While the inspiration for William's Lullaby came from something far deeper than the simple father/son relationship that is portrayed on the surface the idea to bury the thesis in the framework of a father/son relationship came from many cinematic inspirations over the years.
Going back to 1979, there's Kramer vs. Kramer with Dustin Hoffman
A very emotional film following the struggles of a recently divorced man fighting for the custody of his son.
Road to Perdition with Tom Hanks showed a father/son relationship under strained and tense circumstances...
But one of the classic father/son imageries of cinema for me comes from Mr. Charlie Chaplin himself in, The Kid...
If you are feeling a little nostalgic when it comes to film after a night with The Oscars, lucky for you, Chaplin's entire masterpiece is available on Youtube:
The father/son relationship has been portrayed in films since the very beginning. And I think it's because there is something quite special in that relationship -- a child's desire to be like his father, a father's passion to give his son a better life than his own. William's Lullaby and the films I have listed above all portray fathers who are thrust into single parenthood, sometimes unwillingly and coping with it under heavy circumstances. Whether I wrote this at 17 or 25, single or married, parent or not, I don't think really matters. In William's Lullaby Thomas is written as a man who, although trying to understand his role as a father, really is lost -- and in some ways child-like himself.
There's something incredible about imagining the potential of a child, not yet tainted by the outside world. At a certain point, a parent can no longer protect their child from being hurt, from hurting others or themselves. It's with this idea that William's Lullaby begins.
What are some of your favourite father/son moments in film? Comment below!