Psychoanalysis
Resources

 email page    print page

All Topic Reviews
A Basic Theory of NeuropsychoanalysisA Cursing Brain?A Dream of Undying FameA Map of the MindAfter LacanAgainst AdaptationAgainst FreudAn Anatomy of AddictionAnalytic FreudAndré Green at the Squiggle FoundationAnger, Madness, and the DaimonicAnna FreudAnna Freud: A BiographyApproaching PsychoanalysisAttachment and PsychoanalysisBadiouBecoming a SubjectBefore ForgivingBerlin PsychoanalyticBetween Emotion and CognitionBeyond GenderBeyond SexualityBeyond the Pleasure PrincipleBiology of FreedomBoundaries and Boundary Violations in PsychoanalysisBuilding on BionCare of the PsycheCarl JungCassandra's DaughterCherishmentConfusion of TonguesContemporary Psychoanalysis and the Legacy of the Third ReichCrucial Choices, Crucial ChangesCulture and Conflict in Child and Adolescent Mental HealthDarwin's WormsDesert Islands and Other Texts (1953-1974)Dispatches from the Freud WarsDoes the Woman Exist?Doing Psychoanalysis in TehranDreaming and Other Involuntary MentationDreaming by the BookEnergy Psychology InteractiveEqualsErrant SelvesEthics and the Discovery of the UnconsciousEthics Case Book of the American Psychoanalytic AssociationFairbairn's Object Relations Theory in the Clinical SettingFed with Tears -- Poisoned with MilkFeminism and Its DiscontentsForms of Intersubjectivity in Infant Reasearch and Adult TreatmentFour Lessons of PsychoanalysisFratricide in the Holy LandFreudFreudFreudFreudFreudFreudFreud and the Question of PseudoscienceFreud As PhilosopherFreud at 150Freud's AnswerFreud's WizardFreud, the Reluctant PhilosopherFrom Classical to Contemporary PsychoanalysisFundamentals of Psychoanalytic TechniqueGenes on the CouchGoing SaneHans BellmerHappiness, Death, and the Remainder of LifeHate and Love in Psychoanalytical InstitutionsHatred and ForgivenessHealing the Soul in the Age of the BrainHeinz KohutHeinz KohutHidden MindsHistory of ShitHope and Dread in PsychoanalysisImagination and Its PathologiesImagine There's No WomanIn Freud's TracksIn SessionIn the Floyd ArchivesIntimaciesIntimate RevoltIrrationalityIs Oedipus Online?Jacques LacanJacques Lacan and the Freudian Practice of PsychoanalysisJung and the Making of Modern PsychologyJung Stripped BareKilling FreudLacanLacanLacanLacan and Contemporary FilmLacan at the SceneLacan For BeginnersLacan in AmericaLacan TodayLacan's Seminar on AnxietyLawLearning from Our MistakesLove's ExecutionerMad Men and MedusasMale Female EmailMelanie KleinMemoirs of My Nervous IllnessMental SlaveryMind to MindMixing MindsMoral StealthMourning and ModernityMovies and the MindMurder in ByzantiumNew Studies of Old VillainsNocturnesNoir AnxietyOn Being Normal and Other DisordersOn BeliefOn IncestOn Not Being Able to SleepOn the Freud WatchOn the Way HomeOpen MindedOpera's Second DeathOvercoming Destructive Beliefs, Feelings, and BehaviorsPhenomology & Lacan on Schizophrenia, After the Decade of the BrainPhilosophical Counselling and the UnconsciousPractical Psychoanalysis for Therapists and PatientsPsychiatry, Psychoanalysis, And The New Biology Of MindPsychoanalysisPsychoanalysis and Narrative MedicinePsychoanalysis and NeurosciencePsychoanalysis and the Philosophy of SciencePsychoanalysis as Biological SciencePsychoanalysis at the MarginsPsychoanalysis at the MarginsPsychoanalysis in a New LightPsychoanalysis in FocusPsychology, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and the Politics of Human RelationshipsPsychotherapy As PraxisPutnam CampQuestions for FreudRe-Inventing the SymptomReading Seminar XXReinventing the SoulRelational Theory and the Practice of PsychotherapyRelationalityRepressed SpacesRevolt, She SaidSecrets of the SoulSerious ShoppingSex on the CouchSexuationSigmund FreudSoul Murder RevisitedSpectral EvidenceSpirit, Mind, and BrainStrangers to OurselvesSubjective Experience and the Logic of the OtherSubjectivity and OthernessSubstance Abuse As SymptomSurrealist Painters and PoetsTaboo SubjectsTalk is Not EnoughThe Art of the SubjectThe Brain and the Inner WorldThe Brain, the Mind and the SelfThe Cambridge Companion to LacanThe Challenge for Psychoanalysis and PsychotherapyThe Clinical LacanThe Colonization Of Psychic SpaceThe Condition of MadnessThe Couch and the TreeThe Cruelty of DepressionThe Dissociative Mind in PsychoanalysisThe Dreams of InterpretationThe Examined LifeThe Fall Of An IconThe Freud EncyclopediaThe Freud FilesThe Freud WarsThe Fright of Real TearsThe Future of PsychoanalysisThe Gift of TherapyThe Heart & Soul of ChangeThe Knotted SubjectThe Last Good FreudianThe Letters of Sigmund Freud and Otto RankThe Mind According to ShakespeareThe Mystery of PersonalityThe Mythological UnconsciousThe Neuropsychology of the UnconsciousThe New PsychoanalysisThe Power of FeelingsThe Psychoanalytic MovementThe Psychoanalytic MysticThe Psychoanalytic Study of the ChildThe Psychoanalytic Study of the ChildThe Psychodynamics of Gender and Gender RoleThe Puppet and the DwarfThe Real World Guide to Psychotherapy PracticeThe Revolt of the PrimitiveThe Seminar of Moustafa SafouanThe Sense and Non-Sense of RevoltThe Shortest ShadowThe Social History of the UnconsciousThe Surface EffectThe Symmetry of GodThe Tragedy of the SelfThe Trainings of the PsychoanalystThe UnsayableThe World of PerversionTherapeutic ActionTherapy's DelusionsThis Incredible Need to BelieveThoughts Without A ThinkerTo Redeem One Person Is to Redeem the WorldTrauma and Human ExistenceTraumatizing TheoryUmbr(a)Unconscious knowing and other essays in psycho-philosophical analysisUnderstanding Dissidence and Controversy in the History of PsychoanalysisUnderstanding PsychoanalysisUnfree AssociationsWalking HeadsWay Beyond FreudWhat Does a Woman Want?What Freud Really MeantWhen the Body SpeaksWhere Do We Fall When We Fall in Love?Whose Freud?Why Psychoanalysis?Wilhelm ReichWinnicottWinnicott On the ChildWisdom Won from IllnessWittgenstein on Freud and FrazerWittgenstein Reads FreudWorld, Affectivity, TraumaZizek

Related Topics
Movies and the MindReview - Movies and the Mind
Theories of the Great Psychoanalysts Applied to Film
by William Indick
McFarland & Company, 2004
Review by Mark Welch
Feb 9th 2005 (Volume 9, Issue 6)

Sometime around 1895 both the modern cinema and modern psychoanalysis came into being, and they have had a mutual, not to say incestuous, fascination ever since. They gaze at each other and see themselves reflected and reinforced. It has been remarked that no art form is quite so suited, because of its ability to focus intently upon one single protagonist, the close-up, the point of view, the voice-over, as cinema, and no psycho- or sociological theory is quite so seductive, although not always correct or sustainable by any means, as psychoanalysis. In this book Indick attempts to apply many of the most well known theories, great he would call them, to a range of films to illustrate their insights and truths. He looks at classical Freud, Jung, Adler, Rank, Erickson and May, and adds in Joseph Campbell for good measure, although there may be some debate about whether he could really be called a psychoanalyst. But no matter, what Indick attempts to is show how the constructs, archetypes, mechanisms, drives and so on about which the theorists expound can be seen to play themselves out, literally, on the screen. There is a sense in which he wants to show that the universal insights of psychoanalysis are present and correct.

He does this in a very entertaining manner, and anyone with even a passing interest in either of the topics, let alone in both, is bound to be intrigued. He casts his cinematic net far and wide, well far and wide in Hollywood. The treatment of non-Hollywood cinema is scant and only includes a bare selection of usual suspects, a little bit of German expressionism, a nod towards the angst of Bergman and Tarkovsky, but little else. Nor does he venture much outside the feature film. There is, for example, no reference to more experimental films and nothing about documentaries at all. However, within the Hollywood genres he does present an interesting range. It should be noted here that he is not so much interested in films with a psychological or psychiatric bent or storyline, he is interested in the myth-making, story-telling nature of film and how the psychoanalytic theories he applies can illuminate them and enrich our experience.

To that end, he seems as indebted to the work of Joseph Campbell as any of the clinicians. Campbell's monumental, and seminal, work on the universal and timeless themes of myths underpins much of the thesis of the book. Indeed, one of the persistent themes is the hero figure, the trials and the triumph. There is a direct and clear link between the stories of Homer (not Simpson although that may be an interesting study waiting to happen) and Frodo's quest, Luke Skywalker and the Jedi knights, Dorothy in Oz, and perhaps most thought-provoking of all, Malcolm X.

After a series of chapters in which he treats each theorist separately, and shows a Rankian take on Harry Potter or the Freudian murk of American Beauty, he attempts to pull all the perspectives together in an analysis of Malcolm X. It may be that this particular section could have been expanded a little (his eclectic approach is only about eight pages). The undeniable cultural context and political significance of the film could be developed more than it is. Indeed, if the thesis of the book is to have any distinct value it may be in the eclectic approach because few if any theoretical purists still remain. That time may have passed and Indick has the opportunity of bringing together a number of extremely important strands of thought and constructs of social and personal understanding to act upon perhaps the most significant myth-making medium of our age.

There is, if anything, a temptation to dismiss the work lightly as a bit of an academic party game -- "what would happen if Freud had written about Dracula instead of dreams?" -- but, it deserves more than that, and the final chapter, looking at a controversial, but certainly mythic film, may well have presented that opportunity. Perhaps this is an opportunity that could have been grasped more firmly.

However, Indick does have a serious subject, and a meaningful one. He clearly enjoys his films on many levels. It would be perhaps a little more helpful if he could have been more critical in his appraisal and more pertinent in his exemplars. Movies do matter. They do show many of the facets of myth-making. They do both arise out of and shape the societies they speak to and with. They are worthy of study and reflection. And, if on finishing this book a reader feels the same, Indick will have done a fine job.

 

 

© 2005 Mark Welch

 

 

Mark Welch, Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta and Co-Director of the PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing & Mental Health.


Share

Welcome to MHN's unique book review site Metapsychology. We feature over 7900 in-depth reviews of a wide range of books and DVDs written by our reviewers from many backgrounds and perspectives. We update our front page weekly and add more than thirty new reviews each month. Our editor is Christian Perring, PhD. To contact him, use one of the forms available here.

Can't remember our URL? Access our reviews directly via 'metapsychology.net'


Metapsychology Online reviewers normally receive gratis review copies of the items they review.
Metapsychology Online receives a commission from Amazon.com for purchases through this site, which helps us send review copies to reviewers. Please support us by making your Amazon.com purchases through our Amazon links. We thank you for your support!


Join our e-mail list!: Metapsychology New Review Announcements: Sent out monthly, these announcements list our recent reviews. To subscribe, click here.

Interested in becoming a book reviewer for Metapsychology? Currently, we especially need thoughtful reviewers for books in fiction, self-help and popular psychology. To apply, write to our editor.

Metapsychology Online Reviews

Promote your Page too

Metapsychology Online Reviews
ISSN 1931-5716