Jane Arden’s violent and powerful adaptation of her work with The Holocaust women’s theatre troupe looks into the mind of a woman labelled schizophrenic and finds, not madness, but tortured sexual guilt created by the taboos of society.
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The Other Side of the UnderneathDirected byJane Arden
A claustrophobic, harrowing but important film. Boldly taking us into the minds of female psychiatric patients in Wales, with discordant screeching sounds and searing, hallucinatory images, director Arden challenges social attitudes and the repression of sexuality. Scenes with romanies and some black children underline the shared status of powerless outsiders, as the freedom of a more natural life beckons.
I saw the work print of this, with 20 more minutes than the final version. Some of the additional scenes don't work at all and make the first half even more difficult to get through than it already is. But many moments astonish and terrify, and it all adds up to the most gruelingly accurate depiction of a schizoid mindstate on film.
3.7 stars. All the art bros who force unwilling girlfriends to watch 'Irreversible' should be locked in an empty room and made to watch this. It made me feel like I was being possessed by someone who wanted to vomit through the means of my body. Like Artaud directing a Sarah Kane play while in a very bad headspace, marm. Projecting this on buildings w/ hidden speakers might just finish the Tories off, y'know...
Sometimes intoxicating, always nauseating. /
"What is a schizophrenic?"
"Oh, my God, there are so many
different definitions, you see, depending upon
the psychiatrist who's making it."
"So it's entirely through his eyes?"
"It is, exactly."