A man in his early 30s (Keane) struggles with the supposed loss of his daughter from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York, while fighting serious battles with schizophrenia. We can ... See full summary »
A high-priced call girl, shocked by her mother's death, decides to get out of the business and have a baby. The steps that she takes to free herself from her pimp and find a father for the baby are the central story of this movie.
An anguished foster child takes to mischief and lies as his foster parents do their best to love and care for him. But it might be too little, too late in this emotionally devastating portrayal of the orphaned child.
A former nazi child-killer is confined in an iron lung inside an old mansion after a suicide attempt. His wife hires him a full-time carer, a mysterious young man who is driven slowly mad by the old man's disturbing past.
Captures in haunting, intensely lyrical images fragments of the coming to consciousness of a child girl. A series of extremely brief flashes of her moving through night-lit space or woods ... See full summary »
Clean shaven a tough film for some to take, but it contains by far the most honest and moving portrait of schizophrenia every put on the screen. Peter Greene portrays a young man who'd been instatutionalised. Now outside, he's desperately trying to find a way to both function in the world, and to search for his young daughter, who he had before being hospitalised, and had only seen as an infant. It's a hard film for some to watch, but it's also highly rewarding -especially in Mr Green's riveting performance.Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #354. See more »
The policeman picks up a cigarette butt from the end table using a pair of tweezers. In closeup the burnt end is pointing up; the wider shot immediately after, when he brings it to his nose, shows the burnt end pointing down. See more »
I was in a, in a hospital bed, and I had been operated on. And they had put a, a small receiver in the back of my head and a transmitter in my finger. You know what they are?
Yeah, a radio. Anyway, to get at the transmitter, I had to take my fingernail off.
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This is a small indie by Lodge Kerrigan made in 94. Kerrigan's recent film Keane was astonishing (as was Damian Lewis). Like Keane, this film features a genuinely real and captivating performance by an actor playing a schizophrenic. The film's movement is fragmentary, roped together by a soundtrack that reveals the voices we might suppose are echoing within our character's unbound mind. His actions are confusing to him, and make us increasingly reluctant to watch, as watching makes us complicit with what he does, which is bad.
The use of sound in this film practically makes it worth watching in its own right, pun intended. In the critic's video essay that accompanies the Criterion release of this film, which is pitched to grad level film students (and that's not a complaint), Michael Atkinson remarks that the director uses "objective" sound, not "subjective" sound. It's true that the sounds that fill the film's soundtrack are given us from the external world, often through the protagonist's car radio and sometimes simply through the ether. But I'd disagree with Atkinson. I don't think this is just use of objective sound to a parallel the film's fragmented and "subject-less" subject and narrative. Yes, it's a different use of sound, but it's a complication of subjective sound, not a departure from it. After all we hear the soundtrack, and therefore we can't but believe that the subject hears them.
The use of sound here is interesting, I think, because the protagonist is not hearing them but producing them. We're given the sounds as he hears them, but they echo and resound within his schizophrenic mind, as they are the schizophrenic's world. Voices unattributed, perhaps real, perhaps recollected, but certainly not sounds that anchor the schizophrenic to reality. Rather, sounds that divorce him from the world, catching him as abruptly as an unexpected blow to the head. Short, sharp, shocks that knock about and bring into consciousness commands, put-downs, and other forms of verbal punishment that trouble us for their detachment. We don't know who's saying them. Which means we don't know why they are being said, which means (as Atkinson notes), we don't know what to think of them.
Where Atkinson hangs these sounds on a reel of film though, my sense is that they should be hung on memory, which is not a reel of film, is certainly subjective, if not multiply subjective, and is not objective in the slightest for the simple reason that memories can't be. Our schizophrenic protagonist's relation to sound is that he's caught in a compulsive listening, but cannot hear. The coup in Kerrigan's sonic genius, I think, is that in memory is the protagonist's pain, and it's a pain he suffers, often, without making the slightest of sound. But for the one that we hear.
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