December 19, 2005

New Schizophrenia Film: Hysterical Mind

Filmmaker Mike Kula of Lincoln, Nebraska graduated in 1997 with a Bachelors in Fine Arts from the University of Nebraska, at Lincoln. Mike has recently released his short (33 minute) film " Hysterical Mind" for purchase via the Internet and is also looking for new venues to promote it and show it around the country.

Mike Kula wrote, produced, edited and starred in the independent short film. Its a film he calls "funny and horrific at the same time." A film he created from his own experience, from his life with schizophrenia.

Although "Hysterical Mind" might be easily categorized as a film about schizophrenia, Lincoln, Nebraska filmmaker Mike Kula said he prefers to think of his video production as a work of art.

Artistic pursuits, however, are not often viewed as practical career goals. This conflict is evident in "Hysterical Mind." The main character, Mark (played by Jared Thompson), is obviously a talented painter. Throughout the film, however, he is confronted by a man in a custodian's uniform. Walter (played by Kula) tries to convince Mark that he is a custodian, not an artist. Other influential characters in Mark‘s confusing life also appear–sometimes unexpectedly throughout the film: musicians hosting jam sessions in his living room; waitresses pouring coffee in the diner; staff and patients at the mental health center; art instructors and students at the recreation center; and a girlfriend who, partway through the film, becomes the former girlfriend.

One review of the film says that:

"The film is comically disturbing and disturbingly comic at the same time. Some of the characters say and do funny things. But are we supposed to laugh? This is a serious topic. What about the young man in group therapy who insists he was rescued from a highway collision by a blonde Oriental woman named Yoko on a motorcycle? He's not really supposed to be funny. Or is he...?"

Another reviewer has said (of an early review version of the film):

"I found it hard to watch. Disturbing. Discordant. A bit jarring.
Much like living with schizophrenia must be."

The Lincoln Journal Star reported that another viewer, had this to say about the film:

"Stephen Griffith is Saint Paul's minister to the community. He saw the column about Kula's movie last January.

He knew Kula was looking for a place to screen his film. A way to get his message out to a wider audience.

"It struck me as something that I and we could do that would help us to learn and be a service to the community."

Part of the minister's job is working with people. Reaching out to those in need.

"The story just touched me personally," Griffith said. "I deal with people a lot. People I meet on the street. People who come in asking for help."

People in his church pews who deal with depression or voices in their heads.

"It really weighed on me."

So he contacted Kula.

He saw the movie. He was impressed.

"It's an inside look at schizophrenia," said Griffith. "I think that's just incredibly powerful."

Those who are interested in viewing the film, or offering suggestions for promoting the film, may contact Kula at:

Check out a trailer for the film here at Mike's Web Site:
Hysterical Mind - A Mike Kula Film Web Site

Additional Information: Lincoln Journal Star story: Cindy Lange-Kubick: Film about schizophrenia to show at church


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