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The Caveman's Valentine

Cast
Samuel L. Jackson, Colm Feore, Ann Magnuson, Damir Andrei
Released
2001
Spoiler alert
Blog entry

On the surface this film seems to accurately depict many aspects of the life and psychopathology of an untreated homeless musical genius who suffers from Paranoid Schizophrenia. But do you believe a man with this illness could organize an effective effort to solve a crime, motivated by caring for his friends on the street and a wish to redeem himself with his daughter? Would a patient with schizophrenia likely experience as many visual (versus auditory) hallucinations as does Romulus?

Romulus (the caveman) raves at his perceived persecutors in the street (0:02). He harbors a delusion that his primary persecutor, Stuyvesant, operates from the Chrysler Building which often looms in the background, occasionally emitting light (0:05, 0:13, 0:33, 0:34, 0:44, 0:49). Distorted sounds and images suggestive of old black and white television broadcasts illustrate his sensory distortions or hallucinations (0:17).

Romulus hallucinates images on a broken and disconnected television in his cave (0:08).

Romulus grieves the loss of his friend from the street, Scottie, after discovering his frozen body in a tree outside his cave. Believing photographer Leppenraub has murdered him, Romulus incorporates him in his delusion as controlled by Stuyvesant (0:17).

Romulus' emotions sometimes appear to precipitate his hallucinations, as when he plays a piano (0:29). He hallucinates his wife (0:37, 0:59).

A sample of Romulus' delusional talk (0:56). During an emotional moment with Lulu he rocks autisticly (1:06). A sample of his peculiar gate (1:27).

Moira asks Romulus, "You're psychotic, aren't you?" He answers, "I have brain typhoons." (0:49)