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January 06, 2005
New Movie - "See Grace Fly"
Read more... Schizophrenia Books, TV, Movies & Plays
A new Canadian movie that is a fictional story of a woman that has schizophrenia, was released last month. We haven't seen the movie - but it sounds (perhaps) a little too dark for viewing by people with schizophrenia. It does sound like a good film for people inexperienced in schizophrenia, and who want to see a realistic movie related to the topic.
The basic overview of the movie is:
Grace McKinley is a brilliant 38 year-old woman with schizophrenia. When her mother dies, Grace's actions become increasingly erratic. She takes two weeks to report the death, and in that time is sent a shattering message that only she can decipher.
Grace's younger brother Dominic is a repressed yet courageous missionary working in war-ravaged Sierra Leone. Called home to arrange his mother's funeral, he is at the same time forced to deal with Grace's uncertain future and their forgotten past. The problem is, wanted by the police for questioning, and with her life threatened, Grace has disappeared onto the streets of Vancouver, fuelled by an indomitable will to spread her secret to the masses.
Reviews of the movie have stated:
""See Grace Fly", an award winning Canadian Independent Film, is finally ending its long battle for the big screen. Shot over 20 days in various locations around Vancouver, British Columbia in 2003, the film was made for a minuscule $65,000 and "the kind of favours you only ask once," as one of its stars Paul McGillion put it. Obviously the audience at the Vancouver Film Festival last September didn't notice, because both original showings received a standing ovation.
From Dark Horizons http://www.darkhorizons.com/news04/041203h.php
"Portrayals of mental illness on-screen tend to fall into one of two extremes: incredibly convincing (think Rain Man or What's Eating Gilbert Grape) or painfully embarrassing (think Radio or The Other Sister). When directors attempt to deal with schizophrenia they take on an even greater challenge, as it's arguably the most misunderstood mental illness. Ron Howard went the biographic route in 2001 with A Beautiful Mind, focusing on the romantic, dramatic and academic life of John Forbes Nash Jr. Now, Canadian director Pete McCormack tackles a grittier, darker side of the disease with his debut film See Grace Fly.
Set in and around a perpetually overcast Vancouver (even interior shots seem especially shady), the film follows a schizophrenic woman (Gina Chiarelli), recently off her medication, who abandons her home when her mother dies and then roams the streets proclaiming the second coming."
There are a number of negatives aspects to the film cited in the review... "there's a host of yawn-inducing cinematic techniques, such as the old open-the-closet-door-to-reveal-a-painful-childhood-flashback scene. And when Dominic won't quit harping about how tormented he is from his experiences baptizing children in Sierra Leone, it just makes the ears ache."
"But focus on Grace, and the slip-ups begin to fade into the background. This may be a typically Canadian film, what with its bleak landscape and strained dialogue -- but it's more than just a rough-around-the-edges treatment of schizophrenia. See Grace Fly is an unsettling yet endearing portrait of a woman who doesn't know whether to challenge her family or herself.
Rating two 1/2"
Source: The National Post (Canada)
An excruciatingly tiny budget means that occasional great-looking scenes are forgotten in a visual context that's mostly bland and badly lit. But the guerilla-filming tactics also yield some of the movie's most extraordinary moments, such as an unforgettable sequence where Grace distributes yellow sticky notes to drivers stopped in traffic: real drivers, real traffic, real risk and energy.
The film's fans—and they are many, judging by a handful of festival awards—feared that technical problems would hurt its chances for theatrical release, but heart and artistic ambition have triumphed. See Grace Fly is opening in select Canadian cities and will soon be available to American viewers through www.cineclix.com.
I'd rather see a flawed but gutsy film like See Grace Fly than the kind of plastic perfection so often served up at the multiplex. Leonard Cohen wrote about the cracks in things, "That's how the light gets in." The consumer-tested design and polished surfaces of so many commercial films render them unlikely to bring us much spiritual truth—at least, not the incarnational kind that shone through when Jesus took on flesh and lived out a dusty, sweaty life in Palestine. But where big money projects can fail, a rough and passionate project like this might just succeed. And whatever you make of the film's artistic and technical shortcomings, there is no denying its fierce integrity, and the power of Gina Chiarelli's heart-hurting performance.
For more information see:
See Grace Fly - Movie Web Site - http://www.seegracefly.com/index2.html
Posted by szadmin at January 6, 2005 03:29 AM
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