Australian filmmaker, James Raue’s own life is somehow weirder than his latest comedy, “Psychoanalysis”. The film is coming to Hawaii to play at The Big Island Film Festival in late May after taking out awards at festivals across the world.
“I grew up hating Psychologists,” Raue said, recalling how much of his life had inspired the film. “Dr Phil was just getting popular when I was a kid, so psychology was seen as this easy solution to all of life’s problems.” Any normal family issue, such as arguing with siblings or not cleaning your room could land Raue or his siblings in front of a shrink.
“Then my girlfriend became a psychologist.” Raue revealed, finally being able to see the world of psychology from “the other side of the couch”. “I saw that not all psychologists were simplistic and the impact on those who truly care about their clients can be overwhelming.”
Raue attempted to show these two sides of the industry through the most comedic, yet tragic story he could think of. The tale of a psychologist who’s lost five clients to suicide and is determined to prove he’s still the best.
Raue attributes his history with psychologists to the success of the film.
“We made it on a tiny budget, with unknown actors and it would play at these festivals where nobody knew anything about it. But audiences couldn’t stop talking about it. It raises questions not normally heard and has an authenticity to it. So word slowly spread.”
In order to get the film finished James had to work assembling bounce houses for birthday parties. “The worst part of the day was when you have to take it down. These houses have your favorite Disney characters on them, so this little girl is watching as Elsa collapses. Most of the time they burst into tears.”
So far Psychoanalysis has won Best Of The Fest at the Victoria Texas Independent Film Festival, Best Comedy at the Canada International Film Festival, Best International Film and Best Screenplay at the Manchester International Film Festival.
When asked why such a dark subject matter was good for comedy, Raue replied. “When you’re dealing with death everyday, sooner of later you have to see it for how absurd it really is or you’ll snap.”
Psychoanalysis plays The Big Island Film Festival at Fairmont Orchid on Friday, May 27 at 2pm.
For more information and exclusive clips, please visit: www.psychoanalysisfilm.com.