Want to know what schizophrenia is like? This movie does a great job. (I have a relative who has it and subsequently have had to study it extensively.) Was talking to a policeman a couple years ago and he happened to mention that they are dealing with such folk 24/7 nowadays. The protocols each country utilizes for those who are mentally ill vary much. In the United States, the law protects the mentally ill until they harm others or themselves. Many States have completely done away with asylums and institutions. Where do such folk go now? Psych wing of the prison system.
It is against the law to be high on drugs or drunk at the wheel of a car. If you have a mental condition in which your subconscious is fabricating 60% of your conscious world? That's just fine, at least til something bad happens. Seems backwards to me.
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One of the best indie flicks in recent memory
maldoror_de_sade | the HI state | 02/22/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I caught attention of this hardly known gem at a local video store, noticing bold statements as "Dare to watch it" and "Boldest, most unforgettable film of the year." This is one film where you can believe the hype. Not since "Henry: Portrait of a serial killer" has a movie really shown an in-depth cinematic representation of the mind of a serial killer. But "Clean, Shaven" is a step above films like "Henry" and "Man Bites Dog". Winner of many awards, it tells a simple story of Peter Winter, a very dangerous schizophrenic just released from an institution, and his search for his daughter, while at the same time police are trying to catch up with him. Peter Greene is absolutely convincing as the deranged schizophrenic...he shows no emotion as he shaves his head and cuts his scalp in the process, nor is oblivous to pain during a very notable scene involving his fingernail and a very sharp object. And Kerrigan's excellent direction is what moves this film to near brillance...Instead of just telling the story with characters speaking to one another, he forces us into the mind of the schizophrenic. The movie is told mainly by images and sounds, as if what Winter was really experiencing...scenes are made unsettling by disturbing sampling and music, with long scenes of almost surreal images, intesifying the tension of the movie. After watching "Clean, Shaven", you'll have the feeling of meeting a real-life schizophrenic. Not many movies can boast this fact, nor make it realistic, but "Clean, Shaven" does that, and more. One of the most unforgettable films, indie or not, in the past few years."
email@example.com | Seattle | 01/29/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My, oh my...This is the direction that more filmmakers should take. I don't believe that I have ever been so impressed by the imagery of a film from a first-time director as this. Lodge Kerrigan sees angles, shots, and displays mood better than most experienced directors, bar none. Picking Peter Greene to play the lonely schizophreneic is a stroke of casting genius, and all the more amazing, given Greene's penchant for self-destructiveness. The movie is very disturbing, particularly if you have children, and I wouldn't hesitate to keep them out of the viewing room, but the attention to detail is truly jawdropping, given the minute budget. This film was made over the course of 2 years, and although Greene doesn't appear to age, Kerrigan's film shows a tremendously well thought out visual flair. Visually, it reminded me of some early David Lynch works, minus the strange pointlessness and perverse sexuality. Altogether, a wonderful first effort, and an amazing, although largely unseen, performance from Greene. If you can keep your eyes on the screen, you will be shocked and mesmerized."
Honest, disturbing, unforgettable
Vincent Arquillière | Warsaw, Poland | 06/11/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm French and I had read very good reviews about this movie, but I just saw it on TV a few weeks ago, under the name "Psychopath". I was really impressed. Sometimes it is rather difficult to watch it, because of the breathtaking atmosphere, and some scenes are really gorey. But it is one of the only films where you really get INTO the head of a schizophrenic, and it's frightening. The sound work is just incredible, with the mixed radio frequencies (even in French version). David Lynch's "Eraserhead" is maybe the only other film where, from the beginning to the end, experimental sound effects are so important. The plot is maybe just a bit light and blur, but Peter Greene has such a strong presence. And Lodge Kerrigan manages to bring some emotion in a very cold, clinic and stripped down filming: it's not just a brilliant stylish exercise, it's also a deeply moving human artwork. Definitely great, deserves to be discovered."
Kim Anehall | Chicago, IL USA | 01/13/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Clean, Shaven will shake the audience as they follow a young schizophrenic man frantically attempting to find his adopted daughter. The young man is traumatized by serious hallucinations and severe paranoia that emotionally and socially shake his everyday life . As the audience is following the footsteps of the young man, it is next to impossible to avoid attributing some additional characteristics to his other bizarre behaviors. These attributions will influence the audience's perception of the young man and his behavior among other people. Clean, Shaven uses the psychological disorder of a young man as an engine to create a story with true realism that will, in the end, cause pondering."
Really moving, disturbing to the point of...madness
J from NY | New York | 04/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
""clean shaven" is one of the most horrifyingly disturbing movies i've ever seen, and it is unbelievably depressing. i love insanity trip/art house/horror movies, but this movie was a little much even for me. i admired the movie enormously for the obvious value it has a red flag for how severely needy and intensely mentally ill people are simply unloved even by those who should love them most and how cold and unfeeling our society is towards them, but would not watch it again for twenty dollars. keep in mind, however, that if you're looking for art house' madness this ain't it, it's simply the real thing in sad, full, sickening color. this is not "fun" weird at all--this is just poignant and devastating filmmaking. the only thing i would criticize are the many questions left unanswered, such as who nicole's mother really was and how she died, how peter managed to even get out on the street, etc. but all in all this movie is one of the most powerful i've ever seen, and absolutely important. it almost made me want to cry, and movies never do that to me."