Category: Video Review

Friant’s Video Friday: Book Review: The Secret Room by Cynthia Mercati

Today Kim is bringing you a video review of The Secret Room  by Cynthia Mercati.

The Secret Room
Author: Cynthia Mercati

Published: August 15, 2000
72 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Annie of Holland learns about her values and the importance of hope and memories while helping care for a Jewish family hiding in her father’s church during WWII.

Kim’s Video Review:

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Friant Video Friday: Book Review: Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals

Today Kim is bringing you a video review of the coffee table book Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals with photography by Christopher J.Payne and an essay by Oliver Sacks.

Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals
Photographer:
Christopher J. Payne

Published: September 4, 2009
209 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

For more than half the nation’s history, vast mental hospitals were a prominent feature of the American landscape. From the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth, over 250 institutions for the insane were built throughout the United States; by 1948, they housed more than a half million patients.

The blueprint for these hospitals was set by Pennsylvania hospital superintendent Thomas Story Kirkbride: a central administration building flanked symmetrically by pavilions and surrounded by lavish grounds with pastoral vistas.

Kirkbride and others believed that well-designed buildings and grounds, a peaceful environment, a regimen of fresh air, and places for work, exercise, and cultural activities would heal mental illness. But in the second half of the twentieth century, after the introduction of psychotropic drugs and policy shifts toward community-based care, patient populations declined dramatically, leaving many of these beautiful, massive buildings–and the patients who lived in them–neglected and abandoned.

Architect and photographer Christopher Payne spent six years documenting the decay of state mental hospitals like these, visiting seventy institutions in thirty states. Through his lens we see splendid, palatial exteriors (some designed by such prominent architects as H. H. Richardson and Samuel Sloan) and crumbling interiors–chairs stacked against walls with peeling paint in a grand hallway; brightly colored toothbrushes still hanging on a rack; stacks of suitcases, never packed for the trip home.

Accompanying Payne’s striking and powerful photographs is an essay by Oliver Sacks (who described his own experience working at a state mental hospital in his book Awakenings). Sacks pays tribute to Payne’s photographs and to the lives once lived in these places, “where one could be both mad and safe.”

Kim’s Video Review:

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
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Book to Film Adaptation Comparison: Shutter Island

Today Kim is going to bring you a video of book to film adaption comparison of Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane.

Shutter Island
Author: Dennis Lehame

Published: April 27, 2004
369 Pages

Book Description:

The year is 1954. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his new partner, Chuck Aule, have come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane, to investigate the disappearance of a patient. Multiple murderess Rachel Solando is loose somewhere on this remote and barren island, despite having been kept in a locked cell under constant surveillance. As a killer hurricane relentlessly bears down on them, a strange case takes on even darker, more sinister shades—with hints of radical experimentation, horrifying surgeries, and lethal countermoves made in the cause of a covert shadow war. No one is going to escape Shutter Island unscathed, because nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is what it seems. But then neither is Teddy Daniels.

Kim’s Book to Film Adaptation Comparison:

Purchase Links:
Novel
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Film
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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