Sybil is the mother of all multiple personality disorder movies. It was the first one to really catch the public’s imagination (except Jekyll and Hyde). It helped solidify what dissociative identity disorder looked like to the general public, and how they should feel about people with the illness. My question in watching it is whether it’s any good. As it turns out, it’s very good.
Trauma has come up a lot in this blog. Movies use it, and grief, as a quick way to create tension and conflict in plots. Some works handle it better than others (in particular, Iron Man 3), and others mention it in passing. However, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is the first time I’ve seen it used so effectively.
The movie A Dangerous Method focuses on one specific aspect of psychology, the early years of psychoanalysis. The interaction between the well-known psychologists Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung was seminal in the creation of the new discipline. What the movie looks at is the importance of two other, less famous colleagues, Sabrina Spielrein and Otto Gross, who were influential at the beginning of the movement.
We’ve talked about how grief translates to film well, and how it dominates the discussion of mental health in American pop culture. The cinematic qualities of loss were easy to define and understand, so the emotion took hold as an appropriate topic for important movies. Many of those movies don’t have anything new to say about it. However, every so often, one does, and Ordinary People is one of those movies. By focusing on one family member’s grief and showing how it ripples through the other family members, the movie says something really powerful.
Dr. Frasier Crane has been overlooked in the last few years, but for many people, Kelsey Grammer’s psychiatrist was the mental health professional they knew best. For some, he might have been the only one. Through Cheers and its spin-off Frasier, he brought the good natured doctor (and some genuine mental health knowledge) to TV for 22 years.
I finally watched the worst movie yet for this blog, The Caveman’s Valentine. I’ve watched movies I thought would be terrible but were better than anticipated (A Beautiful Mind), and movies that I thought would be good but were just terrible (Girl Interrupted), but wow. This just takes the cake.
Does familiarity with a story dim its effects on a person?If over 400 years have passed since its creation, can a play still encourage a person to self-harm?With William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, it seems that question is still very open. The numerous movies made of the story help keep it in the public consciousness, like Baz Lurhmann’s 1996 adaptation, Romeo+Juliet.
Perception, the TNT television show, has an interesting hook. The main character, Dr. Daniel Pierce, is a neuroscientist who assists the FBI with cases. He also has paranoid schizophrenia. Instead of making him an empty shell of nervous tics, the show makes Dr. Pierce a fully formed person.