Still photo, Bud Clayman, at City Hall, Philadelphia, from his film, "OC87".
I've shared here that my former student (and Open Salon member), Bud Clayman, made an extraordinary, award-winning film about his decades-over-decades struggle to come to terms with and to overcome a complex of mental illnesses.
Bud's film, OC87, opened in New York City yesterday to terrific critical acclaim.
The film may be seen in Manhattan at the Village East Cinema.
Here are quick-takes from The Huffington Post and from National Public Radio, followed by the full New York Times review. It has garnered numbers of terrific write-ups.
(And, as I told you well back, I'm in the film...for abt two (2) full minutes -- bc after high school Bud needed a place to stay so I invited him to stay at my place and he did for a few years--. Stardom, Here I Come!)
"A remarkable achievement for the filmmaker… a film of surprising intimacy." - Huffington Post
Filmmaker Puts His Mental Illness on Screen
“This is not a film about hand washing,” says Bud Clayman at the start of “OC87,” adding, “It’s a film about the fear of acting on thoughts.” Mr. Clayman has obsessive-compulsive disorder — specifically “harm O.C.D.,” which involves intense anger and violent imaginings — and Asperger’s syndrome, which inhibits the grasp of social cues. This moving, penetrating documentary records his attempt to describe his conditions, confront them and learn to manage them.
Mr. Clayman, who experienced depression in high school, studied radio, film and video production at Temple University, and moved to Los Angeles after graduation, only to suffer a breakdown. (The title comes from 1987, when he had his darkest hour, a withdrawal from human interaction.) For eight years he lived at Project Transition, a therapeutic community in Pennsylvania, to receive treatment. In “OC87” he retraces those steps, and visits his parents, psychologists, an actor on “General Hospital” with bipolar disorder, and a San Francisco news anchor with O.C.D.
“My O.C.D. tells me that I must control every thought and every action perfectly,” Mr. Clayman says.
We get vivid, subjective glimpses into his mind-set, feeling his unease as he walks down a street, his struggle in a diner to gauge the proper length of time for, say, glancing at someone. (Less attention is paid to Asperger’s; we must wait for that definitive video diary.)
On camera Mr. Clayman has a tentative and preoccupied mien, but he is persistent in reaching for self-improvement. And there is change: his squalid apartment is made over; he speed-dates; he participates (impressively) during karaoke. He also laughs, interacts, expresses gratitude and tries hard to listen closely to others. His problems often seem like agonizingly exaggerated versions of everyone’s. We can learn from his solutions.