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Friday, March 4, 2011

The King's Speech ( The Movie )


The film opens with Prince Albert, Duke of York (played by Colin Firth), the second son of King George V, speaking at the close of the 1925 British Empire Exhibition at Wembley Stadium, with his wife Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) by his side. His stammering speech visibly unsettles the thousands of listeners in the audience. The prince tries several unsuccessful treatments and gives up, until the Duchess persuades him to see Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), an Australian speech therapist in London. In their first session, Logue requests that they address each other by their Christian names, a breach of royal etiquette. He convinces Albert to read Hamlet's "To be, or not to be" soliloquy, while listening to the overture from Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro on headphones. Logue records Albert's reading on a gramophone record, but convinced that he has stammered throughout, Albert leaves in a huff. Logue offers him the recording as a keepsake.

As King George V (Michael Gambon) makes his 1934 Christmas address, he explains to his son the importance of broadcasting for the modern monarchy. Later, Albert plays Logue's recording and hears an unbroken recitation of Shakespeare in his own voice. He returns to Logue, and they work together on muscle relaxation and breath control, while simultaneously probing the psychological roots of his stammer. The Prince reveals some of the pressures of his childhood: his strict father; the repression of his natural left-handedness; a painful treatment with metal splints for his knock-knees; a nanny who favoured his elder brother – David, the Prince of Wales, deliberately pinching Albert at the daily presentations to their parents so he would cry and his parents would not want to see him; and the early death in 1919 of his little brother Prince John. As the treatment progresses, the two become friends and confidants.

On 20 January 1936 George V dies, and David, the Prince of Wales (Guy Pearce) accedes to the throne as King Edward VIII, but he wants to marry Wallis Simpson (Eve Best), an American divorcée socialite, which would provoke a constitutional crisis. At a party in Balmoral Castle, Albert points out that Edward cannot marry a divorced woman and retain the throne, Edward accuses his brother of a medieval-style plot to usurp his throne, citing Albert's speech lessons as an attempt to ready himself. Albert is tongue-tied at the accusation, and Edward resurrects his childhood taunt of "B-B-Bertie". At his next session, the Prince has not forgotten the incident. In an attempt to console him, Logue insists that Albert could be king and says the shilling of their wager should bear the Duke's head as monarch. Albert accuses Logue of treason and, in a temper, he mocks Logue's failed acting career and humble origins, causing a rift in their friendship.

When King Edward abdicates to marry, Albert becomes King George VI. He needs Logue's help and he and the Queen visit the Logues' residence to apologise. When the King insists that Logue be seated in the king's box during his coronation in Westminster Abbey, Dr Cosmo Gordon Lang, the Archbishop of Canterbury (Derek Jacobi), questions Logue's qualifications. This prompts another confrontation between the King and Logue, who explains he began by treating shell-shocked soldiers in World War I. When Logue sits in St Edward's Chair and dismisses the Stone of Scone as a trifle, the King's clear remonstration of Logue's disrespect for the relics leads him to realise that he is as capable as those before him.

Upon the September 1939 declaration of war with Germany, George VI summons Logue to Buckingham Palace to prepare for his radio speech to the country. As the King and Logue move through the palace to a tiny studio, Winston Churchill (Timothy Spall) reveals to the King that he too had once had a speech impediment but had found a way to use it to his advantage. The King delivers his speech as if to Logue, who coaches him through every moment. As Logue watches, the King steps onto the balcony of the palace with his family, where thousands of people assembled for the speech applaud him.

A final title card explains that, during the many speeches King George VI gave during World War II, Logue was always present. It is also explained that Logue and the King remained friends, and that, "King George VI made Lionel Logue a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in 1944."


STUTTERING (alalia syllabaris)
Also known as stammering (alalia literalis or anarthria literalis), is a speech disorder in which the flow of speech is disrupted by involuntary repetitions and prolongations of sounds, syllables, words or phrases, and involuntary silent pauses or blocks in which the stutterer is unable to produce sounds.

The term stuttering is most commonly associated with involuntary sound repetition, but it also encompasses the abnormal hesitation or pausing before speech, referred to by stutterers as blocks, and the prolongation of certain sounds, usually vowels and semivowels. The term "stuttering", as popularly used, covers a wide spectrum of severity: it may encompass individuals with barely perceptible impediments, for whom the disorder is largely cosmetic, as well as others with extremely severe symptoms, for whom the problem can effectively prevent most oral communication.

Primary behaviors
Primary stuttering behaviors are the overt, observable signs of speech fluency breakdown, including repeating sounds, syllables, words or phrases, silent blocks and prolongation of sounds. These differ from the normal disfluencies found in all speakers in that stuttering disfluencies may last longer, occur more frequently, and are produced with more effort and strain.Stuttering disfluencies also vary in quality: normal disfluencies tend to be a repetition of words, phrases or parts of phrases, while stuttering is characterized by prolongations, blocks and part-word repetitions.

Repetition - occurs when a unit of speech, such as a sound, syllable, word, or phrase is repeated and are typical in children who are beginning to stutter. For example, "to-to-to-tomorrow".

Prolongations - are the unnatural lengthening of continuant sounds, for example,"mmmmmmmmmilk". Prolongations are also common in children beginning to stutter.

Blocks - are inappropriate cessation of sound and air, often associated with freezing of the movement of the tongue, lips and/or vocal folds. Blocks often develop later, and can be associated with muscle tension and effort.


Fluency shaping therapy
Fluency shaping therapy, also known as "speak more fluently", "prolonged speech" or "connected speech", trains stutterers to speak fluently by controlling their breathing, phonation, and articulation (lips, jaw, and tongue). It is based on operant conditioning techniques.

Stuttering modification therapy
The goal of stuttering modification therapy is not to eliminate stuttering but to modify it so that stuttering is easier and less effortful.

Electronic fluency devices
Altered auditory feedback, so that stutterers hear their voice differently, have been used for over 50 years in the treatment of stuttering. Altered auditory feedback effect can be produced by speaking in chorus with another person, by blocking out the stutterer's voice while talking (masking), by delaying the stutterer's voice slightly (delayed auditory feedback) and/or by altering the frequency of the feedback (frequency altered feedback)

Anti-stuttering medications
The effectiveness of pharmacological agents, such as benzodiazepines, anti-convulsants, anti-depressants, antipsychotic and antihypertensive medications, and dopamine antagonists in the treatment of stuttering has been evaluated in studies involving both adults and children.
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