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Clean, Shaven, 1993
Directed & Written by Lodge Kerrigan
Starring Peter Greene, Jennifer MacDonald

A man’s mind is the loudest voice in the room.
Clean, Shaven offers an in-depth look into the mind of mental illness. It has the unique quality of stepping out of your comfort zone and allowing you to walk a mile in the disturbed, beautiful mind of Peter Winter. I will admit I choose this film because it is one of my favorite movies ever.

There is a major lack of dialogue in the film, but a tremendous amount of creativity and raw knowledge. We watch Peter Winter (Peter Greene) as he displays signs of mental illness, predominantly schizophrenia. There is a constant noise of disconnect, random voices, sounds, and delusional thought patterns. Peter is largely driving in a car for the first half on the film. He covers the mirrors and windows so he can not see his own reflection. There are occurrences that could be delusional (it is up to the audience to decide).

Peter’s ultimate goal is to find his daughter so he can reunite with her. Meanwhile a police officer chases his every move.

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The film offers a skirmish scene where the lead cuts out a chunk of his head while shaving. While the film lacks dialogue it has a great amount of direction and purpose. Clean, Shaven not
only invites the audience to participate in the development of the film’s characters, but also provides the disorienting point of view of mental illness. When we think of mental illness in film we often think of a man with an axe or a psychopath. This film helps us look into schizophrenia, and lets the audience experience what that life is like for the length of the film.

If  you have not heard of this movie, you are not alone, it is fairly obscure. That being said, I did stumble across it on HULU if you want to give it a chance. It is nothing short of different and is probably a “love or hate” type of film. It will stick with you and open your eyes. While it is a thin line to properly portray mental illness in film, this one comes as close as any movie has at allowing the audience to experience the characters transgressions. As a filmmaker I can only hope to strive for the excellence and the sheer power of the subject matter this film provides. The film gives an inspirated glimpse into mental illness/ schizophrenia.  I can not recommend Clean, Shaven enough, drop everything and walk into the mind of schizophrenia. Film rating: 5/5
Preston Corbell writes on film (most often Indie and Horror) and writes an Independent Filmmaker Diary for Step On magazine. Preston is also an Austin, Texas based filmmaker/actor and clothing designer. Check out Preston’s latest film here.