Thursday, September 14, 2006

An Angel at My Table (1990)

I just heard on The Writing Show that writers are more likely to have a sibling who has schizophrenia. The implication being that successful writers are this close but only this close to crazy.

I agree.

An Angel at My Table shows how in some cultures and eras that line between creative/shy and officially insane is easy to cross. Janet Frame spent eight years in a mental hospital under a wrongful diagnosis of schizophrenia.

Janet's is a troubled and troubling journey, but one word just kept coming to me as I watched this: delightful. This is a hard journey, but unlike Cape Fear, you're touched instead of discouraged.

Kerry Fox in her first role out of film school is wonderfully transparent. She puts on screen the feelings we've all experienced of not belonging, of being afraid to reach out, of not knowing who you are and what you have to offer.

Watching a movie this well-made about one of New Zealand's best-known authors made me want to read more NZ literature. That can only be a good thing eh!


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