Re: Documentaries/Other Films on Madness

From: Danni Zuvela (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Mar 12 2006 - 18:06:15 PST

I second the recommendatin for Landreth's "Ryan". Animation seems to
have a unique ability to sensitively & expressively convey ideas about
mental ill-health in ways that standard documentary forms can't.

Distinguished Australian experimental filmmakers, Arthur and Corinne
Cantrill, have a son, Ivor, who is autistic. He's also a very talented
(oil) painter and animator, and made a film called Myself When 14

"Brightly coloured animated drawings rotoscoped from high contrast
black and white negative film of Ivor Cantrill aged 14, are integrated
with the original negative and positive images on an optical printer
to create patterns of black, white and colour. The film-maker
reminisces about being 14 and describes the rotoscoping process. Ivor
Cantrill is autistic, and his attention to detail and his
preoccupation with repetition are positive aspects of his condition."

It's special because it's a film _about_ someone with mental illness
that's also _by_ them - significant in the documentary tradition
because of its history of authoritarin re-presentation - white folks
speaking for black folks, 'normal' folks speaking for abnormal, etc.
And the shimmering colours, optical printing and rotoscoping creates a
fantastic subject effect that allows those of us without
(obvious/medicalised) mental conditions to creatively imagine, and
possibly sympathise with those who do.


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