MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 19,535 this week

Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O'Brien (1996)

 -  Documentary | Short
8.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.3/10 from 95 users  
Reviews: 5 user

Portrait of writer Mark O'Brien, who contracted polio as a child and spent much of his life in an iron lung.

Director:

Writer:

0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $1.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 193 titles
created 08 Jun 2012
 
a list of 5136 titles
created 11 Jan 2013
 
a list of 1159 titles
created 04 Mar 2013
 
a list of 76 titles
created 18 Apr 2013
 
a list of 29 titles
created 1 month ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O'Brien (1996)

Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O'Brien (1996) on IMDb 8.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O'Brien.
Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A documentary on the German artist that includes glimpses at his studio, which has not been seen in decades.

Director: Corinna Belz
Stars: Gerhard Richter, Norbert Arns, Hubert Becker
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A portrait of New York artist Keith Haring.

Director: Christina Clausen
Stars: Fab 5 Freddy, Jeffrey Deitch, Julia Gruen
The Guide I (2013)
Documentary | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

THE GUIDE is a coming-of-age tale set against the restoration of a war-torn national park in Mozambique. Raised near Gorongosa National Park, young Tonga Torcida dreams of becoming a tour ... See full summary »

Director: Jessica Yu
The Sessions (2012)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A man in an iron lung who wishes to lose his virginity contacts a professional sex surrogate with the help of his therapist and priest.

Director: Ben Lewin
Stars: John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, William H. Macy
Misconception I (2014)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
Director: Jessica Yu
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Documentary on Charles Bukowski, author of 'Notes of a Dirty Old Man', 'Love Is a Dog from Hell', and the autobiographical novels, 'Women', 'Hollywood', and 'Post Office'.

Director: John Dullaghan
Stars: Charles Bukowski, Bono, John Bryan
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The husband-and-wife team of Charles and Ray Eames were America's most influential and important industrial designers. Admired for their creations and fascinating as individuals, they have ... See full summary »

Directors: Jason Cohn, Bill Jersey
Stars: Charles Eames, Ray Eames, James Franco
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Depicts a cast of fine artists and eccentric scientists (from MIT and NASA) who have devoted their lives to the unlikely medium of modern origami. Through their determination to reinterpret... See full summary »

Director: Vanessa Gould
Stars: Erik D. Demaine, Martin L. Demaine, Vincent Floderer
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Alan Moore writer, artist and performer is the world's most critically acclaimed and widely admired creator of comic books and graphic novels.

Directors: Dez Vylenz, Moritz Winkler
Stars: Glenn Doherty, Florian Fischer, Alan Moore
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A profile of the noted and extraordinarily cheerful veteran New York City fashion photographer.

Director: Richard Press
Stars: Bill Cunningham, Anna Wintour, Michael Kors
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Director: Jessica Yu
Stars: Issa Ibrahim, John C. Mapp, Janos Morton
The Conductor (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Jessica Yu
Stars: Mark Salzman
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Mark O'Brien ...
Himself
...
Herself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ian Berzon ...
Himself
Edit

Storyline

According to Mark O'Brien, "The two mythologies about disabled people break down to one: we can't do anything, or two: we can do everything. But the truth is, we're just human." O'Brien was a frequently published journalist and poet, and a contributor to National Public Radio. He contracted polio in childhood and, due to post-polio syndrome, spent much of his life in an iron lung. Yet for more than forty years, he fought against illness, bureaucracy and society's conflicting perceptions of disability for his right to lead an independent life. Breathing Lessons breaks down barriers to understanding by presenting an honest and intimate portrait of a complex, intelligent, beautiful and interesting person, who happens to be disabled. Incorporating the vivid imagery of O'Brien's poetry, and his candid, wry and often profound reflections on work, sex, death and God, this provocative film asks: what makes a life worth living? Written by Meredith Miller

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | Short

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Mark O'Brien: Everybody becomes disabled unless they die first.
See more »

Soundtracks

Piano by Sandra Tsing Loh
Guitar by Mike Miller
Cello by Mark Salzman
Cello improvisations by Mark Salzman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
I have to
19 April 2002 | by (Bruges, Belgium) – See all my reviews

I just saw this incredible film by Jessica Yu and just have to say something about it. Actually, it's not really an achievement in filmmaking, the images and words used here really tell all there is to it. I simply can't describe it, you have to see it for yourself (if you're interested in life). Words just ... aren't enough to say what kind of man Mark O'Brien was. No, even that isn't saying enough. I just want to praise his parents for their incredible loving, his friends for respecting him as a human being and, of course Mark O'Brien himself, for, well, just being who he was. I really learned from these 35 minutes, more than from most people I have met and from most films I've seen, books I've read,... This man's thoughts about God, life, his poetry,... I reckon many people won't expect that from a man who can't live outside his machine, who actually hasn't got a body, at least not like most others. But his thoughts and courage reach far beyond those of most people who have the ability to move and do things Mark O'Brien can't. Or "couldn't", because he passed away after the making of this film. So this is for you Mark, and for all the others who have the courage to make life worth living for all of us, and who teach us things that matter. And thanks to Jessica and all who worked on this, for telling this story. Here's to all of you!


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Contribute to This Page