The Diving Bell and the Butterfly with Frank Guenther
April 22, 2013
Artist and filmmaker Julian Schnabel took Best Director honors at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival for his fiercely beautiful adaptation of Jean-Dominique Bauby's memoir. In 1995, at age 43, Bauby, the successful and charasmatic editor of French Elle magazine, suffered a massive stroke that left him with a rare condition called locked-in syndrome - mentally alert but unable to speak or move any part of his body, except for his left eye. Using that eye to blink out his memoir, he eloquently shared his story with the world. Schnabel, working with the brilliant cinematographer Janusz Kaminski, does an astonishing job of allowing us to see how Bauby's rich inner life - his memories, fantasies, and dreams - allowed him to free himself from the repressive "diving bell" of his body. Before the film, Boston University neuroscientist Frank Guenther talks about the development of brain-machine interfaces to restore communication and other capabilities to locked-in patients. Part of the Coolidge Corner Theatre's Science on Screen series.