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Thursday, September 15, 2011

ART FILM FEATURE: MY LEFT FOOT





Movie Review
My Left Foot (1989)
NYT Critics' Pick This movie has been designated a Critic's Pick by the film reviewers of The Times.

LEAD: Born in 1932 with cerebral palsy, the ninth of the 22 children his parents would eventually have (13 survived), Christy Brown grew up as an archetypal member of Dublin's working class - painfully poor, often deprived of essentials, yet also miraculously resiliant.

Born in 1932 with cerebral palsy, the ninth of the 22 children his parents would eventually have (13 survived), Christy Brown grew up as an archetypal member of Dublin's working class - painfully poor, often deprived of essentials, yet also miraculously resiliant.

Christy's body was both twisted and paralyzed. He was unable to communicate through recognizable speech. With his lips pulled over to one side, his eyes wobbling upward in their sockets, he spoke in a series of gutteral syllables that would be translated by his mother.

Because he had the use of only his left foot, he was able to get around with difficulty, sometimes in a homemade wooden pramlike vehicle, pulled by his pals, and later in a wheel chair. People who had no idea they were being cruel referred to him within his hearing as an ''idiot'' and a ''half-wit.''

Through the uninhibited, unself-conscious love of his family, and the patience of his doctors, Christy learned how to be understood when he talked and to express himself first as a painter and then as a writer. His mind was fertile, restless, questing and, it seems, surprisingly romantic.

With the more than ordinarily prehensile toes of his left foot, he could hold a paint brush, turn door knobs, type stories, play records, do almost everything, in fact, except cut his throat with a straight razor (tried once in a low moment).

''My Left Foot'' is an intelligent, beautifully acted adaptation of Christy Brown's first book, published in 1955, the initial chapter in a series of semi-autobiographical works in which he recalled his own most particular coming of age. The film will be shown at the New York Film Festival today at 9 P.M. and tomorrow at 2 P.M.

Read full article here.


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