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Completely Cuckoo (V) More at IMDbPro »

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A fine companion piece

8/10
Author: Ali_Catterall from London, England
3 November 2009

"It was hard to discern who were the actors and who were the inmates," says Christopher Lloyd of his time spent filming 1975's Academy award-winning One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. It's hardly surprising. As revealed in Charles Kiselyak's excellent and often very funny feature-length documentary, we learn that the filmmakers and 89 mental patients effectively lived and worked together as one while shooting in a real-life psychiatric hospital in Oregon.

Viewers may detect a trend here: Merry Prankster Ken Kesey's source novel had been written on the night shift in the ward of a Californian mental institution, while the author was high on Peyote, as a diatribe against what he coined "Bull**** consciousness" - the patients' mental state, he believed, was a natural reaction to the soul-sapping insanity of corporate America and "institutionalised evil". As Kesey, who clearly identified with his Goliath-baiting protagonist RP McMurphy, says, "Not only was I writing about these guys with twisted consciousness - but I had joined their ranks." Years later, following a Kirk Douglas-starring stage adaptation and numerous knock-backs from queasy Hollywood execs, director Milos Forman would apply the same Dunkirk spirit to his movie, aided no end by a remarkably progressive administrator, Dr Dean Brooks, whose residential psychiatric hospital provided a location for cast and crew, and who insists the film-making process was a useful aid to his patients' rehabilitation.

And it's here that the real meat - and real heroes - of Kiselyak's film begin to emerge. If leading man Jack Nicholson (absent here) described McMurphy as "a cross between Hamlet and Jesus Christ" in his Oscar acceptance speech, the people behind the cameras, including producer Michael Douglas and screenwriter Bo Goldman, reveal themselves to be no less unusual. All of which makes for a warm, and most moving hour-and-a-half.

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Are medical movies fit to be experimented with in an art form?

4/10
Author: annuskavdpol from Canada
8 November 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Completely Cuckoo is a documentary about the making of the movie, One Who Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. I believe the subject matter of serious mental illness to be a very private matter. It is not meant to be exploited and trying to understand serious mental illness through the lens of art is like trying to understand sunshine by studying the rain. I believe this documentary and the main movie did contribute to changes within the current mental health system, whether intentional or not.

Art is based on the artist's own personal feelings. Art is not judgement, it is a statement. I feel this documentary indicated a form of judgement and it could have done so much more if it focused on carrying a positive message about serious mental illness instead of illustrating the distortion (the author wanted to show the "twisted side").

written by annuska Victoria bc Canada

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Sympathetic but thin

7/10
Author: (oskar-laurin)
14 December 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Nice but somewhat short documentary that came as extra material in a DVD-edition of the Cuckoo's nest that I bought. A rather hasty and sometimes thin account of the creation of one of the biggest classics of the history of motion pictures. It feels a bit like it's been put together for the sole reason that the special edition of the DVD needs to have extra material. There are a lot of interviews with many of the actors and the production crew. Not one word from Jack Nicholson or Will Sampson thought, which was sort of disappointing. However the material is nice and interesting and the tone is sympathetic and humble and especially the scenes with screenwriter Bo Goldman are really good. The last scene, were Goldman gives his interpretation of the Mcmurphy-saga in a couple of sentences is as strong as ever the original itself.

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