Movie: Mania Days

Coming soon: Katie Holmes and Luke Kirby will play Carla and Marco, a pair of New Yorkers suffering from bipolar disorder, in Paul Dalio’s “Mania Days”, a new movie screening at this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival.

n-MANIA-DAYS-large570The characters are two poets who meet in a psychiatric hospital, and form a connection that blossoms into a relationship.  It explores bonding amid the highs and lows of bipolar, and the limits of medication versus the sources of creativity.  According to Dalio, “The film is about what happens when two people bring out that gift in each other, but also bring out its horror – what happens when their love is capable of breaking outside the bounds of “sanity,” how do they reconcile that?”

Dalio, who lives with bipolar disorder, put a bit of himself into each characters. Writing, directing, editing and scoring his debut feature, he highlights many of the issues he tackled while trying to find a balance with his own illness.  He was especially inspired, he claims, by Kay Redfield Jamison’s 1996 book, Touched with Fire, which illustrates how many of the great creative minds in history were bipolar.

When I came across Touched with Fire, it was a revelation.  You go from thinking you’re a genetic defect to maybe thinking it’s a gift. You go from thinking that I’m going to just get by in life to maybe I can do something meaningful in life with this. There’s a beauty to it.”  — Paul Dalio

More information on the film can be found here.


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