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I am a 22 year old student at Kingston University, studying an MA in Film Studies. My blog is about my interaction with film (my passion) and theatre events. Occasionally I will discuss music and trips I make to concerts, galleries and museums.

Sodebergh’s Side Effects and the mental health debate

1 April 2013

Blog

Warning: This review contains some spoilers I was curious about the release of Stephen Sodebergh’s new film, Side Effects, especially when I heard that there was a discussion of mental illness within the film. The cast put me off at first; Jude Law, Rooney Mara and Channing Tatum are certainly not my favourite actors, but I was willing to give this film a go as I expected it would soon be getting a lot of positive attention from the critics (much like Soderberg’s other films such as...

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Silver Linings Playbook (2012) starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence

11 December 2012

Blog

This is a funny and honest look into the lives of two people living with mental illness.  The film opens as Pat (Bradley Cooper) is being checked out of Baltimore mental hospital by his mother. He moves back into his family home with his parents and tries to get back together with his ex – wife, Nikki (Brea Bee). As he moves back into his parents’ home he tries to adjust to the world around him as he faces ups and downs with his health and shows that peoples’...

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Untouchable (2011) starring François Cluzet and Omar Sy

19 November 2012

Blog

film still of a man dragging a wheelchair-user backwards through thick snow

Released on 21 September, Untouchable is a French comedy-drama film directed by Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano This French film has received a lot of hype since its world premiere at the San Sebastian Festival on September 24 this year. Normally the films surrounding the hype are good, just not fantastic. This film however, seems to live up to the hype. It takes a refreshing look at disability, following Philippe (François Cluzet), a quadriplegic and his growing friendship...

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Gabby's film blog gives an overview of disability at The Oscar ceremonies over the past decade or so

5 July 2012

Blog

When reviewing 'A Beautiful Mind' I became just as irritated at the reception to the film as the film itself. It is annoying that film-makers consistently make lofty movies. However, they know that it will be a hit at the box office. Hollywood mainstream movies have made fluffy movies that are aiming to be inspirational but are far too condescending to show true emotion. Take a film like 'Rain Man' (1988). This is one of many films where the lead actor gets the Best Actor Oscar...

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A Beautiful Mind (2001) starring Russell Crowe

30 May 2012

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film still in which actor Russell Crowe is portrayed looking anxiously through a set of blinds

Despite the fact that this movie was very well received, including winning the Best Picture Oscar at the 74th Academy Awards Ceremony (2002), the film’s representation of mental illness is not dissimilar to 'Benny and Joon'. Both films depict sentimental and condescending portrayals of mental illness. ‘A Beautiful Mind’ opens with a dramatic and slightly eerie score, which propels the audience into the mind of Nash, as played by Russell Crowe. The film is a biographical...

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Temple Grandin (2010), starring Clare Danes

24 April 2012

Blog

A DVD cover showing Clare Danes as Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin is an animal behaviour expert and autism advocate. HBO recently (2010) made a film following her early years staring Clare Danes for which role Danes won a Golden Globe. The film shows Temple on her path to university and sees some of her past in flashbacks and a bit of what she managed to accomplish after she finished her studies. The film really makes the viewer see life through Temple’s eyes. Therefore, you get a sense of what it is like being autistic, such as being...

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Benny and Joon (1993), starring Johnny Depp

24 April 2012

Blog

flyer image portraying the three main characters in the film Benny and Joon

I recently came across Benny and Joon, as part of my film course. Directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik and released in 1993, this movie is a typically Hollywood representation of mental illness, despite being an enjoyable romantic comedy/drama. The character of Joon is said to be suffering from a mental illness, but it is unclear what she is suffering from; she is only referred to as “mentally ill”. Psychology students have suggested different diagnoses, one suggesting she is an...

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Bringing a safe space to disabled students at Kingston university

3 February 2012

Blog

yellow drawing of a sun with a face

I have recently started a society at my university called Safe Space. This offers a safe space for people with, or knows those with, disabilities and mental health issues. It will be a place where people affected by disabilities can come and talk in a safe and friendly environment. The picture on the right is now the picture for the Safe Space group page on facebook (KU Safe Space Society). My sister drew this picture. She has a speech difficulty but when she is using her talents in art, her...

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