Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

December 14, 2018

That Way Madness Lies

Filed under: Counterpunch,Film,psychology — louisproyect @ 6:12 pm

The first word that came to mind after watching “That Way Madness Lies”, Sandra Luckow’s documentary about her older brother’s Duanne’s wildly destructive tendencies brought on by paranoid schizophrenia, was courageous. As a film professor at Yale, Columbia and Barnard with a long career in filmmaking, Luckow could have made any number of films that would have been less painful and confessional. However, she surely must have understood that this was not just a bit of family history that would draw an audience in the same way a roadside accident draws the stares from bypassing cars. Its broader interest is in showing the terrible lack of institutional support for families that have to cope with a walking time-bomb like Duanne Luckow. While it is beyond the scope of this article, I can say that I have seen such problems up-close and can empathize deeply with what Sandra Luckow had to endure.

As American as apple pie, the Luckows hailed from Portland, Oregon where her father operated an antique car repair shop. Mechanically gifted, he built a tiny helicopter that he flew for pleasure. Showing the same aptitude as his father, Duanne soon became his partner. In addition to his talent for repairing cars, Duanne also became an avid home movie buff, varying between the typical vacation fare and ambitious works depicting himself as a James Bond type super-spy. He also was an accomplished still photographer who managed to entice young women into cheesecake type shoots that oddly enough substituted for any real intimacy. Looking back at this and other eccentricities, Sandra wonders whether the family might have sought professional help early on. Obviously, those eccentricities were normal enough in a country that is a breeding ground for maladjustment.

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2 Comments »

  1. This is really excellent, Louis. On all levels. A model review, really. The part about how people with schizophrenia in the US have hateful, violent thoughts and here voices urging them to violence, but in other countries, this isn’t the case. I don’t know what better example there could be of the deep, deep sickness that permeates this country. Anyway, my congratulations of a great essay.

    Comment by Michael Yates — December 14, 2018 @ 9:50 pm

  2. One person built a tiny helicopter. Perhaps these are like the drones we have around here. We use these to deliver christjmas presents (santa claus and the reindeers have to get new jobs) and food not bombs (or both) to the yemenis. There is a band with old videos on youtube called ‘Tiny Desk Unit’. sound like some mix of patti smith, blondie, etc.

    Comment by ishicrew — December 15, 2018 @ 1:40 pm


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