We gave it a B+
In People Say I’m Crazy, a fascinating and moving personal documentary, we meet a young artist named John Cadigan, who suffered a psychotic break in his early 20s and has been coping with its symptoms ever since. Plump and bearded, Cadigan looks like a melancholy Kevin Smith. As he goes about his days in a Bay Area boardinghouse, he gives us a running commentary on what’s sliding around in his mind — the paranoia and depression, the gruesome delusions that he is always working to keep at bay. Cadigan, who codirected the film, never regards his schizophrenia as less than a spiritual aspect of his being, so his struggle to transcend it is far from clinical. A gifted printmaker who carves intricate patterns out of wood, often with a shadow demon running through them, he notes that the thrusting labor required of his art amounts to a daily sublimation of violence. ”People Say I’m Crazy” doesn’t defuse, or romanticize, the trauma of mental illness. It just humanizes it.