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    Reader comments on The Definition of Insanity

    Subject: Re: Impressions of the film and director
    Date: Nov 26, 2005
    Sender: Meredith LeePrevious

    I applaud Ms. Kaffel's observations, particularly re. the role of art as mistress.

    Well done.

    Previous: Impressions of the film and director

    Respond to this message | Return to original article: The Definition of Insanity

    Response to this comment:
    Impressions of the film and director

    Art imitates life in Definition of Insanity even though Robert Margolis said that ninety-five per cent of the story is invented.After listening to him speak about his film a few nights ago at the Filmmaker's Symposium in Mountainside, New Jersey, that percentage seems to be a gross understatement of his relationship to his on-screen character, Robert. Robert is the struggling actor alter ego of Margolis' accomplished real self. Margolis has appeared in two independent films: Criminals and Morocco. His portrayal in Definition of Insanity as patient/acting coach clearly parallels his actual experience as a psychotherapist. Margolis explains that he made the film because it was something he could put all his own obsessions into while doing something he absolutely loves to do. He humorously added that making it was a way to give himself work. According to Margolis, he tried to use the form of a documentary to enhance the drama of the story. Inspired by John Cassavetes and Charlie Chaplin, he wanted to play with the idea of reality versus fiction. When viewing the film, it is uncertain, for a while, whether the camera is following "real" people or actors. Margolis sets a pessimistic but amusing tone often seen in Woody Allen's work which adds a tragic comic sense to the story.He also reminds one of Allen's antics when he appears in fake eyeglasses with attached nose and mustache, Groucho Marx style. Robert Margolis is most successful at showing how the artist's art becomes an overpowering mistress capable of providing enormous joy but also causing pain to both the artist and those he loves.

    Comment index:

  • Impressions of the film and director   from Joyce Kaffel, Nov 25, 2005
  • » Re: Impressions of the film and director «   from Meredith Lee, Nov 26, 2005
  • Impressions of the film and director   from Joyce Kaffel, Nov 25, 2005
  • » Re: Impressions of the film and director «   from Meredith Lee, Nov 26, 2005