The blog reviewed here is ‘Movies and Mental Illness’. The blog is described as
‘A blog that Danny Wedding, Mary Ann Boyd and Ryan Niemiec will use in preparing the 4th Edition of movies and mental illness‘
While I wasn’t able to find many details in the contributors section about the authors at the time of writing, a quick google search reveals that Danny Wedding is a Professor of Psychiatry and that Ryan Niemiec has authored another book on positive psychology at the cinema. If my search results for Mary Ann Boyd are correct (I may have misattributed) then she is a prolific author of nursing books including textbooks. It thus appears that the group have produced a large and impressive body of work between them.
Appearance and Design
There is a white background with a white rectangular title section. The articles have a white background with orange text in the article title section. The main text in the article uses a black font. Articles also detail the author, comments and tags. On the right hand panel there are links to other sites of interest, previous posts and archives. I found it very easy to navigate through the archives section – the results are displayed on a single page. Further, the articles are displayed in full rather than needing the reader to click on a tab to reveal the full article (which would take up more time).
The first article in the database is a brief commentary on the 1948 film ‘The Snake Pit’. There are links within the articles to the relevant film details in the Internet Movie Database. What is interesting here as with other blogs is that the readers can contribute to the articles in the commentaries section adding different perspectives as in this post about the film ‘Off the Map‘ which explores clinical depression. I found this review of ‘Night Watch‘ to be quite interesting because Wedding writes that he is left puzzled after watching the film which seems to have no purpose. This in itself is useful as by showing us what a film shouldn’t be according to Wedding, we can work out what a film should be and this in turn gives a value to that same film. There were a number of reviews that draw attention to films with interesting subject matter and these include reviews of Mozart and the Whale on Asperger syndrome, Das Experiment which is apparently analogous to the famous Stanford prison experiment from 1971 and Grey Gardens exploring folie a deux.
This is an interesting blog which publishes a few articles in a month and at the time of writing there were four archived months in 2009. The articles are brief and focus on films that the author has found interesting. Some of the reviews are longer and focus on issues related to the films. This blog should appeal to those in particular who have an interest in the representation of mental illness in films.
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