Model this mental illness movie

by Tyler Cowen October 28, 2020 at 12:46 am in

And:

Box office results fit the story as well. Here is the full paper by Shaan Kamal, et.al. Via Michelle Dawson.

Comments

Scipio Africanus

2020-10-28 01:01:23
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Did the number of total films released in a year increase from 1980 to 2020? Ie, did the fraction of films depicting mental illness stay constant or increase?

There's plenty of written literature about crazy people too -- they're just interesting.

Realist

2020-10-28 01:05:36
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Plenty of history about crazy people too.

Catinthehat

2020-10-28 01:19:40
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I don’t find them interesting unless it’s more like quirkiness and eccentricity kind of crazy, like the old guy in " back to the future "
Mental illness is just depressing and sad.
Same for movies where people self destruct with drugs. What a waste of life.

Sweet Sweetback

2020-10-28 02:40:30
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The increase might be entirely due to Batman movies.

Phinton

2020-10-28 10:46:09
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Yes, I think you are right. The superhere genre relies a lot on crazy people. Also, since 2000, we've doubled the number of theater releases each year. And probably it's 10X the number of TV series. Maybe even more.

God of Thunder

2020-10-28 11:50:22
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Yes but unfortunately they are glamorous or quirky-crazy, and not sad and pathetic crazy in the way most crazy people are.

Catinthehat

2020-10-28 19:22:57
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Not Downtown Abbey but the Big bang theory would be my kind of series.

Mitch Berkson

2020-10-28 08:37:22
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Memento was a film with a gimmick; not a good film. Also Boyhood.

Rahul

2020-10-28 02:16:37
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Right. Without adjusting for the total number of films per year this plot means very little.

Simon

2020-10-28 03:57:33
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If you click through to the text you'll find that as a percentage of total films produced there was no change.

Films depicting mental illness have hovered between 10-20% throught the time period, so the first graph is indeed misleading.

I'd also say that comparing against "all films" is not a fair control either, as there are a lot of terrible films out there!

I'm pretty sure if you were to compare against other films treating any serious theme, say discrimination, the phenomenon would disappear.

mkt42

2020-10-28 05:18:03
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Excellent answer and comment. I don't know if it's correct but I strongly suspect it is and it saves me the time from looking at the article.

The reason I suspect it's correct is it's based on evidence and well-reasoned. In contrast to that very first graph which raises alarm bells or at least question marks in any intelligent reader; we see that the very first commenter, Scipio Africanus, raised the very necessary question.

Which you have answered. So fie on that article and thanks for clicking on it so the rest of us don't have to.

Anonymous

2020-10-28 08:26:33
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This is wrong. I assume you are referring to "The Total Domestic Box Office Gross of Each Film Depicting Mental Illness (y-axis is 100’s of millions of dollars)"? That's the only graph that shows something going between 10 and 20, but seems irrelevant to what you are saying.

Anonymous

2020-10-28 08:28:44
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Nevermind, the title of the graph is on the page before and the title under the graph applies to the following graph, apparently. Your interpretation is correct.

TGGP

2020-10-28 01:21:13
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Funny enough, I had recently been wondering if the Living Well With Schizophrenia channel would review "Words on Bathroom Walls", and then the host surprised me by reviewing "A Beautiful Mind" instead a couple months ago. A commenter under that review mentioned a game called "Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice" and looking that up via the Know Your Meme site I found a youtube review by someone with psychosis. That is an atypical area where you'd trust the judgment of a schizophrenic over your own.

Some wag said that romance as a movie genre is dying because in modern society there are fewer barriers between a potential couple to be overcome. I wonder if an increasing number of movies are dealing with psychological disorders because there are fewer external problems to make movies about.

TGGP

2020-10-28 01:33:37
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After perusing the paper, I wonder if part of their results are driven by more popular/well-regarded movies having more engagement with their wikipedia & IMDB pages to fill out such details. I know the notorious wikipedia page with the longest plot summary (though it's been greatly shortened since) would count against my theory.

God of Thunder

2020-10-28 11:57:04
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The wag you mention was into something.

Hoover

2020-10-28 01:23:31
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The average IMDB rating for all films fell by 5% over 30 years, then recovered somewhat after 2015.

Dismalist

2020-10-28 01:45:04
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Social scientists discover social problems! :-)

Steve Sailer

2020-10-28 02:44:55
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"Joker" revitalized the old fashioned 19th Century Romantic notion of madness with Joaquin Phoenix acting up a storm.

In contrast, Dustin Hoffman, who had worked as an orderly at the mental hospital depicted in "Joker," modernized the depiction of mental illness in "The Graduate" and "Rain Man" with more realistic depressed/autistic characters.

clamence

2020-10-28 09:33:18
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Except the basis of Hoffman's character in Rain Man was Kim Peek who was probably not autistic.

Alias Anonymous

2020-10-28 04:52:20
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Average box office net dropped by half for all movies from 1980 to 1990 likely due to digital systems effects. Here are total movies released
https://www.boxofficemojo.com/year/
And it shows the number at 56 in 1981 then jumps up suddenly and is now a thousand a year.
More movie production via technology and shorter holding times on retail shelves. Then suicidal plot ratio holds and also their net gain holds, unaffected by the technology. Suicidal movie variance holds.

Price discrimination, there is a partitioned market of consistent demand, the movie buff. I can speculate, the movie buff emphasizes character development in their movies..

Alias Anonymous

2020-10-28 05:12:59
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This is classic self sampled systems as the movie buffs also maintain and vote in the MDB database. They have a lock on shelf small shlf space, the industry is indirectly charged some inventory fee as the movie buffs over pay for their shelf space while the bulk of movies are very restricted by the value chain,they have long development sequences. The movie buff has the smallest, but most constant demand on shelf space. The other genres will agglomerate in multiple of their shelf space. Self sampled systems, it is why we have relative primes in our finite models.

Alias Anonymous

2020-10-28 05:31:27
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The proof is interesting. The movie industry relies on the movie buff to maintain the public bets, they run the market. The movie buff is a small, but constant group and their fee is a hedge, they are always one step ahead of the producers and consumers as they release the betting boards. They collect the hedge by cheating, they bring in movies they like to make it worth their while to go movie shopping. Recently they can collect ad money for their work as Amazon uses them to promote movies from their personal sites. This is a form of shadow banking, folks, it is a way to bid the market externally, and hide the exchanges as ad fees. Pending ad fees are like digital cash in another monetary system, untaxable. This is a multi-level pricing market by another name, and efficient.

Alias Anonymous

2020-10-28 05:51:36
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I belabor the point, it is real.
Google runs a shadow bank using a token called pending ad fees. Their search engine finds closed consumer clusters and moment matches to producers using ad fees. Facebook does it. Their pending ad fees can exchange in proportion to stock in the company,
They are skipping the transaction costs of regulated banking and we are visibly experiencing a tax crisis in response. The regulated banks have a simple response, one that does not need secure personal ID, and is easy to implement. But that leaves the regulated banks with finding those Fed taxes somewhere else besides short term S/L accounts. Worse, all the markets are learning the trick. Walmart, Target. Th municipalities get hit first, they rely on retail taxes, they cannot have regulated accounts carry these heavy fees.

Alias Anonymous

2020-10-28 06:05:25
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One last, then I quit prmise.
This is the issue behind the anti trust suits, the efforts to central bank digital currency, and trying to regulate crypto. But they ae missing a big hitch,that seigniorage fee, all the new markets, inside and outside the fed will be dodging that fee.
There is one market link missing (markets and ledgers are duals), the Fed's long term contract is inherently renewable, it is an intemediary between banks and central government. ANd that time has come folks, the battle lines drawn, we open the new market; the standard Nixon generational bet. Is it a Full, Half, or Third Standard Nixon (as defined by the NASB). This is your NGDP market folks, you are voting a devaluation tax. Double Nixon bet are illegal.

rayward

2020-10-28 05:57:38
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It depends on the meaning of mental illness. What was mental illness, is not. The film A Beautiful Mind captures the difficulty of recognizing mental illness (for those seeing the film without being familiar with the book or the real life person it was about). Donald Trump captures the difficulty of recognizing mental illness in real time (even with the advantage of a book written by a family member who is a psychologist). I recently watched the film Jo Jo Rabbit (it's about Nazi Germany as seen from the eyes of children). The ranting and raving Hitler as seen in Jo Jo's imagination did not dissuade Jo Jo of loyalty to The Fuhrer until it was in Jo Jo's interest to recognize it - after The Fuhrer was dead. When a film is made about Donald Trump will those seeing the film recognize the film as being about mental illness?

rayward

2020-10-28 06:12:59
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In the penultimate scene in the film, The Fuhrer is begging Jo Jo for a Heil Hitler for old time's sake and Jo Jo kicks the sniveling empty suit through the window.

Alias Anonymous

2020-10-28 06:27:08
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You will love this one.
What is the equilibrium? A massive, secure Hot Wallet buried in a col mine in Wyoming, and it has accounts in all the currency systems in use.
It acts like a URL sever of finite limits. Any group of we users can join and buy a Tweeter cash account in any 'money' n existence, and treat is like digital bearer, proof of stake cash, verifiable as easy as a credit card.

The single check bearer trsnaction limite in time and coun before the 'money' returned to the original ledgers at market neutral rates. In other words, the universal short term stable cain and any digital currency, the inverse market for crypto exchanges today. It shows the idea of duality. One can 'buy' their way in a market between different ledgers, or sit on a ledger between mass markets. This duality is a key concept in provability, and requires time limited contracts without loops. This requirement comes from protocol theory across asynchronous nets, oddly. It is proof of finite congestion.

rayward

2020-10-28 07:05:49
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The film industry collaborated with the Nazis, not only in Germany but in Hollywood. Were they mentally ill? No, they were pursuing self-interest. What was mental illness, no longer is. [There are many studies that describe the collaboration, for those interested in learning more about mental illness, I mean film industry collaboration with Nazi Germany. In the films, it was the Jews who were mentally ill.]

Anon

2020-10-28 07:54:16
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The better mental illness film would be about the people who genuinely believe the carnival barker and chief is some kind of singular evil or cares about them in anyway.

Glorious Chad

2020-10-28 06:05:30
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Fewer mental illness movies when Obama was President but an uptick when Trump became POTUS. That makes sense in a grim sort of way.

TMC

2020-10-28 08:30:00
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Yep, too many like ray above. At least he held out to the 3rd sentence this time. Maybe talking about mental illness makes them self conscious.

dan1111

2020-10-28 06:49:08
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Fishy graph scale alert.

If the Y axis started at zero, the difference would look way less impressive.

Prof. Emeritus

2020-10-28 06:57:45
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The number of mental illnesses recognized by the DSM and psychiatry science (not sure if it deserves the title "science" though - see T. Szasz) probably also grew with the same dynamics. Nothing to see here, we give more behaviour names.

Mike

2020-10-28 08:11:05
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I’m sceptical and suspect that the underlying driver is the depiction of intense emotion in a context of topical seriousness, not mental illness itself. Films with family violence, incest, and child abuse probably have comparable results (though I have no guess as to the number of productions, aside from a temporary surge in child abuse films in the 90s). Historical dramas including slavery and debates on torture probably figure in there too.

Faze

2020-10-28 08:14:53
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Movie-goers are primarily adolescent or post-adolescent, a demographic that is fascinated by mental illness, mainly because they feel "different" from their parents and peers and suspect that the mentally ill may eventually be their tribe. Nerds especially feel this, and the increasing number of films about mental illness reflects the rise of nerd culture across the whole mainstream over the past 30 years: gaming, superheros, goth, anime, science fiction. What do you think?

Cory

2020-10-28 08:35:18
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Don’t think they controlled for genre? My guess is dramas receive higher ratings in general and mental illnesses are more likely to be included in the genre.

dan1111

2020-10-28 09:01:13
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Yeah. In particular, I think "serious movies" are less likely to be garbage that attracts very low reviews. Studios intentionally put out crud that they think will sell tickets in action, comedy, kids' movies, etc. But you don't really set out to make a drama unless you are trying to make a good movie.

Alan Goldhammer

2020-10-28 08:54:04
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One of the best movies on this topic is way outside the study sample. 'The Snake Pit' was made in 1948 and still worth watching today.

Known Fact

2020-10-28 12:08:06
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I'm wondering how they score this -- especially, does a movie (or TV show) with a twisted psychopath or "sex fiend" on a serial murder spree count as "mental illness?" How deeply or seriously does this twisted killer's psyche need to be examined to qualify? Cops hunting serial killer is such a common plot it could certainly skew the trend being discussed here.

JWatts

2020-10-28 12:10:40
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How about the Amazon series, "The Boys" ?

Irwin Singer

2020-10-28 13:12:32
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In the online version of their paper, https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.10.20.20215707v2.full.pdf also https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.10.20.20215707v2
In the first paragraph of the RESULTS section, the authors state: The percentage of films depicting mental illness released each year out of the total population of all films released varied each year but remained between 10-20% (Supplemental Figure 2).
But that Figure 2 is missing in the Supplemental section, at least missing from the online version. The Caption is there: Supplemental Figure 2: Percentage of Films Released Each year that are Films Depicting Mental Illness , but the graph IS MISSING.
Or, am I missing something??

Robert

2020-10-28 15:27:54
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You know, these movies and books have a great impact on me in college. I learnt psychology there and now I use examples from such types of movies in my articles on https://trustsession.com/. Also, I absolutely agree with these words "Historical dramas including slavery and debates on torture probably figure in there too"

Robert

2020-10-28 15:30:26
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faraz ahmad

2020-11-18 02:53:46
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