David Tennant's RD Laing biopic Mad to Be Normal to close Glasgow film festival

The psychiatrist was known as the 'acid Marxist'

Jack Shepherd
Friday 06 January 2017 10:26

David Tennant-starring biopic Mad to Be Normal - about psychiatrist RD Laing - will conclude this year’s Glasgow Film Festival (GFF).

Focussing on the controversial figure’s work at residential treatment centre Kingsley Hall, the 1960s-set film co-stars Michael Gambon, Elisabeth Moss and Gabriel Byrne. Laing was infamous for his support of the medical use of LSD, which was legal at the time.

Previously, writer-director Robert Mullan said of the Laing: "In the late 1960s, and throughout the 70s, RD Laing was seen as the high priest of anti-psychiatry and the so-called 'acid Marxist' – lauded by supporters for his daring and experimental work with disturbed people.

"In truth, Laing simply tried harder than other psychiatrists to sympathetically understand the cracked minds of the people who came to see him."

Both Tennant and Mullan, along with other cast members, will attend the Glasgow event on the 26 February. GFF co-director Allison Gardner told PA: "I am so excited to share the news about our great opening and closing galas. Handsome Devil is a real crowdpleaser with a joyous spirit that makes it a perfect film to launch the festival.

"David Tennant gives an absolutely stunning performance as RD Laing in Mad to Be Normal, and it seems only fitting that Glasgow should have the honour of hosting the premiere of a film about one of the city’s most complex, charismatic figures."

The 13th annual GFF begins on the 15 February with a screening of Sherlock actor Andrew Scott’s Handsome Devil, directed by John Butler.

The full festival programme will be detailed later this month, but events already announced performers include Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos and singer-songwriter Stuart Braithwaite.

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