A U.S Marshal investigates the disappearance of a murderess who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane.
Director: Martin Scorsese
Writer: Laeta Kalogridis
Ben Sobol, Psychiatrist, has a few problems: His son spies on his patients when they open up their heart, his parents don’t want to attend his upcoming wedding and his patients’ problems don’t challenge him at all. Paul Vitti, Godfather, has a few problems as well: Sudden anxiety attacks in public, a certain disability to kill people and his best part ceasing service when needed. One day, Ben unfortunately crashes into one of Vitti’s cars. The exchange of Ben’s business card is followed by a business visit of Don Paul Vitti himself, who wants to be free of inner conflict within two weeks, before all the Mafia Dons meet.
Producers: Paula Weinstein, Jane Rosenthal
Director: Harold Ramis
Writer: Kenneth Lonergan, Peter Tolan, Harold Ramis
Based on the true story of Australian pianist David Helfgott, this delightful movie charts the traumatic early years through adulthood. Telling the story in flashback we see David as a child prodigy and as he grows up while his patriarchal father abuses him and his siblings with the memory of his childhood in Europe and the loss of his family in the concentration camps. David finally breaks away from his father and goes away to study overseas, he later suffers a breakdown and returns to Australia and a life in an institution. Many years later he is released and through several twists of fate (in reality even more unlikely than film portrays) he starts playing a piano in a bar before finally returning to the concert hall.
Producers: Jane Scott
Director: Scott Hicks
Writer: Scott Hicks
Due to his insistence that he has an invisible six-foot rabbit for a best friend, a whimsical middle-aged man is thought by his family to be insane – but he may be wiser than anyone knows.
Producers: John Beck
Director: Henry Koster
Writer: Mary Chase, Oscar Brodney, Myles Connolly
Roseanne McNulty may (or may not) be on the point of nearing her 100th birthday — but there is little certainty about this fact. In her twilight years, her destiny is uncertain, as the Roscommon Mental Hospital — her home for so many years of her life — is on the point of closing. As the fateful hour approaches, Roseanne spends her time of talking to her psychiatrist of many years, Dr Grene. The relationship between the two is strangely interdependent, and the doctor is also attempting to come to terms with the death of his wife. As we learn more about the two principal protagonists, we are presented with a rich and subtle picture of human relationships — and the (often unintentional) damages that we all do to each other
Prof Una Macleod HYMS: Don’t be put off by the accolades for this book. It is worthy of them. A beautifully written, moving story about an old lady, a psychiatrist, the Catholic church in Ireland. Useful to reflect on the power of religion in the lives of doctors and the role of doctors on bearing witness when that power is misused. Reflect on Dr Grene’s analysis: ‘As I do not seem able much to heal, then maybe I can simply be the responsible witness to the miracle of the ordinary soul’.
Publisher: Faber and Faber
To the French Riviera come Dick and Nicole Diver. Handsome, rich and glamorous, their dinners are legendary, their atmosphere magnetic. But something is wrong – Nicole has a secret and Dick a weakness. Together they head towards the rocks on which their lives crash – and only one of them really survives. Fitzgerald worked on seventeen versions of this novel, the obsessions of which consumed his marriage and his life.
Stephen Bradley HYMS: One of Fitzgerald’s best, about the descent into dissapation of a psychiastrist, from his promising youth to obscurity and disgrace.
Publisher: Penguin Classics
It’s not clear to me in the book whether Nicole gains in health at Dick’s cost, or in fact what really leads to his apparent dissolution, but I thought this quote rings true about the affect that caring for a family member can have. (Topsy is Dick and Nicole’s daughter and second child, the quote comes at a point when Nicole has ‘relapsed’)
Having gone through unprofessional agonies during her long relapse following Topsy’s birth, he had, perforce, hardened himself about her, making a cleavage between Nicole sick and Nicole well. This made it difficult now to distinguish between his self-protective professional detachment and some new coldness in his heart.
From what I remember it seemed that by compromising his ethics and getting involved with a patient Diver begins his decline. Fitzgerald seemed to be fascinated by failure and people doing what they want to do rather than what they should do. The beautiful & the damned is another other striking example. They all drink too much and lead dreadful lives not having the discipline to avoid any temptation that comes their way. There is almost a whole genre of books about wealthy americans being obnoxiously aimless in post war europe. Hemmingways ‘sun also rises’ is the best other example I can think of, highsmiths the talented mr ripley is an interesting variation. Fitzgerald & hemmingway are probably guilty of romanticising a fairly silly attidude but they’re enjoyable books.
Not sure why but 2 points are very memorable for me on diver’s trajectory: maybe his lowest ebb when he acts like a bigot and when a colleague’s wife condems him, noting that he is ‘no longer a serious man’.
Interestingly much of this book seems to have been based on Fitzgerald’s wife, Zelda, and her experiences of mental illness. She has written about this herself elsewhere.
The original televison series was broadcast on the BBC in 1986, the six episodes merge ‘storylines’ from three settings a ‘pulp fiction’ thriller, childhood memory and the hospital ward in which the main character is being treated for his severe psoriasis. Many aspects of the work were drawn from experience, the writer Dennis Potter suffered from psoriasis.
Credits: Produced by Kenith Trodd and John Harris. Written by Dennis Potter. Directed by Jon Amiel. Original music by Stanley Myers.
Cast: (Includes) Michael Gambon,
Patrick Malahide, Joanne Whalley, Janet Suzman, Lyndon Davies.
Date: Originally issued 1986.
Selima Hill has twice re-entered the underworld of mental breakdown through her poetry. Her earlier Accumulation of Small Acts of Kindness presented the strange diaries of a young girl before, during and after her treatment at a psychiatric hospital. In her recent collection, Bunny, she opened another door on madness, revisiting the haunted house of an adolescence cut short by breakdown. Now, in Lou-Lou, she goes back in time to meet her earlier self, sharing her pain, bewilderment and outrage as she retraces her steps through the institutional labyrinth.
Publisher: Bloodaxe Books Ltd
Boisterous, ribald, and ultimately shattering, Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nestis the seminal novel of the 1960s that has left an indelible mark on the literature of our time. Here is the unforgettable story of a mental ward and its inhabitants, especially the tyrannical Big Nurse Ratched and Randle Patrick McMurphy, the brawling, fun-loving new inmate who resolves to oppose her. We see the struggle through the eyes of Chief Bromden, the seemingly mute half-Indian patient who witnesses and understands McMurphy’s heroic attempt to do battle with the awesome powers that keep them all imprisoned.
Author: Kesey, Ken
Title: One flew over the cuckoo’s nest
Director: Forman, Milos
Distributor: Warner Home Video
Author: Faulks, Sebastian
Publisher:Vintage: New edition