Month: April 2007

Mostly Martha

Mostly Martha (AKA Bella Martha) is an absolute gem of a movie. This movie is not a blockbuster, it’s a small, nuanced character study but, what characters to study!

Martha is an obsessive compulsive German master chef who cooks, lives, worries and tries desperately to control everything and eventually loses control and loves. Martha is played by the German actress Martina Gedeck and she is outstanding. I’ve never seen her in another movie, maybe never will, but no matter, she nailed this part. I would say her performance is one of the best I’ve seen in any movie, ever. If you see this movie, make note of how Martha puts on her apron. It’s incredible how Martina Gedeck gets physical nuance. Her face, her gestures, everything.

For me, a dyslexic, to call a German movie with subtitles one of my favorites means something, believe me.

There is an American version of this movie coming out soon with Katherine Zeta-Jones in the lead. I’m sure I’ll see it but I can’t believe I’ll like it better than this original version.

My good friend David Darling did the some of the soundtrack for the German version along with Keith Jarrett.

xPad is back

Garret Murray has re-released xPad as a universal binary. And, its now free. Great.

xPad is a nice little notepad application for Mac OS X that I used for years. I’m delighted he’s putting time into it again as it’s a useful application.

I also use Yojimbo which is industrial stregnth xPad and more but I think there’s still a need for xPad. I’m glad to see it again.

Balancing Public Safety, Forced Mental Treatment

NPR’s Talk of the Nation had a great show on today: Balancing Public Safety, Forced Mental Treatment.

It’s also available through the iTunes Music Store as a podcast: Podcasts/NPR/Talk of the Nation.

This show both describes a broken mental health system and some of the good that’s come from advocacy groups helping psychotic patients learn how to live in a world that doesn’t understand them and is frightened of them.

Two things:

I’ve been with people having serious psychotic episodes two times in my life and these were the scariest experiences I’ve ever had. I would guess that the reason we find these things so frightening is that we can easily project ourselves into the psychotic person’s place. Dealing with someone who is seriously mentally ill is maybe one of the hardest things any family member or friend will ever do. This show will give you a taste of it from all sides.

As a person with a learning disability (LD) I latched on to the psychiatric rights movement (The Madness Network in my day) because there was no LD adult advocacy movement in the early days. I think social, political, and educational support for LD adults is still way behind the general disabilities rights groups as well as the psychiatric rights groups.

The most heartening voice on the show, to me, was that of David Oaks who is “out” as a psychotic adult and leads a successful psychiatric advocacy group. He both told it like it was and is and offered hope outside of traditional mental health support services which these days are all about psychotropic drugs.

This show is worth listening to.