Psychoanalytic film theory is a school of academicm thought that evokes of the concepts of psychoanalysts Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan.The theory is closely tied to Critical theory, Marxist film theory, and Apparatus theory.The theory is separated into two waves. Schneider, S. Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press. Manchester, Manchester University Press: 124-50. What does PSYCHOANALYTIC FILM THEORY mean? Rather, they are debates taking place within psychoanalytic film theory in general. Han-yu Huang. In The Monstrous-Feminine Barbara Creed challenges this patriarchal view by arguing that the prototype of all definitions of the monstrous is the female reproductive body. Learn more. In this dense anthology, for every standard criticism of psychoanalysis there is an equally compelling argument for its use in analyzing Such a heterogeneity of conceptual and methodological backgrounds strongly suggests that what we have here is more than just a genre-specific case of cognitivist/historicist “Post-Theory” doing its thing. Third, psychoanalytic film theory is a notoriously opaque discourse and often assumes a large amount of prior knowledge on the part of the vexed and taxed reader. Zizek, S. (2001). Freud’s psychoanalytic theory is a perfect lens through which to evaluate horror films and the effects of them. The second wave became popular in the 1980s and 90s. In Shame indeed it is not until Sissy and Brandon live side by side again as adults that they are forced to face the problems created by their unhealthy sexual behavior. The Fright of Real Tears: Krzysztof Kieslowski Between Theory and Post-Theory. Bordwell, D. and N. Carroll (1996). "The essays in Horror Film and Psychoanalysis: Freud's Worst Nightmare are exemplary philosophical and aesthetic discussions, their complex and subtle arguments are both challenging and thought-provoking." This has meant that those externally-motivated criticisms which cut across various psychoanalytic theories of the horror film-as many, if not most of them are wont to do-are typically ignored, their implications unacknowledged, precisely because their very scope encourages a passing of the dialectical buck. The character of Norman Bates became a revolutionary breakthrough in cinema and entertainment as Freud’s psychoanalytic theory gained prominence in a major motion picture. http://www.theaudiopedia.com What is PSYCHOANALYTIC FILM THEORY? Freud’s influence in the twentieth century film is undeniable, as we see psychoanalysts replacin… Nevertheless, when used to shed light on horror cinema, psychoanalysis in its various forms has proven to be a fruitful and provocative interpretative tool. Hollows, J. and M. Jancovich (eds.). More like preaching to the converted. Despite the negative claim by its leading practitioners that what unites Post-Theoretical scholarship is simply a lack of reliance “upon the psychoanalytic framework that dominates film academia” (Bordwell and Carroll 1996: xvi), critics of psychoanalysis as applied to the horror genre may well diverge when it comes to questions concerning the in/dispensability of psychoanalytic film theory per se. (ed.). Levine, M. (forthcoming). “Film Bodies: Gender, Genre, and Excess” (1984). Most psychoanalytic horror film theorists to date have not proven very open to revising their particular accounts as a result of critical engagement with the work of others operating even from within the psychoanalytic paradigm. Rather, Turvey seems to be thinking of “a situation in which everyone just rattles around in their own paradigm” (Carroll 1992/1996a: 334); only here, the theorists in question are held to be “just rattling around” in the same paradigm, broadly construed as psychoanalysis. Oxford, Oxford University Press: 833-44. The focus of such examinations depends in the type of theory. Williams, L. (1996). (ed.). It is hoped that the concerted efforts made by each of the contributors to question their methods and motives (past and present), anticipate and respond to objections (actual and possible), and situate their work (historically and across disciplinary lines) will help pave the way for future scholarship on the horror film-of whatever theoretical persuasion-which expresses a commitment to the notions of dialogue, progress, and conceptual openness. Steven Jay Schneider has published widely on the horror film and related genres in journals such as Scope, Other Voices, Kinoeye and Senses of Cinema. (1995). Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings (Fifth Edition). “Horror and the Monstrous-Feminine: an Imaginary Abjection.” Screen 27.1: 44-70. According to Creed, the horror film attempts to bring about a confrontation with the abject (the corpse, bodily wastes, the monstrous-feminine) in order finally to eject the abject and redraw the boundaries between the human and the non-human. Madison, University of Wisconsin Press: 37-70. In order to remain intelligible, I have employed the strategy of trying to reconstruct the arguments of psychoanalytic theorists in my own words. And despite the often vitriolic criticisms of psychoanalysis coming from both inside and outside the all-too-thin walls of academic film studies, the horror genre has continued to see a steady stream of new psychoanalytic approaches, as well as new variations on existing ones. Psychoanalysts have always held family life to be extremely important in the processes of socialization and maturation. Dezember 2010 im Internet Archive) bei: Senses of Cinema; Bibliographie des 3rd European Psychoanalytic Film Festivals (Memento vom 17. If you are an Australian resident, any donations over $2 are tax deductible. As a form of modern defilement rite, the horror film attempts to separate out the symbolic order from all that threatens its stability, particularly the mother and all that her universe signifies. As Malcolm Turvey details in his contribution to this volume, for instance, a survey of the various explanations offered up by psychoanalytic film theorists concerning the puzzling … Psychoanalytic theory has been the subject of attacks from philosophers, cultural critics and scientists who have questioned the cogency of its reasoning as well as the soundness of its premises. In reference to horror film, psychoanalysis is as close to essential as any conceptual model can get. Nevertheless, when used to shed light on horror cinema, psychoanalysis in its various forms has proven to be a fruitful and provocative interpretative tool. Also, according to Cynthia A. Freeland in "Feminist Frameworks for Horror Films," feminist studies of horror films have focused on psychodynamics where the chief interest is "on viewers' motives and interests in watching horror films". This volume seeks to find the proper place of psychoanalytic thought in critical discussion of cinema in a series of essays that … Psychoanalytic film theory occurred in two distinct waves. However, the 1970s and 1980s saw the development of theory that took concepts developed by the French psychoanalyst and writer Jacques Lacan and applied them to the experience of watching a film. Unlike other genres built on recurring cataclysms of violence, horror films may perhaps be typified by the idea that their violence is motivated by sexual aberrations with roots in the past. Included among these are articles and books by such influential scholars as Robin Wood, Carol Clover, Stephen Neale, Linda Williams, Barbara Creed, even Noël Carroll in an earlier incarnation. Copjec, J. While such diversity might be held up as indicative of the fertility of psychoanalysis in this area, “from the point of view of critics of psychoanalytical film theory, there is no genuine disagreement among psychoanalytical theorists of the horror film- simply pluralism.” This is because such theorists typically “do not dialectically engage with each others’ theories by (a) showing why candidates for repressed mental content proposed by other theorists cannot explain the phenomenon they want to explain; or (b) showing why their candidate does explain the phenomenon better than others” (n. 9). The Peculiar Pleasures of a Popular Genre.” Cultural Studies 11.3: 443-63. Creed, B. (3). According to this paradigm, the threat of castration (absence and lack) posed by images of the female form in Hollywood cinema is contained through a sexualized objectification of that form, whether fetishistic-scopophilic (woman displayed as erotic spectacle, rendered unthreatening by the controlling male look) or sadistic-voyeuristic (woman investigated, demystified, and eventually controlled through punishment) in nature. “Introduction.” Post-Theory: Reconstructing Film Studies. In fact, the feminist-inflected psychoanalytic theories of horror proposed by Williams (1983/1996), Clover (1987; 1992), and Creed (1986; 1993) can all be understood as revisions, rather than outright rejections, of the original Mulveyan paradigm. “Doing Things with Theory: From Freud’s Worst Nightmare to (Disciplinary) Dreams of Horror’s Cultural Value.” Freud’s Worst Nightmares: Psychoanalysis and the Horror Film. This chapter points out that horror films seem to be built on a set of recurring themes: parents and children, sex and blood, secrets from the past, loss, repetition, trauma, death. All the while the horror film, … Psychoanalytic theories of film, and of horror film in particular, have been subject to attack from various quarters. Psychoanalytic theory has been the subject of attacks from philosophers, cultural critics and scientists who have questioned the cogency of its reasoning as well as the soundness of its premises. Such films may force a more active participation on the part of the viewer in the process of meaning creation that occurs between film, filmmakers, and spectator. “Her Body, Himself: Gender in the Slasher Film.” Representations 20: 187-228. Sigmund Freud's model of normal human consciousness connects to horror cinema through his vision of abnormality: the origin and effects of the monstrous, the disgusting, the … Freud's Worst Nightmares - Psychoanalysis and the Horror Film, Criminals Against Decoration: Modernism as a Heist, Claustrophobia and Intimacy in Alex Ross Perry’s, Thresholds of Work and Non-Work in Tulapop Saenjaroen’s, Take the A Train and Don’t Look Back: The 30th Sundance Film Festival and the 19, The 34th Cinema Ritrovato Has Full Resuscitation under COVID, Women at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival, A Vitalising Cinema in an Agitated Age: The 58th New York Film Festival, Your Daughters Come Back to You: The 28th Pan African Film and Arts Festival, “All the Thrills of the Exotic”: Collective Memory and Cultural Performance in Chris Marker’s, Stairways to Paradise: Youssef Chahine and, Waiting for Rain: Oppression and Resistance in Youssef Chahine’s, The Conscious Collusion of the Stare: The Viewer Implicated in Fassbinder’s, A Fun Night Out: Horror and Other Pleasures of the Cinema. Founded in 1999, Senses of Cinema is one of the first online film journals of its kind and has set the standard for professional, high quality film-related content on the Internet. But neither did it seem too exciting an idea. Men, Women, and Chain Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film. It adds strength to the already potent criticisms that psychoanalytic thought is hermetic and self-confirming, that its film theoretical applications produce “closed, self-justifying systems” (Jancovich 1995: 147). His book on Wes Craven, An Auteur on Elm Street, will be published by Wallflower Press/Columbia University Press in 2003. Williams, L. (1999). The same cannot be said of psychoanalytic film theory in general, which has certainly seen its fair share of internal controversy. Jancovich, M. (1992). Austin, University of Texas Press: 15-34. Clearly, the pluralism Turvey has in mind here is not of the productive or “methodologically robust” type advocated by Noël Carroll. This is because, in general, such objections would be fatal to psychoanalysis if proven correct. London, Creation Books: 110-133. Similarly, those who see fit to critique psychoanalytic theories of the horror film almost always have an alternative, incompatible (or so it may seem) paradigm in hand, or at least in mind. Black, A. Braudy, L. and M. Cohen (eds.). (1). Those who seek, or else just care enough, to defend a psychoanalytic approach to horror cinema inevitably have a pre-existing investment in applied psychoanalysis. Hg. Creed, B. For more information, contact William Rothman or Steven Jay Schneider. Namely, attacking what its advocates hold to be the “ethereal speculations” of a “Grand” psychoanalytic film theory which supposedly sees itself as “an indispensible frame of reference for understanding all filmic phenomena” (Bordwell and Carroll 1996: xiii). and you may need to create a new Wiley Online Library account. In accordance with this fear, it is held that the genre defines female sexuality “as monstrous, disturbing, and in need of repression” (Jancovich 1992: 10). They took their primary inspiration from the … (6) Rather, the notions in question should here be understood in heuristic terms, as a set of aims shared by the individual essays regardless of their primary discursive/rhetorical mode, whether this mode is historical, analytic, textual, empirical, or (what is most often the case) some combination thereof. Princeton, Princeton University Press. Miller, T. and R. Stam (eds.). Sigmund Freud's model of normal human consciousness connects to horror cinema through his vision of abnormality: the origin and effects of the monstrous, the disgusting, the hidden, the murderous, the perverse. Clover, meanwhile, argues for a primarily masochistic and empathetic, rather than sadistic-voyeuristic, identification on the part of both male and female spectators with the originally suffering but ultimately empowered “Final Girl” of the slasher movie. Batsford, Ltd. Jancovich, M. (1995). Unfortunately, the trend has been for psychoanalytic horror film theorists to downplay the tensions between their respective positions rather than attempt to resolve or revise them. (7). These experiences range from watching horror films to skydiving and bungee jumping. All the while the horror film, … New York, Routledge. According to Carroll, methodologically robust pluralism only occurs when competing theories are held up against one another for the purpose of weeding out the weak ones. Click here to make a donation. To refuse to hear such critics out, to not treat their more powerful objections with all-due seriousness, and to eschew making any effort at responding in turn is more than just irresponsible scholarship. 10. Below is a list of films influenced by psychoanalysis in some way or another. What all of the essays exhibit is something a great deal more practical than meta-theorization, also a great deal more valuable; namely, self-conscious theorizing. As employed in the present context, however, these notions should not be taken as indicative of a bias towards positivist or quasi-scientific horror film theorization; for there is certainly room to argue, as Michael Levine does in this volume, that psychoanalytic theories of cinematic horror, or of anything else for that matter, may be true even if unscientific according to a standard of falsifiability modeled on those of the empirical sciences. The title “Witches and the other Night -Fears” leads reader to the authors unconscious. Put another way, analyzing the film with psychoanalytic theory rationalizes the girls’ actions, which strengths Pauline and Juliet’s three-dimensional characterization. Elizabeth Cowie, University of Kent Book Description. The First wave occurred in the 1960s and 70s. The most common route of psychoanalytic inquiry into horror cinema is through considerations of the monster's gender and sexuality. The full text of this article hosted at iucr.org is unavailable due to technical difficulties. This acting out takes place either through the figure of the “monstrous-feminine” (Creed), or else through the female character’s sympathetic “look” at the monster- “a potentially subversive recognition of the power and potency of a nonphallic sexuality” (Williams 1983/1996: 24). In a typical horror film, the murderer/monster is a static character who dies, unchanged, in the film’s conclusion. After all, how many scholars would actually be willing to expend the time and energy needed to defend psychoanalytic theory as applied to the horror film without having a pet application of their own that they believe is well worth defending? “Why Horror? This essay addresses these criticisms—defending a psychoanalytic approach to horror cinema from objections raised by theorists such as Stephen Prince, Andrew Tudor, Jonathan Crane, Noël Carroll, and Berys Gaut. “Feminism, Film Theory, and the Bachelor Machines.” The Future of An Illusion: Film, Feminism, and Psychoanalysis. Freudian’s Theory of Psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud’s approach of psychoanalytic theory starts by understanding the human psyche that strives to fulfill the needs and desires or … London, BFI. The first, beginning in the late 1960s and early 1970s, focused on a formal critique of cinema’s dissemination of ideology, and especially on the role of the cinematic apparatus in this process. Such a claim can be considered “post-structural” in that it ultimately locates meaning not within individual films or the work of particular writers or directors, but in the signifying codes of horror cinema itself. (1986). (1997). Also because it casts itself in political terms, purporting to identify and analyze the ideological effects of a specific visual-narrative structure. One need only consider the objections of neo-Lacanians such as Joan Copjec (1995) and Slavoj Zizek (2001) to earlier claims concerning apparatus theory and the suture effect; Constance Penley’s (1989) critique of screen theory (5); Linda Williams on the problematic (because ambiguous) “terms of perversion used to describe the normal pleasures of film viewing” (1984/1999: 706); and the heated mid-’80s debate in Cinema Journal concerning Stella Dallas and the Mulvey-Metz model of female spectatorship. What is equally interesting is the way the film portrays the role of the family in this process. (Memento vom 28. Sparks fly across the pages as the philosophical and epistemological premises of theories of horror are themselves subjected to analysis and evaluation as well as, in some cases, rejection. Bordwell, D. and N. Carroll (eds.). As Richard Allen has observed, both Williams and Creed contest aspects of Mulvey’s position by identifying “scenarios of female empowerment in the horror film in which the threat of castration [i]s not contained, but acted out in the narrative” (1999: 140). Over the past thirty years, a plethora of publications have argued in favor of a specific psychoanalytic approach to some dimension or convention of cinematic horror. (1998). April 2013 im Internet Archive) Holger Reichert: Film und Kino. Und Kino miller, T. and R. psychoanalytic theory horror films ( eds. ) need for internal debate amongst otherwise at... Wishes to save his wife 1960s and 70s evaluate motion pictures and their overall on. 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