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I'm Dancing As Fast As I Can

CastJill Clayburgh, Nicol Williamson, Dianne Wiest, Joe Pesci, Geraldine Page, Albert Salmi, James Sutorius, Ellen Greene, Cordis Heard, Richard Masur, Kasey Connors
Year released1982
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Spoiler alert!

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Documentary filmmaker Barbara washes down a pill.
Alan tells her, ”Oh, thank God, a Valium is just what I need.”
He swallows one. (0:04)

Cancer patient Jean tells Barbara, “I was thinking of jumping off the building, of getting out right now.” (0:06)

Barbara tries some lines: “I get depressed. I am depressed. I’m depressed. I get pissed. I’m depressed. I get pissed. I’m depressed...” (0:08)

Barbara eases two blue tablets out of the wrapper of a cigarette pack. (0:11)

Barbara wraps two blue tablets in plastic. She pins them into a piece of clothing, then washes more down with a sip of wine. (0:13)

Sam asks Barbara, “Should I get drunk now or later?”
Karen asks Barbara, “You want a Valium?” (0:15)

Accepting her award Barbara tells the audience, “We spent a year with the former mental patients of Long Beach.” (0:16)

In his office Barbara tells psychiatrist Dr. Kalman, “You don’t go to a psychiatrist for that.”
Kalman: “Yes, well you do seem more anxious. How much Valium are you taking?”
Barbara: ”I’m taking it because I’m afraid I’m going to have an attack from not taking it, and I’m afraid I’m taking too much. So I get so nervous I take some more. 60 mg. most days.”
”Yesterday I took 80, 90...”
Kalman: “That’s not a drug to be afraid of, Barbara. There’s a relative lack of side effects and your symptoms have been alleviated. Very good drug, but...”
”I think we might discuss the possibility of your switching to another drug. Perhaps Elavil or Nardil, or...”
Barbara: “I don’t wanna take more drugs.”
Kalman: “We need some kind of drug to control your symptoms, Barbara. Your anxieties are disabling.”
We see a copy of The Drug Experience on the desk. (0:18)

Barbara takes more Valium.
Jean tells her, “Take a pill... Take a Valium... You made a Valium movie.” (0:25)

Her boyfriend Derek tells Barbara, “Sounds crazy.” (0:28)

Barbara places a Valium in her mouth then spits it out. She calls Dr. Kalman: “I’m quitting Valium.”
She collects stashed drug from around the apartment and pours all into the toilet. Looking into a kitchen cabinet she sees another prescription bottle: “Valium.” (0:30)

Barbara tells Derek, “I stopped Valium.”
Derek: “You stopped Valium?”
Barbara: “I’m so revved up.” (0:34)

Barbara tells the others, “What was good at first, and then it took more and more to do the same thing for me.” (0:35)

Barbara displays symptoms of withdrawal. She washes more Valium down the drain. (0:38)

Barbara falls to the sand and suffers a grand mal seizure. (0:41)

Barbara tells Derek, “I’m trying to quit Valium.”
Derek, referring to Dr. Kalman, ”He’s also the one who told you to take Valium...” (0:43)

More withdrawal symptoms. (0:44)

Barbara tells Derek, “I started with psych books...”
She tries to explain an elaborate theory. “I think I’m going crazy.”
Derek: “If you can say you think you might be crazy, then you’re not.”
”I feel like getting drunk actually.”
”I just feel like getting drunk. Well, it’s not the first time I’ve ever been depressed...” (0:45)

Derek asks Barbara, “And the crawling things on your arms?”
Barbara, “I want some Valium, Derek!”
Derek: “But I didn’t tell you, because I knew it would drive you crazy...”
She becomes frantic.
Derek: “But if you saw a doctor now they would probably lock you up.”
”I’m not gonna let you go crazy, sweetie.” (0:50)

Derek intercepts a delivery of Valium. He flushes it down the toilet. (0:57)

Derek tells Barbara, “You’ll just go to the first doctor you can find and get more Valium. You’ll just get hooked again.”
”On her way to crazy town, with the crazy town men, and the crazy town people.” (1:00)

Derek has restrained Barbara in a chair. She tells him, “Last week, you blacked out ‘cause you drank so much.”
Derek tells Karen by telephone, referring to Barbara, “She’s just doing that primal-scream stuff for a new film.”
He tells Barbara, “You crazy...” (1:02)

Derek tells Karen and Sam, referring to Barbara, “She’s hopelessly insane.” (1:05)

Dr. Roberts tells her, “Barbara, you’re depressed and I’m going to give you something to make you feel better. It’s called Sinequan. It’s an antidepressant.”
”Valium withdrawal is at least as traumatic to go through as opiate withdrawal.”
”But the withdrawal is over now. You don’t have to worry about Valium anymore.” (1:07)

Staff check Barbara in to a hospital. (1:11)

Patient Roger appears delusional. (1:12)

In a psychotherapy session with psychologist Julie, Barbara tells her, “I smoke cigarettes. I have a habit.”
Julie: “I’m your therapist.”
Barbara: “You took me off Sinequan.”
”I’ll get out of here if I can cut my throat.”
”I’ve been in therapy for 10 years.”
Julie: “When you told Dr. Roberts about the poison in the water you actually believed it was there.” (1:14)

Barbara tells Julie, “You ought to put Roger on medication.”
Julie: “He is on medication.”
Barbara: “ First you want me to take Valium, then make me give it up.”
Julie: “We’re not dealing with Valium anymore Barbara. Now we’re dealing with the feelings that it helped to suppress.”
Barbara: “I wouldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for Valium.”
”Isn’t a patient supposed to do what their doctor tells them?”
”You prescribe fingerpaints and open windows... Roger is getting medication... I just need the right medication to help me live.”
Referring to Roger: “No wonder he’s so... crazy.” (1:18)

Group meeting with Dr. Klein: Patient Lara, wearing gloves, complains about mess. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?
Patient Jimmy tells patient Iris, “Because you’re a... nutcase.” (1:25)

Jean tells Barbara, “I’ve decided to write a poem about mental institutions...”
”Sip melancholy tea...?” (1:27)

Psychotherapy session. Julie: “... you’re a pill-popping dingbat at home.” (1:31)

Executive Walter tells Barbara, “You’ve been under... immeasurable stress. I mean Einstein couldn’t measure the stress you’ve been under.” (1:36)

Barbara tells Jean, “You know when I was going crazy...”
Referring to Roger: “He was this patient...”
”I was crazy.” (1:37)

Barbara realizes Jean has died. (1:41)

Book: I'm Dancing As Fast As I Can

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