The whole chapter seems a perfect complement to the current events of Mylene being a jury in Cannes Film Festival. Not very clear connection? Read on – you will see the parallel 😊
“Psychiatric” was first time released as a B-side of a single “Allan” (1988 song from Farmer’s second album Ainsi soit je...)
At the time, it was an unreleased song since it was not included on any Farmer’s album. It appeared for the first time on an album in 1991, on L’Autre…, that was released about two years after “Allan“.
It was neither performed on television nor on stage. Farmer explained that she decided to write this song after seeing a documentary about “an insane asylum in Greece where the internees were abandoned, left to themselves and reduced to an animal status”, and added: “Madness affects me”
I am not afraid to draw a parallel with Giorgino and Laurent Boutonnat deep involvement with the topic of “insanity” and how it has been “treated” through the dark times of human ignorance. He started shooting the film only a few years later.
If you have seen the film, you will never forget the scenes of the “asylum” where people a held underground and diminished to the level of animals…Laurent suffers when he films it, he suffers when he makes the scene of the “cold showers” for “adjustment of madness”.
The scene when Georgino saves Mylene’s character Katherine from those cold bathes by shooting all the “doctors” and subjecting them to the same tortures they did to their “patients”, its such a gratifying moment of the movie…Wouldn’t you agree?
More on Giorgino and Laurent here
This song is mainly instrumental. The music is “disturbing” and has dance sonorities, and some gimmicks and sound effects are added. When “Dégénération” was released in 2008, some critics have compared it to “Psychiatric” because of their similar music. I don’t particularly agree with such a comparison but as for the instrumental and background layered sounds – maybe but its not nearly as disturbing as Psychiatric.
“Psychiatric” is entirely sung in English-language and is a tribute to David Lynch’s film, Elephant Man released in 1980:
As you recall on October 1 2007 Mylene was present in Elysee Palace & Hotel Bristol for the Presentation of the Legion of Honor to David Lynch for his lifetime achievements by the French government. It must have been an incredible moment for Mylene (and Benoit).
Some photos were taken at the Elysée Palace, others during the “Cartier” lunch organized at the Bristol hotel. I absolutely love those photos, how about you?
Apparently, her Que mon cœur lâche video was inspired by David Lynch’s Twin Peaks too
John Hurt’s voice is sampled throughout the song, repeating several times: “I’m a human being, I’m not an animal”. A male voice punctuates the song with the word “Psychiatric”, while Farmer sings only: “It’s easy this time, to lose my mind”.
Did you notice that Laurent was enjoying playing with the voices from teh movies at that time. We all remember Beyond my Control of course with the unmistakable voice of John Malkovich “Its beyond my Control” which came out in 1991.
Also Greta was a precursor dating back to the same period of the last 80s as Psychiatric. But Greta was the first experiment (1986).
I love that techniques – it made the musical piece very 3D but on the flip side, perhaps, too much of a soundtrack like. I personally love it but I understand not everyone feels the same. It is most likely the reason to abandon such a technic going forward even if the movie inspiration is clearly there as say in Point de Suture.
I am so thrilled for Mylene to be invited to Connes this year as a jury! What an incredible recognition of her love for cinema. It saddens me a bit that Laurent was not invited…
“It’s a universe that fascinates me… At least this imagery of psychiatry. It’s fascinating because it is overwhelming and incomprehensible.” (Mylène Farmer – “Podium” – September 1991)
“This song came after a report that m ‘was upset and passionate about a mad asylum in Greece, where internees are abandoned, left to fend for themselves and reduced to the state of animals.” (Mylène Farmer -” La Libre Belgique “- 04/30/1991)
“Laurent has completely developed and remade Psychiatric. The new version is even more clinical. ” (Mylène Farmer – “Podium” – September 1991)
“A studio delirium! (…) This song must have been done outside of the studio album. Laurent liked it a lot. Hence his choice to incorporate it into the album so it officially exists.” (Thierry Rogen -” Styx Magazine “special L’Auttre … – 1991)
There are many good remixes. Here are a few: https://www.mylene.net/mylene/remixographie_psychiatric
By the way, did you notice how the voice in the background pronounce “P” in the ” Psychiatric”? Adorable. At first I could not understand the word at all as the “I” in the word Psychiatric sounds more like “e”.
For the English speaking folks, you know what I mean… 🙂
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I am a human being I am not an animal! Psychiatric Psychiatric Psychiatric Psychiatric Psychiatric Psychiatric Psychiatric Psychiatric Psychiatric Psychiatric Psychiatric Psychiatric I am not an animal! It's easy this time (psychiatric) To lose my mind (psychiatric) It's easy this time (psychiatric) To lose my mind (psychiatric) It's easy this time (psychiatric) To lose my mind (psychiatric) Psychiatric Psychiatric Psychiatric It's easy this time (psychiatric) To lose my mind (psychiatric) It's easy this time (psychiatric) To lose my mind It's easy this time (psychiatric) To lose my mind I am not an animal! I am not...!