who gave him her love and her smarts; and his aunt Sophie, who nutured his love of film--all prepared him to meet the larger world.

Here's a bit more of the story:

"If I did well in school, it's because of my mom," said Delano, who studied English literature at Providence College in Rhode Island. "She's a smart person. My dad was smart, but he was a street kid."

Josephine and her six siblings all earned college degrees. And it was Josephine's older sister Sophie Smietana, who lived in Boston and worked at the New England Medical Center, who put the young couple in touch with the doctors at Boston Children's Hospital.

"She put up my parents for all the extended visits," Delano said of his aunt. Smietana was also the person who fostered Steven's interest in movies, taking him to "That Darn Cat" and "Mary Poppins."

"Being spoiled, expectations were made of me," said Delano. "I wasn't going to go out and lay gas pipe like my dad. So I got to do exactly what I wanted to do. I studied English, read books and did not worry about whether I had to earn a living or not. And so I learned to enjoy how you can create meaning out of nothing, whether it was words or pictures."

Making the film was a journey of self discovery for Steven. "I've covered a lot of ground," he tells Kennedy.

"I've talked to a lot of people. And I've learned a little about my place in the universe. It's for sure I'm just a glitch in the universe. Someone who doesn't like the sound of his voice. A guy who's never liked the look of his own reflection. Now I've made a spectacle of myself."

Great story. Great journalism in covering it. And, from the sound of it, a great movie.

BTW, I'm a little biased about this story. Though it's been years since I've seen him, Steven and I are cousins. His parents were my Uncle Jimmy and Ciocia Pete (ciocia is Polish for aunt, Pete is her nickname) and his aunt Sophie was my aunt too--my daughter was named for her"


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