Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Ann Arbor Film Festival

I attended the film festival on Friday March 30th for the All Divided Selves Screening by Luke Fowler. The show was at 7pm in the Michigan Theater Screening Room. It is a 2011 video that is 93 minutes long and is a 16mm on video.

Luke Fowler, the Artist, was expected to attend for a “Questions and Answer” session after the video but was unable to make it due to unforeseen circumstances.
It was based on the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s and Psychiatrist R.D. Laing. The video explored the mentally ill, such as people with schizophrenia and how psychiatrists treat these patients.

I found the video to be interesting. I have a slight background in psychology so I was able to follow the conversations in the video for the most part. However, I had a difficulty with the more technical psychological discussions and the artist tended to cut in and out of conversations. Also there were many still shots that were present during conversations that would randomly appear and in which I could not find a connection between the conversation and the images.

At the begging of the video, information was given about early asylums and how patients were mistreated with what at the time the doctors thought were treatments. I found this confusing because I was not sure if the audience was supposed to feel something for these people or if it was merely background information. Though as the video progressed, it had little to nothing to do with the rest of the content.

As for the videos redeeming qualities, it was certainly artistic. I feel that the video had a very overall documentary style, however at times it was as if the documentary was being mocked with the way people were cut off during their conversations and how Psychiatrist R.D. Laing was represented at one point being on a talk show while drunk and the audience approval of his behavior. With these abnormalities it creates an artistic feel to the otherwise documentary style.

Overall, I enjoyed the Ann Arbor Film Festival. It made for a night dinner and showing as well as the fact that I was able to see a recent work that I otherwise would not have seen.

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