Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Past Film Events: Crooked Beauty - October, 2010

The Western Mass RLC will begin their fall film series titled ‘Alternative Perspectives on Mental Health’ at the end of this month.  The purpose of the series is to gather individuals across agencies, schools and the community to view films that offer new ideas or alternative perspectives about mental health experiences as a way of encouraging discussion and considering the potential impact and needs in our area.  The series will kick off with special screenings of ‘Crooked Beauty,’ by Ken Paul Rosenthal.  Ken will be traveling in from California to join us and lead discussion after each showing.  Crooked Beauty screenings are being co-sponsored by the Western Mass RLC, the Center for Human Development, the Brien Center, NAMI Berkshire County, Mount Holyoke College, Clinical & Support Options, Advocates, Inc, the Transformation Center and the Metro Boston RLC.



About the film (in the words of the filmmaker):  Crooked Beauty is a 35-minute poetic documentary that chronicles artist-activist Jacks McNamara’s transformative journey from childhood abuse to psych ward patient to pioneering mental health advocacy. She survived trauma from an alcoholic mother and battled her own substance-abuse issues when diagnosed as ‘bipolar’ at age 19 and incarcerated. Destined to overturn the stigmas usually associated with madness and develop authentic healing models for individuals diagnosed ‘mentally ill’, she co-founds The Icarus Project (theicarusproject.net),   an international support network and grassroots media project. Jack’s mission becomes an intense personal quest to live with courage and dignity, and a powerful critique of standard psychiatric treatments. Her poignant and revealing testimonials reach beyond the stereotypes of mental health problems to suggest that extreme sadness and sensitivity is not an illness, but a part of human experience to be explored with creativity and compassion.

Crooked Beauty’s lyrical visual style is integral to its subject matter. The film incarnates a new map for thinking about madness by connecting the fissures and fault lines of human nature to the unstable topography and mercurial weather patterns of the San Francisco Bay Area. Montages of urban and natural landscapes convey the fluctuations of mania and depression described in Jack’s narration. Her presence is further embodied through her paintings and collages, and excerpts from her poetry and journals. Thematically progressive and formally beautiful, Crooked Beauty reframes the diagnosis and treatment of madness as a tool of insight and integration for individuals who openly struggle with their mental health, and anyone who might feel ‘crazy’ in today’s chaotic world.

About the filmmaker: Ken Paul Rosenthal is an independent filmmaker, teacher, and a regional coordinator for the Bay Area Icarus Project. His films weave personal and political narratives into natural and urban landscapes. Ken holds an MA in Creative & Interdisciplinary Arts, an MFA in Cinema Production, and has taught film as a means of cultivating personal vision in workshops and universities nationally and internationally. He is a recipient of a Kodak Award for cinematography. www.kenpaulrosenthal.com


Check out www.crookedbeauty.com to view the trailer!


Crooked Beauty Screenings:


Monday, October 25: 5 to 7pm

Center for Human Development

332 Birnie Avenue, Springfield

Co-sponsored by the Western Mass RLC and Center for Human Development

Tuesday, October 26: 4 to 6pm

Berkshire Community College

Hawthorne Building, Room H207

1350 West Street, Pittsfield

Co-sponsored by the Western Mass RLC RLC, Brien Center and NAMI Berkshire

Wednesday, October 27: 6 to 8pm

Mount Holyoke College

Dwight Building, Room 101

50 College Street, South Hadley

Co-sponsored by the Western Mass RLC, Mount Holyoke College and Clinical & Support Options

Friday, October 29: 7 to 9pm Advocates, Inc.

1881 Worcester Rd, Framingham

Co-sponsored: Western Mass RLC &  Advocates, Inc.

Monday, November 1: 12 to 2pm

Allston Public Library.

300 North Harvard St, Allston

Co-sponsored: RLC &  Transformation Center

Tuesday, November 2: 6 to 8pm

Metro Boston RLC

Solomon Carter Full Center, Fuller Auditorium

85 East Newton Street, Boston

Co-sponsored: Western Mass RLC &  Metro Boston RLC


Additionally, Ken will be leading an artist’s workshop, “The Intertwined Threads of Madness and Creativity,’ on Thursday, October 28 in Greenfield.  See the Greenfield calendar for details.




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