Wednesday, February 16, 2011

if i were to review this film: phoebe's wonderland; or meditations on a sleepless morn, part III

continued from part I, wherein andrew compares not sleeping to digestion, and part II, wherein andrew recites shampoo instructions and says strange things about death scenes

for most of us, sleeping is a daily ritual that we don't bother thinking much about. we only give it attention when we're having difficulty doing what should come naturally, and then we go to absurd lengths to hasten its onset. for example, i sometimes lie in bed obsessing over the repetition of bizarre behaviors or imposing strange rules upon myself, all in a self-consciously irrational attempt to jump-start the REM sleep cycle.

but what about those people for whom such absurdities are an everyday reality? what about people for whom my dreaded hours on the border of that illusive sleep continent are a never-ending part of life, even in the daylight? 

i've had friends with mildish cases of obsessive compulsive disorder, and though i've tried to be sympathetic, it's hard to understand their inability to distance themselves from certain repetitive behaviors, and harder still to imagine how troubling those inabilities might feel to the people with the disorder. it's much easier to laugh. and so in a twisted way, i'm thankful for not sleeping, for getting a glimpse at how it might feel to contend with the arbitrary force of repetition. 

and i'm thankful for the film phoebe's wonderland, which takes a young girl with tourette's syndrome (a condition that's related to OCD but seems rather more serious) as its protagonist. the film has its issues--some of the non-tourette's characters seem over the top and the film gets off to a slowish start--but the actress's portrayal of a girl with tourette's and the family's complicated response to her condition are affecting and real.

to be continued . . .


rating: 11/17


Alex Jonson said...
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