by Kevin Casey
Milos Forman’s adaption of Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest has got game. Just the highlights: talking when unauthorized… i fight or fuck too much…
Nurse Ratchet: she ratchets down on the cliental and applys torque and pressure, especially in talk therapy: I can only speculate… delusional… Mr Harding (an innuendo if there ever was one).
“The only thing I can speculate is the existence of human life… the juxtapositions… I’m talking about form, I’m talking about interrelationships.” Is he talking about storytelling or his marital problems here? The Metafictional aspects loom large (metafiction via the talk therapy clients taking up literary terms in group and all). “The other day you made some allusions…”
As to gaming: “Stay off my side.”
McMurphy creates community with games (basketball, blackjack) and the Nurse doesn’t like it… it implies a loss of control. We’re talking Ed Thorp with prison house rules… If you’re not crazy going in, you’re crazy coming out…
Taken out of context:
“change never hurt… variety”
“be good americans… watch the series (voting in group)… watch the game…
dice, monopoly, games recognizing games… They play the game with Harding…Games hanging all heavy to foreground the theme that it’s all games, that sanity is a game and that the gamers are the ones that get over. Crazies calling each other lunatics… betting that he can watch the series downtown… gambling. freedom. “I tried godammit, at least I did that.”
Running game on the vote by jury-rigging group size, not unlike voting regions in actual American political life… Forman, not known for tethering himself to reality stays close to the cut on this one, running a cinematic game that no one should take a pass on.
Oh yeah, and the film was the second to win all five major Academy Awards, (Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Director, and Screenplay).