Short Films: The Thorazine Shuffle: from The Dandelion King

also, check out:

It was the 1970’s and Metropolitan State Hospital was the first place my mother worked after her divorce. The film ‘Hurry Tomorrow’ (1974) by Richard Cohen and Kevin Rafferty showed the state institution which abused its power to medicate and incarcerate and individuals who struggled with both the institution and their own illnesses. The animation experiment above is a part of the short animated film “The Thorazine Shuffle” (in progress, 2014) which uses hand drawn animation to tell an impressionistic story of my mom’s job in the public mental health field, direct cinema representation of this world, and mental illness from the perspective of a young girl’s imagination.  This is the first in a series of short animations linked to ‘The Dandelion King’ graphic novel (see earlier post).  For the larger project, each film will relate the personal story of the novel with the more political events of the 1970’s shift from a Keynsian to neo-liberal regime as these political moments brush up against the visceral and intimate memories of my childhood growing up in Los Angeles; The ‘Thorazine Shuffle’ is the first in the ‘Dandelion King’ short film series. A fragment of part II of “The Thorazine Shuffle”, also available on Vimeo:

also, check out:

Produced with lots of tiny animation experiments, as seen below:


My mom’s move from a social worker on an in-patient ward to working with chronic schizophrenics corresponded with our own move from the south eastern end of Los Angeles county to the west side of Los Angeles.  In the mid-1970’s mental health rights advocates lobbied successfully, to move mentally ill and intellectually challenged out of abusive long term hospitalization and into half-way houses and community health care.

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