Black Swan

I love it when a film leaves you feeling slightly different, be it illuminating something in yourself, or about life, or just inspires you. Black Swan did that tonight, for better or worse…

Charlie Kaufman

When it comes to films. most my friends know of my Nicolas Cage obsession. While I have to admit, I have a love for his amazing/terrible acting (either or, it’s entertaining at least) I do actually have some genuine film obsessions. My film hero: Charlie Kaufman.

In my book, the man is an artist. I watch his films and I feel like no-one has ever understood what goes through my head apart from him. He takes those thoughts that I’m too scared to bring to the surface and puts them on a screen. The scene below from Synechdoche, New York totally blew me away when I first saw it. It still does now, and I’ve seen this film a lot.

There’s very few films that have affected me like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or Synechdoche, New York. Sure, they might be depressing as hell to some people, but for me, they’re about life. It’s depressing, but it’s also funny and everything else in between, which is what he portrays. That desire to forget former lovers, dealing with life and death, wanting to experience being a celebrity, or even that struggle you have with yourself. To be honest, I find his films uplifting. I hope we’re going to see more amazing filmwriters like this in the future.

What is sanity?

For the last few days, this seems to be the topic of conversation that has cropped up between friends and family. Is it the case that we’re all vaguely insane, or is there a label for every personality digression under the sun now?

Personally, I’ve always had the theory that we’re all vaguely insane in our heads, though what we let to the surface is where the distinction, how these thoughts translate into words, work and actions. We’ve all got quirks and obsessions; some phobias, others OCD, etc. For example, I’m obsessed with splitting hairs if I see a split ends, or I’m weirded out by grated cheese. I wonder how much of these things do we keep inside, and how much should we.

One thing I learned about today was the Rosenhan Experiment where healthy pseudopatients pretended to display symptoms of schizophrenia to be admitted to various psychiatric hospitals, then acted normally. Doctors couldn’t tell who the pseudopatients were, and they were diagnosed with schizophrenia in remission. Second time the experiment was repeated, doctors identified many sane people, yet this time, no fake patients were admitted.

I’d quite like to look a bit more into it all… Gillian Wearing’s Signs that say what you want them to say and not Signs that say what someone else wants you to say is the first thing that has sprung to mind. I’d like to see the whole series, instead of the few you get when you can find with google images.

This has been a totally mishmashed post, but I’m going to stop rambling and leave with the trailer for Englar Alheimsins, or Angels of the Universe in English. It’s a great book and film by Icelandic author Einar Már Guðmundsson. It’s semi-fictional, strongly based around his brother’s time in Klepp, a mental hospital in Iceland. Unfortunately, I saw the final scene before the rest of the film in a museum, which I totally regret. What I will say about it is this: the Sigur Rós song in that scene, Death Announcements and Funeral Arrangements is a very literal title, as it’s an arrangement of a tune that was played during these announcements on the radio. It made me appreciate the song on a totally different level. Seriously though, if you get a chance, read this book.

Anyway, apologies for the rather badly written post, I’m off to bed to sleep off this hangover.