5/22/2006

Whirligig



made this film for my good friend and one time co-worker and music teacher Margaret Hancocks. Margaret is a brilliant flutist, I know a lot of people say stuff like that but it's not just my personal opinion as during the 70's she was celebrated as Australias premiere orchestral flutist in Europe and, among other amazing things, headed the Australian School of Music Woodwind divison. I met her when she was rehabilitating back into the workforce after her music career was cut short when she was institutionalised with bi-polar. I got to learn a lot about the illness during the time we worked together, notably that she is "plum crazy and has the government signed certificate to prove it". Yes, she has a wonderful sense of humour.

I guess this film is about what I've seen of people suffering from manic-depression rather than about the illness itself. I didn't really want to detract from the simplicity of the story so I didn't exactly spell everything out, so if you don't understand why I included something just ask and I'll explain what I was getting at.

If you are concerned about depression or someone who has depression you can always go here (Oz) or there are some links on this lovely persons page (USA).

Couple of apologies, firstly, I made this for the festival screening and it's not really suited to the small scale screen above, you'll have to take my word for it when I say how absolutely brilliant it looks on the big screen. Secondly, I couldn't find the final sound mix version (I have a suspicion it was on my old, now defunct, PC) so the sound levels between some of the scenes are a little dodgey. Ah well, if you want to see perfection, go look at an egg.

Take: 61

Blogger SafeTinspector mused...

Did you write this as well? It was very cool!

Tue May 23, 01:22:00 pm

 
Blogger SafeTinspector mused...

You are linked.

Tue May 23, 01:23:00 pm

 
Blogger Squid Vicious mused...

I looked at an egg. It was brown...

Tue May 23, 01:25:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

I'm not so sure that I wrote this so much as I made up the words a couple of hours before the voice recordings were due to begin and threw it onto paper for people to read. I basically knew what they had to be said but hadn't gotten around to actually writing. It was a fun process.

Cool, linkage, I'll get around to reciprocating that one day.

Tue May 23, 02:35:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Squid, thanks, did you enjoy the browness? Kinda perfect wasn't it?!

Tue May 23, 02:36:00 pm

 
Blogger L>T mused...

I enjoyed it very much on my initial watch. I'll watch it again tomorrow to get a better idea. I like how she floats around on her little world, :)

Tue May 23, 02:50:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Glad you enjoyed it l>t.

I was working on a rapidly failing kids program when I started doodling on the page and came up with the idea of the world in extreme forced perspective. I felt it suited the subject matter.

I'm still a little mad at Gorillaz for 'nicking' my imagery. Yeah, OK, they didn't but I'm going to claim it as mine because friends were surprised at how many windmill/floating islands cropped up after I released the film.

Tue May 23, 03:31:00 pm

 
Blogger JLee mused...

wonderful! I loved it. I have a dear friend who is bi-polar and one time when asked who my most "normal" friend was, I gave her name, forgetting her condition! There is no "normal"...Great job.

Tue May 23, 11:36:00 pm

 
Blogger Calzone mused...

You would have made me cry if I wasnt so full of hate.

Tue May 23, 11:52:00 pm

 
Blogger Squid Vicious mused...

Not exactly what I thought was going to happen when a "life saver" came toward her. I was expecting a piece of hard candy. I need to remember that y'all speak "funny" down there...

Wed May 24, 12:04:00 am

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Glad you liked it Jlee but I think normalcy is the one thing that people with bi-polar are striving for. It's not 'normal' to go and buy 20 cars in single day, or crawl under your desk at work and hide from your workmates, or to be seperated from your family and put in an institution.

With medication and monitoring and continued research into the illness I hope, on all that's good, that one day everyone who suffers from the illness, carers included, will be able to enjoy some sort of normalcy.

Wed May 24, 10:02:00 am

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

I hear you Zoner. There's not a lot that can change the ratio or bad days to good. It's perfectly human to hate that. And to cry.

Stay cool Dragon

Wed May 24, 10:08:00 am

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Well, Squid, we have some pretty great lifesavers down here, even if we are like white mexicans to our US brothers.

One of the most dangerous times for someone with depression or bi-polar is when they first come out of the pit (or this case dark box). They can easily succumb to mania and feel free and often that anything is possible, in that state sucicide becomes a viable alternative to slipping back again. Which is why the life-saver advises to put on sun screen or risk being burnt under the sun.

Wed May 24, 10:19:00 am

 
Blogger L>T mused...

"Extreme forced perspective" I love that!
Also the voices are awesome. (I listen to audio books alot, so i know what is pleasing in that way)
Right now, I am listening to your film w/out the video, just for shits & giggles. It is very good just that way.
Maybe tomorrow I'll do a real analysis. :]

Wed May 24, 10:21:00 am

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Yeah l>t, both Monica and Banjo are wonderful voice artists. There's a couple of points where I felt I could have directed them better. I re-recording some parts with the right intonations but could never get the levels to match again, because I'm not a sound engineer, so I used the original material. It's also interesting with the sound down, you notice the transitions more. They were fun.

I look forward to you analysis.

Wed May 24, 10:38:00 am

 
Blogger L>T mused...

Opps! hope I didn't lead you down the path of rosey expectations with the analysis statement.

My qualifacations? '0' but here goes;

I like how the story works on more then one level. It has substance.

In literature I've always loved short stories, because I like things contained, concentrated, encapsulated. Like sushi. :)
Some abstract paintings do the same for me. That way the artist has of capturing their own expression in a complex bundle of levels (like sushi, again)

I get the same 'fix' from this film. You have captured your expression. :) ****

Thu May 25, 01:07:00 am

 
Blogger ticharu mused...

Mental illness is all in the mind...

Thu May 25, 06:14:00 am

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

l>t, I think that could be one of the best compliments I've ever had, Sushi film... or are you just hungry??

Thu May 25, 09:16:00 am

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Hey Ticharu, OK, that had me laughing. But...

...and in our communities,

...and unfairly in the criminal justice system,

...and in the broken hearts of partners, friends and families.

...and

...and

...and

Thu May 25, 09:21:00 am

 
Blogger L>T mused...

Rich; I see you have commpasion for the mentally ill.That's wonderful because alot of people don't.
I had an older sister diagnosed as a manic/depressive & my oldest daughter has been diagnosed w/that & border-line personality disorder(they say). So I understood that aspect of the film, also.
If I can get my daughter to sit still long anuff, I'll have her watch it & see what she thinks.

Thu May 25, 10:30:00 am

 
Anonymous rich mused...

It's like anything people don't understand l>t, it's frightening, and leads to prejudices. Strangely enough that holds equally true for those who have it. Personally I think a lot of the emotional damage to those suffering these types of illnesses occurs when they have to face their own prejudices of what it means to be 'crazy'. We're all innately taught to fear that. I guess I just have more desire to understand the disease than fear to hide from it.

So, how has it been for you? Living with it so closely I mean.

Thu May 25, 11:13:00 am

 
Blogger L>T mused...

It's hard to understand how people think that aren't rational & logical all the time.
I have realized that mental illness & terminal illness, becomes a part of the persons identity & they use it to manipulate the people around them. I say this objectivly, not in a critical sense, not like it's delibrate, necessarily.
It's just that it becomes woven into the fabric of the person with the illness. does that make sense?

Thu May 25, 03:30:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Yeah, I find it hard to understand women too... hang-on, that's a different subject. ;)

Seriously though, it makes perfect sense, when something effects the way a person thinks it effects the core of the person. When they make a judgement call based on their thinking we can't expect their decision making to be uneffected by the illness.

I've come across some situations where I've believed the person is making a conscious choice to deliberately mislead others. But, that conscious choice IS effected by the illness; and let's not forget that the fear of the illness that the sufferer has makes them excellent actors, they're practiced at hiding their symptoms from others for fear of retribution and in that type of limited decision making ability they have been conditioned to decieve the people around them.

That is exactly one of the reasons why I firmly believe we need open dialogue about these illnesses. We need to make the concept of the illness an 'everyday' issue, which it is. That way we can start to get to the heart of the problem, the scientific, the brain chemistry of individuals, rather than the social phobias that destroy individuals and families.

Now it's my turn, does that make sense?

Thu May 25, 06:01:00 pm

 
Blogger L>T mused...

Yes! that's exactly it. You say it so much more eloquently then i do. I love it when people put my thots out there for me to see. :)

One of my best friends is a Psyco-therapist she works for the State Wefare system. She is very jaded about how the State deals with the mentally ill that are poor. Now, they are mostly just medicated. She says she's just a pill pusher. The State expects her to be & the patients expect her to be. It's the quick fix, but no one seems to have any thing better.

Fri May 26, 12:30:00 am

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Arrrghhh! The state!

They've been cutting funding from mental health services here for too long. It's impossible for people to to do their jobs properly and although medication is extemely important in treating depressive illnesses it shouldn't be the sole focus of treatment.

A classic example in my local area was a young guy who presented himself to a psyche care facility last year after his GP quickly diagnosed schizophrenia and gave him a prescription. And although he knew he needed treatment the facility didn't have a bed or someone to assess him. After being turned away, within 24hrs he ended up stabbing someone and himself outside our local video store and then being shot dead by police.

Just pushing the pills doesn't work and a lot of the time the only way for people to get treatment is after committing some sort of crime and ending up in jail where they're treated. There's really only one answer, better government funding. It's just a shame that it takes a case like the one above to highlight that and get some sort of action.

Fri May 26, 10:35:00 am

 
Blogger ticharu mused...

I didn't mean to be crass, it's an old joke, 'all in the mind'...
I just wonder if mental illness is getting worse and what it could be attributed to. Population pressures, environmental poisons of the industrial society, other factors???

Fri May 26, 12:08:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

It wasn't crass at all Tich. I got a laugh from it anyway.

I'm not really sure that the instances of mental illness are becoming more prevelant. It's only been a short time since the issue has gained a public voice. I don't know if the increased rates are from better detection and documentation of mental illness or if it's becoming more prevelant.

I am pretty sure that depression is on the increases as societal pressures build up. There's never enough hours in the day when you're living in the big smoke (not that I think Oz is exactly a society under huge pressure - we're pretty relaxed)

Fri May 26, 12:38:00 pm

 
Blogger ticharu mused...

I think humans, although more complex, display the same tendencies as any other animal in population overshoot. We do crazy things and try to asign elaborate reasons.

Fri May 26, 01:14:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

I'm not sure I completely understand Tich.

Although I do agree that populations are way out of control, I'm not sure that 'doing crazy things' in terms of mental illness are necessarily as a result of that pressure, well, that pressure alone. There's the whole brain chemistry thing, which I'm not sure (or I dont know) is environmental as there's people with these sorts of illnesses in every society.

Fri May 26, 01:24:00 pm

 
Blogger ticharu mused...

Certain types of mental illness are a natural variation in the human species, but take for example the gladitorial games of ancient Rome, was that a mental illness?
The riders of Ghengis Khan would surround a town and kill every living thing in the town in their conquest of a territory. Mental illness?
Angolina Jolie... mental illness???

It's a serious topic that warrents thoughtful discussion. It's hard sometimes to get my point across in this format. Just so you understand I mean no offence.

Fri May 26, 01:44:00 pm

 
Blogger Squid Vicious mused...

I have a desktop globe that is bi-polar.

Fri May 26, 01:45:00 pm

 
Blogger ticharu mused...

In ancient society a bi-polar individual might have been a prophet or a shaman so in that regard mental illness is a product of modern society.

Fri May 26, 02:03:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Yay! a Quiz!

1) Lead Pipes creating lunacy in the aristocracy and we know the popluace will turn up to anything celebrity endorsed. Look at American Idol.
2) There wasn't enough room at the dinner table for the ousted populace.
3) Of course! See answer 1??

I don't take offense very easily Tich. Just so you know

Fri May 26, 02:06:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

And that ladies and gentleman is why you have to Love the Squid man!

Fri May 26, 02:07:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

That's truly correct Tich, and in that respect smaller populations are better able to encorporate all people into their society. Great point! As long as there's enough production from the society to enable them to eat and survive then they'll be looked after.

I don't think that our populations are so 'poor' that we can't take care of people with illness. It's just a matter of determining the focus of the tax dollar.

Fri May 26, 02:11:00 pm

 
Blogger L>T mused...

I think both of you guys make a lot of good points. Mental illness is a complex issue. it has to do with the complex human mind, after all.

Fri May 26, 03:18:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Complex? huh? I don't understand?


Sorry, it's Friday afternoon here, almost beer o'clock, I can't take anything seriously at the moment.

Fri May 26, 03:58:00 pm

 
Blogger L>T mused...

Don't worry about it. :)

My last word on the subject:

What I mean is how do you study the human mind? Psychology seems to change it's mind every few years about what is the best way to treat the mind.
I could tell you stories about my time in reform school & games the psychiatrists & their students used to play on us. This was in the 1970's.
My friend tells me, "Oh that's old stuff, we don't do that anymore."
But, they still seem to be in that same state of experimentation.
Is it because it's not an exact science? because the mind just can't be grasped & picked apart like an egg?
That's what I mean by complex.

Fri May 26, 10:14:00 pm

 
Blogger ticharu mused...

Great thread last night!

Fri May 26, 10:45:00 pm

 
Blogger L>T mused...

hey, guess what? i got my daughter to watch the film. and her little friends, too. :) She liked it!!! really saw it.

Sat May 27, 09:11:00 am

 
Blogger L>T mused...

come & play the game on my blog

Sun May 28, 01:54:00 am

 
Blogger SafeTinspector mused...

Instances of spectacular abnormality SEEM up.
But I think it probably is the same as ever.
If you think about it, I get it this way.
The abnormal gets attention.
If there is a statistical probability of abnormality, say, 1/1000th, then when the USA had 150million we had far fewer than now that we have over 300million.
Each instance demands the same amount of public attention. But while the population and therefore the instances has been increasing, the amount of time the media has in the day has not increased. So the instances now fill a larger portion of media time than population proportion.
I thnkk?

Sun May 28, 01:07:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

l>t, I was actually joking that my mind lacked the complexity to understand what you were saying. You're right though, it is a lot to do with experimentation, electro-shock worked wonders for a lot of people, shame about the physical damage.

That's cool that your daughter watched it and liked it.

Mon May 29, 10:13:00 am

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Hey Ticharu, that's only cause there were cool people like yourself venturing ideas.

Mon May 29, 10:14:00 am

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

SafeT, Yes, yes, YES! It's probably also effected by the medias ability to create a live feed and show the story as it happens. Particularly if it is something that is spectacularly abnormal somebody will be there to film it and, whether or not we're on the other side of the world, we'll be watching it within hours of it happening.

Mon May 29, 10:21:00 am

 
Blogger Squid Vicious mused...

Hydrogen is capable of dipole-dipole bonding. The only other place this happens in nature is when an Antartican mates with a Innuit.

Mon May 29, 03:55:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

I don't want to alarm you Squid but no-one actual lives in antartica, well, except penguins. Which come to think of it might explain how penguins became bitonal...

Mon May 29, 04:08:00 pm

 
Blogger SafeTinspector mused...

I forgot about the chase-copter! That's a new element added to the news mix in the last two decades.

Mon May 29, 10:18:00 pm

 
Blogger L>T mused...

i see you played the game, but:
african dogs, illegitimacy & big rods? Very scary or very exciting.

Tue May 30, 12:27:00 am

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

SafeT, I think the weirdest effect it's had is that there are highly news-wrothy stories occurring that aren't getting air-time over less important events because the footage from the latter event is live or just better. It's almost like if it's not on video and it didn't happen 10mins ago then it's just not an event.

Tue May 30, 09:36:00 am

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

l>t, I'll take a little from column A and a little from column B. Or maybe I should have just turned to another page.

Tue May 30, 09:38:00 am

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

I probably should do another post here at some stage. I've been a little busy and/or social lately.

I may have something for you tommorrow. I have no idea what at this stage. Any suggestions??

Tue May 30, 09:44:00 am

 
Blogger L>T mused...

Something personal. :)

Tue May 30, 10:39:00 am

 
Blogger Squid Vicious mused...

Actually, people did live in Antartica. It was so cold, when they got undressed to copulate, the males would instantly lose their erections. So they died out.

Now the continent is inhabited by scientists.

Wed May 31, 11:54:00 pm

 
Blogger ticharu mused...

Scientists don't copulate but it won't save us!

Thu Jun 01, 05:25:00 am

 
Anonymous Athena mused...

I actually had to watch this twice to begin to understand it. first of all, how lovely, second how amazing that you were able to come up with these metaphors without having experienced it yourself! I am SO impressed! (like usual when it comes to you)

Did I mention you are a rockstar?

Tue Jun 27, 04:27:00 am

 
Blogger Wendy mused...

Beautiful. I love the color of people. I get it.

Wed Jun 28, 12:02:00 am

 
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Tue Jul 18, 10:17:00 pm

 
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Fri Jul 21, 06:31:00 am

 
Anonymous Anonymous mused...

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Sat Jul 22, 07:04:00 pm

 
Blogger fugusashi mused...

That was amazing.

I wish I could have viewed it on a better player.

Wed Aug 16, 07:22:00 am

 

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