Sad Girl Cinema

Projects :  Christ the Wolf | Doll Hospital Journal | Sad Girl Cinema


A still from the Virgin Suicides of the Lisbon sisters bedroom, showing a tiara, a fish tank, a prayer card, perfume and a fan.

Sad Girl Cinema is an ongoing documentary film project exploring mental health narratives in screen culture that I created with artist Claire Biddles.

Sorted into three themes: therapy on screen, the mental health ward on screen and ‘tortured geniuses and tragic muses’ on screen we navigate our way through a whole bunch of pop cultural cliches!

Alongside mine and Claire’s themed chapters, the documentary also features three first person chapters. These focus on the nuances of  engaging with mental health screen representation for those of us who are actually struggling with mental health issues ourselves.

The first person chapters are as follows:

-‘I’m too poor to be one of the Girlfriends’: Imade Nibokun on therapy and classism in the tv series ‘Girlfriends’ (2000-2008)

-‘Queer in the Psych Ward’: Lisa Ruiz on medical homophobia in American Horror Story: Asylum (2012)

-‘Hair and the Hollywood Imagination’: Izzy Leslie on representing  trichotillomania in the film ‘Young Adult’ (2011)


Inspired by the work of Charlie Lyne (‘Fear Itself’ and ‘Beyond Clueless’) we’re interested in combining archival film footage with first person reflections to provide a bridge between the imagined fairy tales of tortured geniuses, sad white girls and creepy serial killers with the shit we actually have to deal with every day. Rooted in self advocacy we explore the intersecting oppressions in the cinematic imagination of mental illness.

We encourage audience participation and talk back to the screen.

We also have a lot of feelings about Leonardo DiCaprio.

You can also connect with us on Twitter and find out more about us over at Not So Popular.