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Friday, August 24, 2012 - Page updated at 10:00 p.m.
'OC87': Filmmaker shares his struggle with disorders
By Andy Webster
The New York Times
"This is not a film about hand washing," says Bud Clayman at the start of "OC87," adding, "It's a film about the fear of acting on thoughts."
Clayman has obsessive-compulsive disorder — specifically "harm O.C.D.," which involves intense anger and violent imaginings — and Asperger's syndrome, which inhibits the grasp of social cues. This moving, penetrating documentary records his attempt to describe his conditions, confront them and learn to manage them.
Clayman — who experienced depression in high school — studied radio, film and video production at Temple University in Philadelphia and then moved to Los Angeles after graduation, only to suffer a breakdown. (The title comes from 1987, when he had his darkest hour, a withdrawal from human interaction.) For eight years he lived at Project Transition, a therapeutic community in Pennsylvania, to receive treatment.
In "OC87," we get vivid, subjective glimpses into his mindset, feeling his unease as he walks down a street, his struggle in a diner to gauge the proper length of time for, say, glancing at someone.
Clayman is persistent in reaching for self- improvement. And there is change: His squalid apartment is made over; he speed-dates. He also laughs, interacts, expresses gratitude and tries hard to listen closely to others. His problems often seem like agonizingly exaggerated versions of everyone's. We can learn from his solutions.
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