This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Psychoanalysis, Cinema, And Symbolism

681 words - 3 pages

Psychoanalysis, Cinema, and Symbolism

In the article “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema,” Laura Mulvey discusses the relationships amongst psychoanalysis (primarily Freudian theory), cinema (as she observed it in the mid 1970s), and the symbolism of the female body. Taking some of her statements and ideas slightly out of their context, it is interesting to compare her thoughts to the continuum of oral-print-image cultures.

A great deal of this interesting comparison is encouraged by the introductory sections of Mulvey’s essay. She writes, “the paradox of phallocentrism in all its manifestations is that it depends on the image of the castrated woman to give order and meaning to its world” (198). If phallocentrism depends on an image, is it inherently part of a modern, image-based culture? Long before Freud and psychoanalysis, phallocentrism certainly existed in oral and written texts (though without this specific term to identify it). Can the “image” that Mulvey refers to include an image described with words, or is she writing exclusively of a visual, dimensional image?

Mulvey continues:

The function of woman in forming the patriarchal unconscious is twofold: she first symbolizes the castration threat by her real absence of a penis and, second, thereby raises her child into the symbolic. Once this has been achieved, her meaning in the process is at an end; it does not last into the world of law and language except as a memory which oscillates between memory of maternal plenitude and memory of lack.” (198-9, my italics)

So, in Mulvey’s “patriarchal unconscious,” which is presumably centered on phallocentrism, the woman’s role is only symbolic, only in images and thoughts and representations. But can’t these representations, these symbols, carry over into language and literature, into stories and fables? It is difficult to understand the divide Mulvey is recognizing between image and non-image existence. Does she mean to exclude literature from the breadth of places where women are objectified, symbolized, or generalized? She explicitly...

Find Another Essay On Psychoanalysis, Cinema, and Symbolism

Andre Bazin & Rudolf Arnheim Essay

1604 words - 7 pages Bazin`s ideology of cinema as an individual in `What is cinema?: The ontology of the photographic image` (2004), Bazin accentuates and concentrates throughout his article primarily on art and photography supporting his statements from a historical view based on cinema: `If the plastic arts were put under psychoanalysis, the practice of embalming the dead might turn out to be a fundamental factor in their creation` (p 166, 1945). Here Bazin

"Europe Goes to Hollywood" Essay

1501 words - 6 pages with art cinema. Innovation is emphasised strongly which, over the years, has resulted in the creation of terms such as the French Nouvelle Vague, Italian Neo-Realism and New German cinema. There are also typical European genres such as the Film Noir, European heritage film and the German Heimatfilm. In contrast to Hollywood, there is little conventional action in European art-house films. Many foreign films explore the ideas of symbolism, using


1337 words - 6 pages who became great pioneers of film. Kuleshov taught many directors while working at the state film school. Soviet montage cinema placed emphasis on close ups and high degree of symbolism. I watched the introduction of film-Soviet Montage made by Manchester School Of Art, the video is of man waiting in hallway: a complication of close-ups shots of his face, eyes, cigarettes burning away on the ash tray on the table, his feet and his coffee. This

A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner

1280 words - 5 pages caused by her fixation at her unsuccessfully completed psychosexual stages. At the heart of Emily's neurosis is a girl struggling with the absence of a mother. This neurosis is reflected in her actions and in the symbolism present throughout the story. Emily's house is where the story ends, which is apporiate. In psychoanalysis, houses may be interpreted as a womb or the feminine and the room in which Homer's body lie can be interpreted as a form of a

Women in Film as Portrayed in the Movie, Double Indemnity

1110 words - 4 pages only hope that in any context of femininity on screen, we pay to see these women because they are truly lovely in every sense, “and to experience an inner radiance that may find its form in outward grace” (Entertainment Weekly 65).   Works Cited Cowie, Elizabeth. Representing the Woman: Cinema and Psychoanalysis. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1997. Francke, Lizzie. Script Girls. London,England: British Film Institute

The Bicycle Thief

874 words - 4 pages with a powerful subtext, one that needs to be understood in the context of the very real difficulty of survival in postwar Italy, it also has a fascinating psychological dimension.” (Fabe, 105) Works Cited Rocchio, Vincent F. Cinema of Anxiety: A Psychoanalysis of Italian Neorealism. Austin: University of Texas, 1999. Print. Fabe, Marilyn. "Psychological Themes." Closely Watched Films: An Introduction to the Art of Narrative Film Technique

Compare and Contrast The Great Gatsby

1621 words - 6 pages The Great Gatsby is one of the most known novel and movie in the United States. Fitzgerald is the creator of the novel The Great Gatsby; many want to recreate his vision in their own works. Being in a rewrite of the novel or transforming literature in cinema. Luhrmann is the most current director that tried to transform this novel into cinema. However, this is something many directors have tried to do but have not succeeded. Luhrmann has made a

Sigmund Freud: Changing the Way We Think About the Way We Think

1730 words - 7 pages Sigmund Freud: Changing the Way We Think About the Way We Think Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, is world renowned. His view points and interpretations of human behavior that he has presented in his arguments have always made me take a deeper look at myself. He opens up a new way of seeing things. Talking about Freud, there is never a dull or boring moment, there is always some way you can look at yourself and see something

New Wave Theory

4524 words - 18 pages , Russell. "Dixon, Griffith and the Southern Legend: A Cultural Analysis of The Birth of a Nation." Cinema Journal XII (Fall 1972): 26-45. Metz, Christian. The Imaginary Signifier: Psychoanalysis and the Cinema. Trans. Celia Britton, et al. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1982. Metz, Christian. "Mirror Construction in Fellini's 8 1/2." In Film Language, trans. Michael Taylor, 228-34. New York: Oxford University Press, 1974. Michael Taylor

New Wave Theory

4628 words - 19 pages , Storyteller. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982. Merritt, Russell. "Dixon, Griffith and the Southern Legend: A Cultural Analysis of The Birth of a Nation." Cinema Journal XII (Fall 1972): 26-45. Metz, Christian. The Imaginary Signifier: Psychoanalysis and the Cinema. Trans. Celia Britton, et al. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1982. Metz, Christian. "Mirror Construction in Fellini's 8 1/2." In Film Language

The Psychology of Religion

1469 words - 6 pages not continued unscathed, it has instead been the subject of a large amount of criticism. In critiquing Freudian psychoanalysis, R.S. Woodworth discussed the variation in symbolism resulting from individual association with the perceived object (182). Trying to extract meaningful psychological information by analyzing dream objects has proved futile, in part because of the analysand’s personal bias and also because of the ambiguity of Freud’s use

Similar Essays

Feminist Film Theorist Laura Mulvey And Classicism

857 words - 4 pages . Narcissistic visual pleasure can be derived from self-identification, someone’s ideal self ego. Mulvey integrates the structures of scopophilia and narcissism into the story as well as the image of her film, Riddles of The Sphinx. Laura Mulvey used psychoanalysis to understand the fascination of Hollywood cinema. The two desires in us, scopophilia and narcissism, are suited in cinema, but both desires aren’t from the same person. Mulvey states that if

Sigmund Freud Essay

3588 words - 14 pages also introduced psychoanalysis to many Americans and brought about their satisfaction with confronting their fears and fascination with how the mind worked. Psychoanalysis in the media became a representation of the whole society. The mental stresses, dysfunctions, and illnesses came to represent the stresses of working-class life and the bourgeois. Since the working class could not afford psychoanalysis, cinema represented their mental hospital

Deleuze's Literary Critics Essay

1292 words - 6 pages ) and German (the language of towns, bureaucracy and commerce). Even when it is unique, a language remains a mixture of different languages, that crash one with the other. Deleuze’s intention to avoid any transcendental interpretation in favour of a practical approach to Kafka’s works includes a brief analysis of the historical context , which is the critical situation of the Hapsburg empire, its imminent breakdown, which provoked complex “processes of reterritorialization”, as Deleuze interprets them, such as Einstein theories, Austrian dedacophonist music, the Expressionism in cinema, the birth of psychoanalysis and of Prague school of linguistics.

Bollywood Cinema Essay

1292 words - 5 pages Bollywood cinema encompasses a variety of genres. It’s superior ability to create a connection between all strata’s of viewers gives us a reason to explore the hidden representations in Bollywood cinema. Not long after India regained its independence, a new era of Indian Cinema began. This era put forth heart wrenching movies, filled with patriotic messages and a very clean concept of national progress. The main concept of the nation-state was