Monday, November 27, 2006

James Cameron’s “A Crowded Room”

For a couple of weeks, we did something radically different. Screenwriter friends and I spent some time analyzing James Cameron’s A Crowded Room. (The link takes you to the script.)

Based upon the Daniel Keyes book, The Minds of Billy Milligan, this is the true story of
Billy Milligan, a man with a Multiple Personality Disorder. Summed up beautifully by Wikipedia, Billy “was the subject of a highly publicised court case in the state of Ohio in the late 1970s. After having committed several felonies including armed robbery, he was arrested for a series of rapes on the Ohio State University campus. In the course of preparing his defense, public defenders determined that Milligan had multiple personality disorder. Examination by psychiatrists suggested that two of Milligan's 24 personalities or "selves" had committed the crimes without the others becoming aware of it. Milligan pleaded an insanity defense, the first multiple to do so. He was sent to a series of state-run mental hospitals, such as the Athens Lunatic Asylum, where, by his report, he received very little help. While he was in these hospitals, Milligan displayed 23 selves.

The photo above is actually taken from the Athens Lunatic Asylum, now abandoned (and considered haunted). I’ll include more pictures of it with other reviews.

You can read Billy’s widely publicized statement
here in which he claims, “I've trained actors to play this role; Johnny Depp, Christian Slater, John Cusack, and Leonardo diCaprio, to enact MP as it really is and not as it is popularly seen.

You can also see a Japanese video of and about Billy Milligan

Listed below are the links to the reviews. Miriam, Bob, Nena, Pat, and Christina - thank you for your time and thoughts. Every review was constructive, insightful, and thoroughly edifying.



MM's Review

Miriam Paschal's Review

Bob Thielke's Review

Nena Eskridge's Review

Pat's Review

Christina Ferguson's Review