Endless Night: Cinema and Psychoanalysis, Parallel Histories by Janet Bergstrom

By Janet Bergstrom

The "endless night" that movie thought and psychoanalysis proportion is the darkness that those disciplines face of their quest for the logics of intelligibility. This assortment emphasizes the heritage of idea to illustrate that movie concept has to be written with a robust feel of ancient realization, interest, and archaeological craft. the amount brings jointly movie theorists and working towards psychoanalysts to inspire an trade of perspectives among disciplines that come across one another all too hardly ever.

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In the spilling over from theorist to film-bits and back, the irruptions of each into the other, together with the return on and from the listening-watching audience, a certain experience is made to be had of cinemanot cinema left to its own devices but pulled into its abstraction, what it can do of the real, the symptom, where it and the analyst can in every sense leave one another. " Once this is understood, there is in some sense little more to say, little more, that is, outside of the field of psychoanalysis itself (which is why Lacan was not that interested): the Thing just is this rock: the rock of castration, the part of the real that suffers from the signifier, the outside of the annihilation of the subject in the death drive, and Page 46 54 so on, nothing of which can change (alas, no jumping over the phallus, "only castration is true").

A powerful idea taken over from psychoanalysis is interpretationwhat, Page 35 indeed, does the psychoanalyst do but look to reveal the meanings of dreams and symptoms and all the various manifestations through which the unconscious finds expression? In film analysis, the recourse to psychoanalysis as interpretative source has mostly worked illustratively, resolving things into the confirmation of a set of given themes, a repeatable psychoanalytic story duly repeated. Which is not without its reason since the Oedipal and other norms can indeed be opportunely brought to bear on the films of "cinema": psychoanalysis, that is, fits a cinema culturally permeated by psychoanalytic awareness, developed in societies in which psychoanalysis itself developed (the parallel histories precisely).

As an example, the latter suggests having the process of repression and the nature of psychoanalytic treatment rendered by a scene showing a noisy interrupter being ejected from a lecture hall and then persuaded to return more peacefully. Freud is unconvinced, dismissive, despite the fact that the illustration is his own, from 10 his Clark University lectures. The "no bad picture [keine unpassende Darstellung]" of the popularizing lecture is no good picture for the film, merely underlines the problem: film for Freud is the intruder with whom psychoanalysis cannot successfully negotiate, something in it escapes even as he maintains that psychoanalysis escapes it (psychoanalysis is more than film can show and film's showing troubles psychoanalysis).

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