Depression: A Study In Abnormal Behavior (1973)

15 Dec
Director  Tom Lazarus (also produced and wrote film)
Producer  CRM Films
Length  27 min
B&W/Color  color
UO Library Catalog description:  Describes the treatment of a case of agitated depression in order to present various theoretical and philosophical approaches within the field of abnormal behavior. Shows how these approaches, including the behavioral, humanist, and psychodynamic, establish different criteria for the judgment of abnormal behavior.
Call # FILM Mc197
Genre  documentary
Rare  no
Online  no
Copyright status  protected
Physical condition  poor
Oregon-related  no


The dramatized case history of a woman named Helen. Told mostly in stills, with interesting slow-motion “animations” caused by rapidly blending succeeding images (somewhere between pixilation and a very low frame rate); the technique creates an appropriate sense of sadness, remove and entrapment, with the outside-of-time quality of the photographs contrasting with the highly dramatic voice acting. The narrator explains how Helen’s troubles could be seen through a variety of lenses (socio-psychological, physiological, existentialist, humanist, psychoanalytic…) and how various people with these perspectives try to help her. It is really very sympathetic, both to her and to her decent but clueless and patronizing husband, and effectively conveys the patient’s exhaustion and confusion as she travels through an effective but messily contradictory treatment system. Well worth watching. There are a few “Tom Lazarus” instances on IMDB, but none were active at remotely the right time; he made Neurotic Behavior the year previous, though, and maintains a websitewhich suggests he is still active.


One Response to “Depression: A Study In Abnormal Behavior (1973)”


  1. Neurotic Behavior: A Psychodynamic View (1973) « 16mm Lost & Found - December 19, 2011

    […] replays. 1970s fashions. Says guide in container, but guide is missing. Lazarus also made Depression: A Study in Abnormal Behavior. Here’s his website. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

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