Collaboration: The Psychopath Test

I finished reading The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson, who explored psychopathy as defined by Bob Hare. Hare created a twenty-point checklist, which lists psychopathic traits:

  1. Glibness/superficial charm
  2. Grandiose sense of self-worth
  3. Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom
  4. Pathological lying
  5. Cunning/manipulative
  6. Lack of remorse or guilt
  7. Shallow affect
  8. Callous/lack of empathy
  9. Parasitic lifestyle
  10. Poor behavioural controls
  11. Promiscuous sexual behaviour
  12. Early behaviour problems
  13. Lack of realistic long-term goals
  14. Impulsivity
  15. Irresponsibility
  16. Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
  17. Many short-term marital relationships
  18. Juvenile delinquency
  19. Revocation of conditional release
  20. Criminal versatility

Reading about people who have lots of these traits and, especially, the lack of remorse or guilt, made me realise there was a theory behind my film: given the right conditions, all humans will work for the greater good of their fellow humans; this, I realised, was not true. I wasn’t ambivalent about the purpose of the film and because this theory was subconscious, working on the film allowed me to gain insight into it.

This new-to-me knowledge allows me to see the actions of the actors in my film differently. As a man in a business suit, Hugo could be a psychopathic CEO (not all psychopaths kill or commit violent crimes), which means he is only interested in Cate on his terms and only for as long as he finds her interesting; in fact, he finds it amusing to toy with her intellectually and emotionally – it is a power trip. He is unlikely to self-reflect and take responsibility for his role in the unfair economic system or the pain he causes in his relationships.

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One thought on “Collaboration: The Psychopath Test

  1. Pingback: Collaboration: balloon deflated by yesterday’s news | everything is art

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