Mad Dance Film Trilogy by Ken Paul Rosenthal x
While I don’t like the aesthetics of the movies, I like the attempt to explore different narrative techniques. Each movie works in a different way (subtitles and stock narration, stock footage and music, voice-over). However, what makes this trilogy particularly interesting is what it talks about and how it talks about it (mental health). It has a voice that isn’t often heard or represented. For that reason, I find these movies important and fresh and I’m glad I got to see them.
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman x
Given to me by a friend who had to translate it into Croatian. Technically, I’ve read this story twice (in English and Croatian). It’s short and straight-forward, about a “temporary nervous depression - a slight hysterical tendency”. It’s very engrossing, which makes it a bit of a difficult read. I liked it, but didn’t enjoy it. Or perhaps I enjoyed it a little bit, for its wit and relevance:
That spoils my ghostliness, I am afraid, but I don’t care - there is something strange about the house - I can feel it. I even said so to John one moonlight evening, but he said what I felt was a draught, and shut the window.
The Woodmans (2010) x x
Just a couple of days before I watched this movie, I liked a reblogged post on a friend’s Tumblr. Turns out it was a photoset of Francesca Woodman’s photographs. What a coincidence!
While this movie is about the whole family, a lot of time is spent on Francesca’s work. I can’t comment on it without being very subjective. It pushed some of my buttons (the need to be a capital A artist - an Artist; doing one thing and one thing only, forever and ever). On the other hand, I loved the quotes from her journal. And yes, I liked some of the photos. And the parents are kind of funny and they keep it real.
It’s a conventional documentary and it works for what it’s trying to be. I enjoyed watching it. It was interesting and kept my attention from beginning to end.
The Doctor Who Hears Voices (2008)
I COULDN’T STOP THINKING ABOUT HOW PARTS OF IT ARE ACTED.
Hahaha. I kid, I kid. It’s not a fault of the documentary - it’s my inability to let some things go. I understand it was necessary, in order to protect the subject of this documentary. I actually like the slight blur of lines that’s created. Is it a documentary? Is it not? The actress certainly did a good job.
The film is about a doctor who hears a voice that’s telling her to kill herself. She is being treated by a psychologist who thinks she shouldn’t take medication, but instead work her way through her issues, with the assuption that it will calm the voice. And it does!
I loved it, plain and simple. It explores an alternative way of treating a specific mental health problem (but it may also be a foot in the door). Talking it through, analysing it through, sorting it through… instead of just taking a pill.
The only thing I didn’t like was some of the director’s questions and attitudes. And the crooked filming. Unless it was deliberate. It doesn’t distract much, but it’s there. Haha. Consider it a déformation professionnelle.
(And I would have gladly used ‘professional deformation’ or ‘job conditioning’, but neither sounds very nice.)