Books and Movies Reviews

Cronenburg and Psychoanalytic Theory

Psychoanalysis, as stemmed from Freud, brings the "unconscious" to the foreground of importance, adding value to those thoughts, feelings, etcetera, that are usually repressed. Film, as a mass entertainment, serves as a way for an audience to "experience" situations that they do not always have the chance to experience, but, to do so, relies on somehow pulling the viewer in so that they do not necessarily realise, while they are watching, that they are watching a film, but, instead, feel as if they are the one caught up in the action of the piece. So, then, the filmmaker's job is to prompt this experience for the audience and can do so by positioning the viewer to feel as if they, themselves, are witnessing the events in the film.
How can a viewer so believe in a film when they, all the time, know that the world and story of the film is fiction and fantasy? The power of cinema comes in its power to duplicate the real world, the world we know. Cinema is able to show us the world we live our lives in, but it goes beyond that; it is also capable of manipulation- unlike many other arts, which can simply observe and record with minimal manipulation. It is manipulation that sparks interest in the world, as portrayed in film. If there was no manipulation, it may not be worth watching film because it would simply be a "straight" reproduction of the world, in which we live, and would probably be better experienced in the world itself. Even the most realist of films, in the Bazin-ian sense of the term, relies on manipulation, although the manipulation is to hide that there has been any. How, then, does this manipulation work to attract the viewer? Surely, the simple fact that there is manipulation cannot be enough; there must be some reason to rely on this tactic.
"Thus the film is like the mirror. But it differs from the primordial mirror in one essential point: although, as in the latter, everything…


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