News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Entertainment

July 12, 2014

MARK BENNETT: Filmmaker captures late uncle’s walk through illness and into ‘whatever is next’

TERRE HAUTE — Paul Fleschner sensed a remarkable strength as he filmed his beloved uncle one final time.

Larry Fleschner was near the end of a battle with colon cancer. He’d agreed to participate in the film with his nephew, Paul, as a way to offer hope and help to others suffering through terminal illnesses. It was September 2007. Just beginning a film career in Los Angeles, Paul was 27, exactly half the age of his uncle Larry, a Terre Haute attorney and businessman. Paul had returned to his hometown of Terre Haute to help care for Larry after the cancer returned earlier in ’07, following two years of remission.

Six days before Larry died, they filmed once more. He was “remarkably cognizant, aware and articulate,” Paul recalled last week. The scene is “not a moment of anxiety for [Larry]. It was a moment of anxiety for me — I’m the one talking in the film — but he’s peaceful.”

As for Larry’s spiritual destiny, his outlook in that last scene of Paul’s upcoming documentary, “Piercing the Veil,” appears clear. “His confidence is shocking,” Paul said, adding, “He felt carried to whatever is next.” Amid that energetic instance, the two men discuss Larry’s request that Paul offer a eulogy at his funeral. Paul asks Larry what the message should be.

“People need to see this film to see what [Larry] says,” said Paul.

The opportunity is approaching. Paul plans to conduct private screenings in Terre Haute later this year for residents interested in viewing his 56-minute independent production. Many locals will remember Fleschner as co-writer, co-director and co-star of “The Drunk,” a dramatic comedy loosely based on the life of Eugene Debs, which premiered to a full house at the Indiana Theatre in downtown Terre Haute last February.

“Piercing the Veil” differs completely from that movie.

“It’s a much more contemplative film,” Fleschner, now 34 and married, said last week by telephone from Chicago, where he lives and works as an actor and writer.

Religious faith has a prominent presence in “Piercing the Veil,” but Fleschner emphasized that viewers of any, or no, belief could relate to the experience Larry and his family endure. That potential widespread connection represents the reason Larry agreed to open his life in such a vulnerable condition. “This film features both Catholic and Protestant family members,” as Paul’s film synopsis explains. “It interweaves their heartfelt responses to suffering close at hand. And the underlying story speaks to all denominations, perhaps all traditions — anyone suffering with a crisis of faith.”

Paul described his uncle as a “very charismatic and magnetic” personality, “a bachelor, a ladies man — and he would say that, a man of the world,” who also worked 70-plus-hour weeks. He embraced Catholicism in 2005, the year of his initial diagnosis, and sought spiritual mentoring from Sister Marie Kevin Tighe of the Sisters of Providence at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. They became close friends. In 2006, Larry — in remission and vigorous again — traveled to Rome with his brother, Steve (Paul’s father) and Paul to witness the canonization of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, the foundress of the Sisters of Providence and Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. They roamed the ancient city, searching for the best espresso and gelato shops, Paul remembered. A few late nights, Larry briskly ventured the cobblestone streets alone.

Two months after they returned, Larry’s cancer did, too, in terminal form.

The film shows Sister Marie Kevin and Larry’s parents, George and Irene Fleschner — members of the Faith Wesleyan Church for more than a half-century — attend to and pray for Larry. In an exchange included in the film’s trailer, Sister Marie Kevin tells him, “Birth, life, suffering, death, resurrection — we all go through the same steps.” Both Sister Marie Kevin and Irene Fleschner have since passed away.

A quotation from Saint Mother Theodore defines the last two months of Larry’s life, the span covered in the film: “Put aside all uneasiness about the future. Place yourself gently into the hands of Providence.” Providence refers to God’s loving care and guidance. Paul, who converted to Catholicism at age 18, witnessed that submission in his uncle. “I think I saw Mother Theodore’s advice lived out,” he said. “I saw spiritual wisdom in a real-life setting and it was amazing.”

In his narration, Paul says, “At that threshold of stillness, there was an amazing comfort in the grace of letting go.”

In those days, Paul heard Larry express only one regret, that he’d worked too much. “He said, ‘There’s more to life than work. I wish I spent more time with my family,’” Paul recalled. Larry’s fondness for his family plays out in the documentary.

Several film industry veterans who added technical touches to “The Drunk” do the same with “Piercing the Veil.” The finishing stages of the project involve its marketing, as well as foreign-language translations. With seven years, “considerable” personal financial resources, and a love “like brothers” for his late uncle invested in the project, Paul hopes to raise $140,000 through an online Indiegogo campaign to complete the film. If so, “Piercing the Veil” could appear for free viewing on YouTube.com eventually.

In the meantime, he is inviting people of any background to contact him via email if they’d like to attend, or schedule, a private viewing of the film. “I think it’s just a spiritual message for anybody, whether you’re a person of faith or not,” Paul said, “that you can’t control life.”

Mark Bennett can be reached at 812-231-4377 or mark.bennett@tribstar.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Entertainment
  • Contract dispute delays ’Big Bang’ production

    NEW YORK (AP) — Production on a new season of “The Big Bang Theory” is being delayed due to a contract dispute with its top actors.

    July 30, 2014

  • dailey and vincent.jpg Dailey & Vincent to bring ‘Spirit of Christmas’ tour to Terre Haute, Effingham

    The “Rockstars of Bluegrass” Dailey & Vincent celebrate Christmas in July by officially announcing dates for their upcoming 2014 “SPIRIT OF Christmas” Tour.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lunes Domingo, Bear Foote Jackson at The Verve July 25

    Local musical collective Lunes Domingo will be back at The Verve on Friday, July 25, to perform the last installment of their 2014 series. Cost is $3.

    July 24, 2014

  • Switzerland Obit Wint_Ter .jpg Blues legend Johnny Winter dies at 70 in Zurich

    GENEVA (AP) — Texas blues legend Johnny Winter emblazoned himself into the world’s consciousness with his tattooed arms churning out lightning-fast guitar riffs and his striking long white hair flowing from under his cowboy hat.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • wefight.jpg MARK BENNETT: Filmmaker captures late uncle’s walk through illness and into ‘whatever is next’

    Paul Fleschner sensed a remarkable strength as he filmed his beloved uncle one final time.

    July 12, 2014 2 Photos

  • Emmy Nominations_Ter .jpg ‘Game of Thrones’ earns a leading 19 Emmy nods

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The sprawling and bloodthirsty saga “Game of Thrones,” defying the Emmy Awards’ grudging respect for such fantasy fare, emerged as the leader in the nominations announced today with 19 bids, including best drama series.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Grant & Loy.JPG Ohio Boulevard home built to promote 1948 movie

    It isn’t often that you get to meet a movie star right here in Terre Haute, but on July 20 you’ll have the chance to do just that — almost.

    July 9, 2014 3 Photos 1 Story

  • Dragons Double Feature June 12 at ShowPlace 12

    Tickets for Dragons Double Feature in RealD® 3D are on sale now at ShowPlace 12 in Terre Haute.
    The June 12 event begins with 2010’s “How to Train Your Dragon” at 6 p.m. and concludes with the 8 p.m. release of the summer’s most anticipated animated film, “How to Train Your Dragon 2.”

    June 11, 2014

  • Red Skelton fest in Vincennes June 6, 7

    The city of Vincennes will “Paint the town Red” June 6 and 7 during the Red Skelton Festival that will feature a variety of activities for young and old. The annual festival honors Vincennes native Red Skelton, America’s most beloved clown.

    June 5, 2014

  • Obit Maya Angelou_Ter .jpg University: Poet, author Maya Angelou dies at 86

    Maya Angelou, a Renaissance woman and cultural pioneer, has died, Wake Forest University said in a statement today. She was 86. Angelou had served as a professor of American studies at the school since 1982. Angelou had been set to appear this week at the Major League Baseball Beacon Awards Luncheon, but canceled in recent days citing an unspecified illness.

    May 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • jake owen.jpg Jake Owen coming to Hulman Center in September

    Nashville recording artists Jake Owen and the Eli Young Band will perform in concert Sept. 13 in Hulman Center at Terre Haute, according to the concert calendar website pollstar.com.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Barbara Walters sets May 16 for exit

    NEW YORK (AP) — Barbara Walters plans to make her final appearance on “The View” on May 16, part of a daylong retirement celebration that will include ABC News naming its New York headquarters after her.

    April 7, 2014

  • MET 122213 BRETT POINT.jpg Prism of modern country on display at ACM Awards

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The new artist of the year category at the 2014 Academy of Country Music Awards is a primer in Modern Country 101 with three nominees who perfectly capture the genre’s 21st century sound: Brett Eldredge of Paris, Ill., Justin Moore of Arkansas and  Kip Moore of Nashville.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • April loaded with live music at Ambrosini’s

    Terre Haute is home to many great musicians, as Steve Smith is readily aware. For the past 20 years, Smith has been hiring them to perform at Ambrosini’s Pizzeria. So to kick off spring and April, Smith is offering live music three days a week, all in honor of his 20 years of operations.

    April 3, 2014

  • Kokomo woman doesn’t regret quitting ’Survivor’

    KOKOMO, Ind. (AP) — A Kokomo woman’s decision to quit “Survivor: Cagayan” during last week’s episode left millions of viewers outraged, some even taking to social media afterward to call her “a loser,” “pathetic” and not even worthy of being part of the reunion show at the end.

    March 31, 2014

  • Minecraft Mania hits Terre Haute Children’s Museum

    Minecraft and learning will collide on Thursday, April 3, when eBash Video Game Center presents Minecraft Mania at the Terre Haute Children’s Museum. The classes are being sponsored by Duke Energy.

    March 31, 2014

  • Bigger eldredge.jpg Voting begins for Valley country star

    Brett Eldredge, a country music rising star — and proud Wabash Valley native — is one of the nominees for New Artist of the Year at this year’s Academy of Country Music Awards.

    March 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 86th Academy Awards -_Ter (2).jpg ‘12 Years a Slave’ wins best picture at Oscars

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Perhaps atoning for past sins, Hollywood named the brutal, unshrinking historical drama “12 Years a Slave” best picture at the 86th annual Academy Awards.

    March 3, 2014 2 Photos

  • Terry Eldredge with The Grascals 2-21-14 VIDEO: The Grascals have Wabash Valley’s toes tappin’

    Bluegrass fans came from all four corners of the Wabash Valley to see Nashville, Tenn.-based band The Grascals  — and its Vigo County-native member — in concert Friday night in Union Christian Church.
    Jo-Ann Jones of Clinton was “pew dancing” in front of the sold-out crowd.

    February 22, 2014 10 Photos 1 Video

  • Terry Eldredge with The Grascals 2-21-14 VIDEO: The Grascals give 2nd bluegrass concert in Terre Haute

    Bluegrass fans came from all four corners of the Wabash Valley to see Nashville, Tenn.-based band The Grascals in concert Friday night in Union Christian Church.

    February 22, 2014 10 Photos 1 Video

  • MET 021514 PREMIER SNOW.jpg Audience gets first look at ‘The Drunk’

    For one night, Hollywood came to Terre Haute.
    The Indiana Theatre was packed Saturday with close to 1,300 excited movie-goers, film extras, actors and supporters for the much-anticipated official premiere of the movie, “The Drunk.”

    February 15, 2014 4 Photos 1 Story

  • Obit Shirley Temple_Ter .jpg Shirley Temple, iconic child star, dies at 85

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Shirley Temple, the dimpled, curly-haired child star who sang, danced, sobbed and grinned her way into the hearts of Depression-era moviegoers, has died. She was 85.

    February 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • jethro tull.jpg Rock of Ages: Hulman Center stage has been entertaining crowds since 1974

    As the stage lights came on, Sam Wellington and his cohorts gazed out at an audience of 8,060 Midwesterners.
    The scene was familiar for him. Wellington and his country music quartet, The Four Guys, opened shows night after night for fellow RCA Records artists Ronnie Millsap and headliner Charley Pride on tours across North America.

    February 9, 2014 7 Photos

  • Concert venue proposed for Indianapolis site

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A large outdoor concert amphitheater is among the proposals being made for the redevelopment of a closed General Motors metal-stamping plant site near downtown Indianapolis.

    January 28, 2014

  • Grace Kelly Quintet to perform at Rose-Hulman

    She’s been called a fearless young improviser, a phenom and the future of jazz. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s Hatfield Hall will welcome jazz saxophone sensation Grace Kelly and the Grace Kelly Quintet at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

    January 15, 2014

  • Jose Pablo Cantillo.jpg No Intermission: Character meets demise on ‘Walking Dead,’ but lively acting career continues for Terre Haute’s Jose Pablo Cantillo

    Characters often make dramatic exits from television shows.
    Few could top Terre Haute-raised actor Jose Pablo Cantillo’s departure last month from AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”
    The scene occurred in the fourth season of cable TV’s most popular drama series ever.

    December 22, 2013 2 Photos

  • album copy.jpg MARK BENNETT: Album turns memories into musical Christmas message for Terre Haute’s Dave Frey, band

    In a way, Dave Frey walked in the footsteps of Charles Schulz.
    Both men worked hard to let Linus Van Pelt explain the “true meaning of Christmas.”

    December 20, 2013 2 Photos

  • Bigger eldredge.jpg Country star to return home for ‘Brett Eldredge Day’

    Atlantic Records’ Brett Eldredge wraps up the best year yet of his career at the top of Billboard’s Country Airplay Year-End Chart. In a year marked with a series of memorable milestones, the powerhouse vocalist not only had one of the top, most-played country songs with “Don’t Ya,” he also released his debut album, “Bring You Back,” scored his first No. 1 single with “Don’t Ya” and received a CMA nomination for New Artist of the Year.
    After just wrapping up his first headlining club tour, Eldredge is scheduled to return to his roots when he is to be honored in his hometown of Paris, Ill., at “Brett Eldredge Day” at 4 p.m. Sunday at Paris High School.

    December 19, 2013 1 Photo

  • Vincennes Watermelon Drop bringing Gallagher to town

    Comedian Gallagher is kicking off his “Last Smash” tour on New Year’s Eve at the sixth annual Watermelon Drop in Vincennes. He will perform at a 5 p.m. show at Vincennes Lincoln High School’s Ader Auditorium.

    December 19, 2013

  • ABB Cast.jpg Effingham Center bringing ‘Home for Holidays’ show

    “Home for the Holidays-American Big Band” is bringing all-time Christmas favorites from Bing to Buble to the Effingham Performance Center at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 19.

    December 12, 2013 1 Photo

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando Broken Water Main Floods UCLA In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Plane Lands on New York Highway Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City Wisc. Twins Celebrate a Century of Laughter Harding Love Letters Now Open to Public Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Bull Run Comes to Middle America Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show'
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity