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A story about a peculiar method
September 28, 2012 5:20 PM   Subscribe

Adelaide is a short movie about a woman who seeks attention in a very particular way.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (21 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's pretty good for what it is, but it's pretty odd to treat a real illness like Münchausen syndrome as nothing more than a quirky premise. In the real world you'd hope Adelaide got a proper diagnosis and treatment, not someone who thinks her illness is a thrilling ride.

Just...odd.
posted by howfar at 5:46 PM on September 28, 2012


" but it's pretty odd to treat a real illness like Münchausen syndrome as nothing more than a quirky premise"

Aren't a lot of movies based on something "real" (illness, event, situation, etc) used as a plot point in some manner?

Good link, Brandon, thanks...
posted by HuronBob at 6:03 PM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


This film completely creeped me out and I could not finish it.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 6:08 PM on September 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Stopped at the three minute mark. Wow.
posted by andreaazure at 6:20 PM on September 28, 2012


Aren't a lot of movies based on something "real" (illness, event, situation, etc) used as a plot point in some manner?

Of course, what I found odd was the way this strips it of any context. It just becomes "something odd about the character". Now, maybe that's the intent. Perhaps we're meant to have our attitude toward mental illness nudged, but unless one is a little familiar with Münchausen, that's not going to happen. The film seemed to me to treat certain visible symptoms (medical knowledge, abdominal scarring) as props, without being interested in Adelaide's internal life very much. It seemed largely preoccupied with the performance of critical illness and its dramas, when the real issue in Münchausen is as much or more to do with the performance of care.

The characters seem to be reduced to their symbolic and structural elements, without much concern for why a particular person might actually act in the way that they do. There seems to be little interest in the lived experience of the characters as people. Mental illness becomes a defining characteristic, rather than an aspect of a whole being.

Just trying to puzzle out what made me uncomfortable about the approach this took.
posted by howfar at 6:24 PM on September 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


I was cheering for the Skippy.
posted by hal9k at 6:39 PM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I found it darkly funny and, best of all, without the annoying trendy music that all these indie shorts always seem to have to have. Cheers, Brandon.

(And, no, I am not a sociopath. I am quite familiar with Münchausen, and have even known a sufferer. The darkly funny part for me were her prediagnoses delivered in a perky deadpan.)
posted by Samizdata at 6:49 PM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I cannot explain why I like this. I should not like this. In general, I feel that mental illnesses have too much stigma, and are too often misunderstood, that they're in a territory of "no" when it comes to irony or nonchalance or a twisted viewpoint or whatever.
But I don't know. I like this. I like all the terrible pink, and the close-crop shots, and the tiny little details like that. And I liked Adelaide's voice and the fact that her room was like a 6 year-old's, but had anatomy posters in it and I liked how that was completely normal to the dude. It was dark, definitely, but it pulled it off.
posted by FirstMateKate at 6:51 PM on September 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, that was seriously awful and creepy. I don't know if any of you ever had a relative with Munchausen's who threw herself down a staircase, broke her neck, refused to take an ambulance, and you had to take her to the ER with your own car, then she wore a cervical halo for a year. You wouldn't find anything amusing about that horrid film.
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:02 PM on September 28, 2012


I thought it was darkly funny as well, Munchausen's and all.
posted by schroedinger at 8:09 PM on September 28, 2012


...you wouldn't find anything amusing about that horrid film.
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:02 PM on September 28 [+] [!]


No one said it was amusing. One person said it was "darkly funny", and the other person [me], said that it was dark and it "worked", though by all accounts it should not have.
I've dealt with mental illness my whole life. Through family, through friends, through a lot of things. Can we please not turn this into a whos-suffered-more-and-therefore-gets-to-ultimately-say-if-its-appropriate-or-not battle?
posted by FirstMateKate at 9:03 PM on September 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


If it was funny, I didn't get it. If it was attempting to make me look at Munchausen's in a different way, I didn't. If I was supposed to be intrigued by her getting a conspirator in her disease, I wasn't.

This didn't work for me on any level.
posted by mreleganza at 9:43 PM on September 28, 2012


I enjoyed it, but I didn't interpret it as any kind of statement about mental illness. People who really have Munchausen's, at least in my experience, are nothing like this. This woman's behavior was too conscious, too calculated. In the real world, people with Munchausen's cling much more persistently to their identification as a helplessly ill victim than this character, who had moments of wellness in between episodes where she was able to plot her next move. I mean, I get that the director used Munchausen's as a jumping off point, but as someone who's witnessed plenty of real misery from people who use their illness for secondary gain, this was far enough removed from reality to qualify as "quirky fantasy" rather than "let's mock crazy people." Dangerous water to tread for certain, but I agree: they pulled it off, rather skillfully in fact.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:47 PM on September 28, 2012


It's peppy and I liked the beat. Seriously.
posted by rainbaby at 10:12 PM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I thought it was entertaining and well done. And if you swap out the physical for the mental it is the story of that one girl in college who's life was a perpetual tragic drama and the boy she met who bought into the whole thing.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:17 PM on September 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Here is an antidote short-film (or maybe a comparison film). It's starts similarly at least, but is subtly different in that I liked it :)
posted by anonymisc at 1:10 AM on September 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


What a bunch of joyless crap.
I found this engaging and cute, if dark. It's fucking fiction, ya'll, not everything has to have a deep message or treat serious issues seriously. Did you find Bubble-Boy unwatchable because auto-immune diseases are a real issue?
Sticks in the proverbial mud.
posted by mikoroshi at 3:19 PM on September 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


This was just an introduction and setup. Things get really interesting after this, where two demented individuals get crazier than they could have individually.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:26 PM on September 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I liked it. So, there's that.
posted by 1000monkeys at 10:22 PM on September 29, 2012


You wouldn't find anything amusing about that horrid film.
posted by charlie don't surf at 11:32 AM on September 29 [+] [!]


Eponysterical.

Adelaide reminded me a lot of Secretary.
posted by gingerest at 11:10 PM on September 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


anonymisc, I found that short much creepier.
posted by FirstMateKate at 8:26 AM on September 30, 2012


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