Film Review by Kam Williams
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Illustrated in Auto-Biopic
Thirty years ago, Bud Clayman was an aspiring filmmaker with a promising future when he headed to Hollywood after graduating from college in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, his career was instead derailed by a breakdown brought on by a number of previously-undiagnosed mental illnesses.
Turns out Bud was not only Bipolar, but suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Depression and Asperger’s Syndrome. On the advice of his doctors, he put his lifelong dreams on hold to enter a therapeutic community for extended treatment.
In a classic case of “Better late than never,” Mr. Clayman has finally recovered sufficiently to make an impressive, if delayed, directorial debut with himself serving as the subject. This revealing documentary offers an unusually frank examination of his assorted afflictions, showing, for instance, how his mind plays tricks on him after driving over a bump in the road, so that he feels the need to double-back to make sure he hasn’t hit a pedestrian.
Given Bud’s mix of bizarre tics, it’s no surprise that he’s had a hard time finding a wife. But that doesn’t stop him from trying, and he takes along a camera here to record some of his disastrous dates.
Although he’s terribly eccentric, it’s also clear that he’s very likable, sensitive and intelligent, too. After all, he’s bright enough to have crafted OC87, a poignant portrait of himself designed to encourage tolerance for any outpatient struggling with similar symptoms.
A warts-and-all biopic about a cautious, creative genius burdened by a vivid imagination apt to take superstitions like “Step on a crack and you break your mother’s back” very seriously.
Very Good (3 stars)
Running time: 91 minutes
Distributor: Fisher Klingenstein