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Memoirs of My Nervous Illness (Unrated)





Release Date: December 15th, 2006 (Cinema Village) by Abject Films.
The Cast: Jefferson Mays, Robert Cucuzza, Joe Coleman, Lara Milian.
Directed by Julian P. Hobbs.

BASIC PREMISE: At a 19th Century asylum, Daniel Paul Schreber (Mays), a German judge, suffers hallucinations while under the care of Dr. Flechsig (Cucuzza).

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Memoirs of My Nervous Illness, based on the real memoirs of Daniel Paul Schreber, would have been more fascinating as a documentary. This fictionalized account feels just as bizarre and pretentious as the recent, very loose biopic Fur about Diane Arbus. Despite a brave performance by Jefferson Mays as Schreber, the plot and character development feel very thin and lack anything truly engaging to hook you in. Much of the film feels like a Guy Maddin movie given the washed out colors and imaginative visuals, but the dull script by co-writer/director Julian P. Hobbs lacks imagination and surprises and, in turn, makes you feel distant toward Schreber or his doctor. The tension-filled relationship between Schreber and Dr.Flechsig feels interesting at first but quickly becomes tedious, even during a crucial point when Schreber experiments with his transsexual feelings. Hobbs certainly does a great job of capturing Schreberís madness visually, but he ultimately fails to keep you engaged with the thin plot or with any of its characters.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: Unfortunately, none.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Mostly pretentious and dull.

NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 8

IN A NUTSHELL: Imaginative visuals and a brave performance by Jefferson Mays donít help to enliven the mostly pretentious and dull plot.

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: VHS/DVD


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