Friday, June 15, 2012

OC87: The Obsessive Compulsive, Major Depression, Bipolar, Asperger's Movie

There's a striking nobility to Bud Clayman, who bracingly exposes his mental illness on camera, an immediate empathy to his struggle and pain.  In his documentary, OC87, Clayman is center stage baring his illness front and center with such a no-fuss grace and dignity, it raises a certain degree for anyone who has every battled depression, or a feeling of ill-at-ease emotionally.  Clayman, an aspiring filmmaker, has been afflicted with obsessive compulsive disorder, biopolar disorder and Aspergers since youth, a trifecta of social ailments that haunt his thoughts, temper his mood and ultimately affect his ability to process.  There's a surprising and thoughtful candor to his openness and, at times, playful strike back to his struggles.  Unfortunately, his film-- I'm sure envisioned as rousing ode to combating mental illness-- lacks the warmth and control of pacing to ultimately care for Clayman's strife.  It plays as more of a collection of home movies that chronicle his illness rather igniting anything insightful or awareness of the coping with such.  There's brief nods of insight, especially when Clayman is in therapy sessions, assured and reassured that his haunting thoughts are perfectly normal, just perhaps processed differently, but there's way too many pointless asides of Clayman the subject, and filmmaker, drifting of course reminding the audience that he ultimately feels nothing.  There's slight poignancy in his brief encounters with his even more emotionally detached father that point to signals of the formations of his problems, but Clayman merely pays homage to old man, meandering along.  It causes a degree of conflict in finding err with a film that clearly was made with more honorable intentions than most came close to, but there's a clear and distinctive emptiness in OC87 that comes close to vanity.  C

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