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Touched With Fire

Cast
Katie Holmes, Luke Kirby, Griffin Dunne, Bruce Altman, Christine Lahti
Released
2015
Charles Baudelaire | F Scott Fitzgerald | Ernest Hemingway | Kay Redfield Jamison | Charlie Parker | Jackson Pollock | Sylvia Plath | Vincent van Gogh | Virginia Woolf | lithium | marijuana | methylphenidate | Ritalin | mixed amphetamine salts | Adderall | quetiapine | Seroquel | Touched With Fire - Manic Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament
Spoiler alert
Blog entry

Poet Carla pours capsules from a prescription bottle down a drain. (0:02)

At open mic, poet Marco recites his work: "They call me a lunatic... and I just got out of the loony bin, and I haven’t been taking my medication... more insane than Batman’s Riddler if Jim Carrey had played him without taking his Ritalin." (0:05)

Carla’s mother Sara: "Carla, you are acting really hyper right now."
Carla: ”Even when I go off the medication, I don’t feel like myself.”
”Like I’m crazy.”
Mom: ”I’m not looking at you like you’re crazy, honey.” (0:09)

His father George asks Marco, "Been taking your medication?"
Marijuana, Mama.”
George: ”You’re smoking marijuana?”
Marco: ”... it works way better than the medication.”
George: ”Do you smoke a lot of marijuana?”
Marco: ”I guess I have to up my dosage.” (#0:11)

Carla asks a psychiatric hospital receptionist, "Hi, uh, I was a patient here, and I need a copy of my file." (0:15)

Phrenology bust in psychiatrist Strinsky’s office.
Marco tells Strinsky, ”And if you ask me, you know, you don’t need electroshock therapy.”
Strinsky: ”Do you think your mind is sane right now?”
”That doesn’t sound sane to me.” (0:18)

Poster; "Bipolar Support Group" (0:20)

Patient Paul tells a nurse, "You slip some Adderall into my cup instead of Seroquel, which is understandable because it’s kind of the same color... and you don’t have manic eyes."
Nurse: ”I think the last thing you need is Adderall.” (0:20)

Patients in hospital day room (0:21)

Psychotherapist starts group psychotherapy.
Patient: ”Gary, don’t worry.”
Marco asks Gary, ”Well, don’t you think that’s a little selfish?” (0:21)

Marco, referring to a book: "Here we go, Van Gogh, top member of the bipolar club."
Marco tells the nurse, ”... it’s the painting of the sky he saw from his sanitarium window while he was manic.”
”You would have medicated Van Gogh.” (0:25)

Marco tells two patients, "When I first went manic I just started rhyming compulsively, but, you know, that’s a textbook manic symptom." (0:25)

Patient: "We are all bipolar."
Patient: ”Don’t worry.”
Patient: ”I’m gonna strip you down and stick one of these nurses’ syringes into you.” (0:28)

Marco asks Carla, referring to Emily Dickinson and Robert Lowell, "Do you know they were both bipolar?"
Carla: ”You think every great artist was bipolar.”
Marco: ”We of the craft are all crazy. Some are affected by gaiety, others with melancholy, but all are more or less touched... Lord Byron, one of the greatest manic-depressive poets of all time... Touched with Fire by Kay Jamison. She’s a psychologist and when she was first starting out, she. out of nowhere, had this manic episode... She did all this research, and she found all of these crazy connections between bipolar and artistic genius... when people go to see The Nutcracker, and they look over at their kids, and they see their eyes light up when the world turns to magic at night, they’ll know that the music that Tchaikovsky composed was enriched by his bipolar and not think of it as just a disease.” (0:30)

Patient: "When I look at the river, I mean, that’s a symbol for two things coming together." (0:32)

Marco answers Carla, "Because the lunatic looks to the moon as if asking it how he got stuck down here." (0:34)

Marco asks Carla, "You accidentally checked yourself into a mental institution?" (0:36)

Marco tells Carla, "Lunatic minds tick in sync with lunar time... the more the sunlight shines on the moon, the more manic we become." (0:38)

Marco tells Carla, "... this is a manic brain, fully lit." (0:38)

Carla tells Marco, "The prophets, when they were manic, that was when they were almost reaching full illumination..." (0:39)

Marco laces the attendant’s drink with sleeping pills. (0:41)

George asks Dr. Strinsky, referring to Marco, "Why is he so sedated?"
Strinsky: ”He was with a female patient, and they made each other manic. We separated them, and they became even more manic.”
”It’s not just the medication, because the mania got so out of control, and he went so high, he’s gonna go just as low with the depression.” (0:45)

Marco places the muzzle of a loaded shotgun in his mouth, while Carla prepares to cut herself with a razor blade. (0:52)

Marco tells the receptionist, "I was a patient, uh, here, back in the fall."
Receptionist: ”We can’t give out patients’ information for confidentiality reasons” (0:53)

Strinsky tells Marco, "You two made each other manic when you were together in the hospital" (0:54)

Dr. Lyons tells Marco, "You’ve just come out of the depression."
”Well, you won’t have the passion you had when you were manic.” (0:57)

Sara tells Carla, "... that might worry me a little bit."
Marco tells Sara, ”We were just reading Touched with Fire.” (0:58)

Carla tells George, referring to Marco, "We met in... group therapy... we have to do group therapy every day."
George: ”... this was right before you both went manic.”
Carla: ”When you have this illness, you, uh, actually go manic before you go into the hospital, Dad.”
George: ”... right after you met, then... you went more manic. ”
Carla’s father Donald: ”... if they signed up for a dating website, you know, if they put down ‘mentally ill,’ it’s not like they’re gonna attract a whole lot of people saying, oh, that’s my soul mat... if they stay on the medication... I got no problem with that.”
Marco: ”We can’t take the meds.”
Donald: ”You know it’s gonna take time till you find the right dosage, right?”
”So you mean insanity is love, that you have to be crazy to be in love?”
”... if you think there’s any romance in being crazy, you’re crazy.”
Sara: ”It needs to be treated.” (1:00)

Carla empties a prescription bottle into Marco’s and her own hands, and they toss the capsules into a fountain. (1:05)

Carla: "We awoke from our sleep and left our sanity beside our bed, peeled off those sedative sheets." (1:06)

George tells Marco, "You’re a danger to yourself and others.”
Sara: “You’re off your meds, and you’re manic." (1:12)

By telephone, Sara tells someone, "I’m just really worried." (1:13)

Carla tells the others, "We promise that we’re both gonna take our medication." (1:17)

Carla asks Marco, "Have you been taking your medication?"
Marco: ”That doesn’t mean that we have to take the medication.” (1:21)

Carla tells Sara, referring to Marco, "I can get him to go back on the meds."
Sara: ”You want to raise a child with a psychotic manic parent.” (1:21)

Carla looks at a copy of Jamison’s Touched with Fire. (1:23)

The psychologist introduces herself to Carla and Marco, "Kay Jamison."
”I was first medicated a very long time ago, when lithium had just come out on the market. I was kept at a very high dose... but I’m still on lithium, and I don’t feel in any way inhibited.”
”Medication’s not gonna take your personality away... It took quite a while for my moods to kind of get in gear.” (1:23)

Marco asks Carla, referring to Jamison, "Do you think that... Hemingway would have backed down and turned away from the storm the way she did?"
”I want the mania.”
Carla: ”You want the mania?... Well, it’s... crazy.” (1:25)

Carla: "And now that we’ve turned away from our fire to face the days that remained unburned by the flames and learned to gaze at them through sane eyes, one day at a time, we can look back at our book with clear sight... and were able to see what our manic eyes were blind to at the time... That eternal flame that could blaze brighter than our manic one ever could on its brightest mania days, but that would also sustain." (1:37)

Title: "The film is dedicated to the following artists listed in Kay Jamison’s book: Lord Byron, Robert Lowell, Emily Dickinson, William Blake, Sylvia Plath, Edgar Allan Poe, John Berryman, William Cowper, Robert Fergusson, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Gustaf Froding, Ezra Pound, Anne Sexton, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Theodore Roethke, Charles Baudelaire, John Ruskin, Dylan Thomas, Victor Hugo, Joseph Conrad, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Herman Hesse, Herman Melville, Malcolm Lowry, Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams, Virginia Woolf, Robert Schumann, Hector Berlioz, Anon Bruckner, Hugo Wolf, Gustav Mahler, Otto Klemperer, Peter Tchaikovsky, Bud Powell, Charles Parker, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Paul Gauguin, Jackson Pollock, Georgia O’Keeffe, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Edward Munch, Vincent Van Gogh" (1:41)