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The Caveman's Valentine

Samuel L. Jackson, Colm Feore, Ann Magnuson, Damir Andrei
Spoiler alert
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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)