Archive of films Shock Head Soul / Shock Head Soul
Netherlands / United Kingdom
2011, 86 min
Section: Another View
Daniel Paul Schreber was a successful lawyer who, in 1893, started receiving messages from God via a Writing Down Machine. Director Simon Pummell has again bolstered his reputation as a multimedia artist with this original and hypnotic film. Shock Head Soul pulls the viewer into the chaotic yet singular world of a man who never gave up his battle for dignity and, in the process, fundamentally influenced the field of psychiatry.
Daniel Paul Schreber was a successful lawyer until 1893 when he started receiving messages directly from God via a Writing Down Machine. He spent the next nine years in an asylum where he was tortured by delusions of cosmic control, suffering from the belief that he was shifting gender and that his body was being subjected to cruel "miracles.” Schreber also believed that only his submission to God’s plan to change him into a woman would save the world. During his confinement he wrote Memoirs of My Nervous Illness, which became one of the most influential studies on the sick mind. Director Simon Pummell has again bolstered his reputation as a multimedia artist with this original and hypnotic film: via a combination of animation, documentary footage, acted sequences and interviews with contemporary psychiatrists, he pulls the viewer into the chaotic yet singular world of a man who never gave up his battle for dignity and, in the process, fundamentally influenced the field of psychiatry. He found the ideal actor to play Daniel Paul Schreber in the spellbinding Hugo Koolschijn.
About the director
Simon Pummell (b. 1959, Norwich, Great Britain) studied at the Royal College of Art in London, after which he made animated shorts and feature films for Channel 4. He contributed two shorts to the film which accompanied the band Queen’s album Made in Heaven. He has over forty commercials to his name. His feature-length documentary debut Bodysong was screened in 2003 at Karlovy Vary in the documentary film competition; that same year, it won a BAFTA and a BIFA (British Independent Film Award). Simon Pummell is an internationally recognised artist whose work combines drawing, animation and moving images; he creates projects across multiple platforms, exploring the boundaries of cinematic forms. Shock Head Soul is his latest feature film.
About the film
|Dir. of Photography:||Reinier van Brummelen|
|Producer:||Janine Marmot, Femke Wolting, Bruno Felix|
|Cast:||Hugo Koolschijn, Anniek Pheifer, Thom Hoffman|