Schizophrenia is a devastating mental illness which affects roughly 1 in a hundred people. It usually strikes first in the sufferer's teenage years (but can afflict anyone at any age) and leads to a life of visual and auditory hallucinations, delusions, and in many sufferers loss of enjoyment in things they used to find interesting and fun, no motivation and a paucity of emotional feelings. Schizophrenia is an illness which simultaneously horrifies and fascinates people. It has also intrigued film directors for several decades. Usually the director tries to recreate the mental experiences of the sufferer - to take us inside of all the horrors of the disease. A good film on schizophrenia is usually judged on the basis of its verisimilitude - how accurately the disease is portrayed. I have purposefully left out A Beautiful Mind, Through a Glass Darkly and I Never Promised You a Rose Garden as I have reviewed them in a previous article about Films with mental illness as a theme. This time, I wanted to focus in on schizophrenia completely as a theme by itself as it is a fascinating subject and there are lots of brave films that tackle it.
My first film watched was Carrie aged 2 on my dad's knee. Educated at The University of St Andrews and Trinity College Dublin. Fan of Arthouse, Exploitation, Horror, Euro Trash, Giallo, New French Extremism. Weaned at the bosom of a Russ Meyer starlet. The bleaker, artier or sleazier the better!