Shutter Island



Shutter Island is a neo-noir production by Martin Scorcese. Set in the fifties,  the narrative begins with a US Marshall (DiCaprio) investigating the disappearance of a patient from the ultra-secure mental health unit on the titular island. The plot twists as this is an elaborate role play in a last ditch  attempt to cure the now revealed criminally insane protagonist before lobotomy.

Apparently at the root of his madness is his experience in the liberation of the Dachau Conzentration Larger at the end of the second world war (WW2). He stands accused of murdering his wife who killed their children this seems a much more plausible reason for reactive

Based on the book by Dennis Lehane (born August 4, 1965) is an American author. The novel is interspersed with graphic descriptions of WW2 and Dachau. It was released in Feb  2009.

Genre wise it fits into fantasy horror as it is difficult to see this as a common treatment in mental health units.

On context

In an interview with the director about the film he reveals that that like artists for example Caravaggio before him he uses film to archeologically “recreate the past”. This has ramifications for real events where history is rewritten. Equally that history is affected by the intervening years and the context of the year of production. A war film set in the  1944 era filmed in the sixties for instance the “The Longest Day” and ” Saving Private Ryan” from the nineties are very different. Even down to casting. An ensemble cast (from many different nations) in the former to one  leading men and a supporting cast (Americans)  in the later.


This production off along with ‘Blade Runner’ some interesting thoughts about memory and loss that I used subsequently for script development. Context had ramifications for my research work.


Shutter Island, [television programme, online], Prod. credit n.k., Prod. company n.k., Prod. country n.k., 21:00 31/5/2015, Channel 4, 160mins., (Accessed 14/05/2016)

The Culture Show, [television programme, online], Prod. credit n.k., Prod. company n.k., Prod. country n.k., 00:20 12/3/2010, BBC TWO, 70mins., (Accessed 24/04/2016).


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