Dir: Simon Pummell
Netherlands & UK/2011/86mins
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Web: Shock Head Soul
Official Selection: Venice
Judge Daniel Paul Schreber’s 1903 book Memoirs of My Mental Illness, detailed the author’s fall into ‘madness’. An experience that saw him imagining a writing machine with which he could communicate with God. Confined to an asylum for nine years and tormented by visions, his memoir offers an astonishing account of his experiences of ‘madness’ as well as becoming a classic of outsider art.
In the hands of visionary director Simon Pummell (whose previous credits include the BAFTA award winning Bodysong) the fascinating material becomes transformed into an absorbing, rich, visual feast, in which Schreber’s experiences are articulated via a fascinating and stylish combination of documentary and drama.
With its gloriously lavish design, combining occasionally unsettling CGI images and a meticulous attention to detail the film has been compared by Screen Daily to “the best of Peter Greenaway” while Variety stated: “its treatment at the turn of the 20th century, has all the weirdness, cerebral depth and envelope-pushing style that David Cronenberg's otherwise estimable Jung-Freud faceoff, A Dangerous Method, lacks.”
Screens with You & I, Brigitte