Memoirs of My Nervous Illness

Film

Time Out says

When German judge Daniel Paul Schreber went cuckoo—he said God sent him telegraphs through sunlight—he did it with panache. His lucid 1903 account of schizophrenia and gender confusion rocked his readers, including Freud and Lacan. In Julian Hobbs’s film, doctors still can’t keep their hands off the memoir—as Schreber (Mays) twitches, his pop-eyed psychiatrist Flechsig (Cucuzza) tries to snaffle the diary. But the doc (and Hobbs) should have let it alone. Though decent period mustaches may have been beyond the film’s reach, nothing can excuse the sodden text and Cucuzza’s manic overacting. Despite a staggering commitment from Mays, the piece tips calamitously into absurdity. Memoirs may be about schizophrenia, but this film is pure hysteria. (Opens Fri 15; Cinema Village.) — Helen Shaw

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