Frames of Mind: Madness of the Muses
20, 2006 –
Britain 2000. Director: Julien Temple
Cast: Linus Roache, John Hannah, Samantha
Morton, Emily Woof, Emma Fielding
the delirious story of passion, betrayal, madness and addiction
that binds two of history’s most acclaimed poets: Samuel
Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth.
The film opens in 1816, where Wordsworth (John Hannah),
about to be named poet laureate, is throwing a lavish party.
An unsteady Coleridge (Linus Roache), ravaged
by an opium addiction, crashes to the floor — and we move
back in time to 1795 and the first meeting of the poets. The
film charts the friendship between Coleridge and his wife Sara
(Samantha Morton) and Wordsworth and his sister
Dorothy (Emily Woof); the creative collaboration
between the men; and Coleridge’s use of opium to enhance his
creative visions. When the latter’s The Rime of the Ancient
Mariner becomes the backbone of their hugely successful
first publication, Lyrical Ballads, Wordsworth is jealous.
But as Coleridge’s opium use takes its toll, Wordsworth’s ambition
takes over. He turns his back on his old friend, marries prudish
Mary (Emma Fielding), and engineers a new life
of respectability for himself — even going so far as to
calculatingly remove Coleridge’s Kubla Khan from their
second collaborative book, convincing the author it lacks any
merit. Bringing to mind all the drama and outrage of Mozart and Salieri (not
to mention Lennon and McCartney), Pandaemonium is
an iconoclastic costume drama from the director of The Great
Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle and The Filth and the Fury. Colour,
DVD. 124 mins
Frames of Mind is a monthly film event utilizing film and video
to promote professional and community education on issues pertaining
to mental health and illness.
with Ramon Kubicek. A writer, artist, and educator, Ramon currently
teaches film history as well as art and design history at Emily Carr
Institute and Langara College. He has published essays, short fiction,
poetry, criticism, and two books on art, including One Source: A
Celebration of Spirit and Art.
Moderated by Dr. Harry Karlinsky,
Director of Continuing Medical Education and Professional Development,
Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.