I experienced a psychotic episode a few years back, and am currently enrolled in the Transitions to Post-Secondary Education program at George Brown College. I have a background in Cinema Studies, and in creating a website for a TPE course assignment I have decided to fuse my interest in film with my experience relating to mental illness.
This project has a number of key antecedents, no doubt: I have in mind Steven Shaviro’s Post-Cinematic Affect (2010) and Kier-La Janisse’s House of Psychotic Women (2012) in particular. Shaviro’s book grew out of a series of blog posts for his website, The Pinocchio Theory, which address three films and a music video that indicate something of what it is like to live in the new media landscape of the 21st century (find more information at the Zero Books site). Shaviro engages with affect theory, which is a fancy way of saying that he examines a series of audio-visual texts for the visceral impact they might carry for viewers, which is very much what I intend to do on this site. The same goes for Janisse’s book, which melds autobiography and film analysis in a highly productive manner (more information at the FAB Press site here).
I do not pretend to approach the level of erudition offered by either of these publications, but simply offer them up as an example of what I intend to get up to on this site. What follows will be mental illness autobiography mixed with close analysis of some vital works of cinema, and I hope you will find the offerings here to your liking. This is not a medical resource, but I hope those who have or continue to suffer from psychosis, or who are interested in understanding something of the experience of those afflicted by the disorder, will find this to be a valuable forum for discussion. There is still a lot we do not understand about mental illness, and I find that the medical model in particular has its limitations on this score; this site is nothing more than my own modest contribution to what remains an ongoing dialogue.
Janisse, K. (2012). House of psychotic women: An autobiographical topography of female neurosis in horror and exploitation films. Godalming, UK: FAB Press.
Shaviro, S. (2010). Post-cinematic affect. Winchester, UK: O-Books.