Asylum

A truly unique documentary that examines the controversial ideas of psychiatrist and philosopher R. D. Laing. ASYLUM is both an exploration of Laing's alternative theories on... Read more


Asylum

Directed by Peter Robinson

Year: 1972
Running Time: 95
Color Type: Color
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Country: U.S.
Language: English
Booking Inquiry Shop Home Video Educational Use

Asylum

Cast
R.D. Laing

Crew
Directed by Peter Robinson


In 1971, filmmaker Peter Robinson and a small crew entered a world of anarchic madness and healing compassion unlike any other. The resulting film, ASYLUM, records their seven week stay in radical psychiatrist R. D. Laing's controversial Archway Community -- a London row-house where the inmates literally run the asylum. Laing's conviction that schizophrenics can only heal their shattered "self" where they're free and yet are held responsible for their actions, challenged patients, doctors and, in ASYLUM's incredible document, the filmmakers, to live communally and peacefully.

"I think it's possible to get lost here," offers one of the uneasy medical volunteers plunged into Archway's tribal society. Fiercely intellectual David demands attention by engaging anyone and everyone in an unending and increasingly menacing illogical discourse. Consumed by the emotional need that has claimed her sanity, beautiful, lost Julia regresses to infancy. In one astonishing scene, a patient's father blithely explains that he has hired a girl to date his nearly catatonic son. As Archway's residents are pushed to the point of confrontation by David's belligerence, these and other vivid real life characters are "explored but not exploited by this enterprising but humanly decent film." (The New York Times)

A documentary treasure built from truthful moments of astonishing tension and grace, ASYLUM takes on a gripping narrative strength usually only seen in fiction. Hailed as "beautifully done" by The Village Voice at the time of its 1972 release, ASYLUM has since become "a model of cinema verite." (The New York Times)

Reviews

"...a deeply feeling film." - Donia Mills, The Washington Star

"...unlike so many documentaries, it actually has...value as a document." - Roger Greenspun, The New York Times

"Beautifully done...the first and only feature film to be sanctioned by Laing..." - Howard Smith, The Village Voice

"A fascinating documentary both as a period piece and for its theater-of-the-absurd pathos." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice (2003)

"[Asylum] The only thing we have in film that shows what we think works for well, for people who feel that society is destroying them." - R. D. Laing

Join the conversation
'@KinoLorber' on Jun. 29 2022 at 10:29pm
RT' @eczema_moralia': a special film would recommend' https://t.co/G9vVz05qj9'
'@KinoLorber' on Jun. 29 2022 at 9:30pm
@r0bwatson' https://t.co/GhIIWFljld'
'@KinoLorber' on Jun. 29 2022 at 9:22pm
“Mingling grief, fantasy, and humor, Panah Panahi's Hit the Road brings its own sensibility to the tradition of the…' https://t.co/bPKRFUPZQu'
'@KinoLorber' on Jun. 29 2022 at 8:50pm
"This is ninety minutes of bliss and love, and it’s worth the effort to seek it out, ignore life’s distractions, an…' https://t.co/Qt2hqtGia5'
'@KinoLorber' on Jun. 29 2022 at 7:00pm
RT' @FilmStreams': “The filmmakers have crafted a world that feels both part of the greater tradition of Afrofuturism, while also feeling uni…
'@KinoLorber' on Jun. 29 2022 at 6:27pm
RT' @scottrenshaw': I can now thank NEPTUNE FROST for the fact that the aphorism "one who swallows a whole coconut trusts his anus" will fore…
'@KinoLorber' on Jun. 29 2022 at 5:38pm
What can we say? We live for the drama! Our next curated Kino Now #PrideMonth playlist celebrates LGBTQ+ influence…' https://t.co/LON88HiwGD'
'@KinoLorber' on Jun. 29 2022 at 5:33pm
RT' @SaulWilliams': UNANIMOUS GOLDMINE • The Original Soundtrack of Neptune Frost will be available on all streaming platforms this Friday 7/…
'@KinoLorber' on Jun. 29 2022 at 5:21pm
Out now on digital! 🚗' https://t.co/fNIvZJedm3'' https://t.co/bPuW5o0VXo'
'@KinoLorber' on Jun. 29 2022 at 5:15pm
RT' @TheFilmStage': Panah Panahi’s remarkable directorial debut 'Hit the Road' and more streaming picks of the week:' https://t.co/jfzVeZ9urZ…'
Tweet Now!

Inquiries & Press

General Inquiries

Kino Lorber, Inc.
333 W. 39th St., Ste. 503
New York, NY 10018
Tel. (212) 629-6880
Tel. (800) 562-3330
Fax. (212) 714-0871

Press & Media

For publicity assistance and press inquiries please contact us by emailing dninh@kinolorber.com or calling 212-629-6880.

Educational

Please visit our educational site at www.KinoLorberEDU.com

For assistance with educational orders, please contact us at:

Phone:212-629-6880
Fax: 212-714-0871
Email: edu@kinolorber.com