Switching things up a bit this month, Cinema Project hosts All Divided Selves, the new feature-length, experimental documentary on infamous psychiatrist R.D. Laing, blending his life and impressions concerning mental illness into a simultaneously riveting and sometimes alienating piece that at teeters towards evoking the psychosis on which the film's subject was a self-proclaimed expert.
Watching director Luke Fowler's work on Laing doesn't so much invite one into a easily digestible knowledge of the man and his work as much as it conveys the reeling sensation of entering into a position located somewhere between Laing's ideas and the basis for his theories. All Selves Divided is a fascinating and uniquely discombobulating piece. By refusing to go the easy route of relaying Laing's story simply, Fowler has arrived at far more impressionistic, intoxicating, and, quite often, more troubling result.
Here's what Cinema Project has to say about the film:
All Divided Selves is a sensorially rich and intellectually engaging visual biography of the charismatic and controversial Scottish psychiatrist, R.D. Laing, and his contemporaries. Luke Fowler's feature-length experimental documentary is constructed from countless hours of historical film and video recordings of interviews, television appearances, and instructional documentation. The video loosely follows a historical arc that details Laing’s media-captured transition from popular professional practitioner into something like a cult hero. Scene after scene features Laing explaining the experiential dimension of psychosis in language that is mesmerizing and lucid. The low fidelity archival film footage also provides a gritty, dusty, and anarchic rendering of Laing’s post-war Glasgow punctuated by Fowler’s original and highly personal visual refrains depicting colorful, textured abstract landscapes and poetic, subtle imagery. Fowler further galvanizes the visual dimensions of his high-definition video work with a surround-sound score that features original field recordings and music by Éric La Casa, Jean-Luc Guionnet and Alasdair Roberts. The result is a psycho-phenomenological viewing and listening experience that will emotionally envelop, transport and haunt viewers.
Cinema Project presents All Divided Selves on Tuesday, November 27th and Wednesday, November 28th at 7:30pm. More info on the program available here.
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