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. Psychoanalysis is the central issue for many contributors, with essays exploring not only its place in relation to the Gothic Imagination at the heart of horror but also its consequent role in both forming and analysing the horror film. (1986). But the truth remains that a number of objections levied in recent years by critics positioning themselves well outside the circle of Freud and his followers constitute a far more serious threat to the psychoanalytically-inclined horror film theorist than any and all such internal variety and difference. Also because it casts itself in political terms, purporting to identify and analyze the ideological effects of a specific visual-narrative structure. 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. Austin, University of Texas Press: 15-34. 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. 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. The Peculiar Pleasures of a Popular Genre.” Cultural Studies 11.3: 443-63. A number of post-structural psychoanalytic horror film theorists, including Barbara Creed and Xavier Mendik (1998), employ Julia Kristeva’s (1982) notion of abjection to argue that women in the genre-mothers especially-are frequently presented as monstrous beings who pose a fatal threat to men. Horror. 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 second wave became popular in the 1980s and 90s. The title “Witches and the other Night -Fears” leads reader to the authors unconscious. Carroll, N. (1996a). It also responds to the need for internal debate amongst otherwise (at least potentially) sympathetic psychoanalytic theorists of the horror genre. 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. Bordwell, D. and N. Carroll (eds.). The same cannot be said of psychoanalytic film theory in general, which has certainly seen its fair share of internal controversy. If these intuitions were applied to different films within the genre, they would be quite compatible. “Film Bodies: Gender, Genre, and Excess” (1984). Hills, M. (forthcoming). Toward a Psychoanalytic Theory of Postmodern Horror Han-yu Huang Tamkang University Abstract This essay looks at “horror” both as a narrative (literary and especially cinematic) genre and as a trans-genre, postmodern social and cultural milieu, one in which horror has become entangled with excessive, pathological fantasy and enjoyment. 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. 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. 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). In this dense anthology, for every standard criticism of psychoanalysis there is an equally compelling argument for its use in analyzing 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). (1995). Mendik, X. (2), Arguably, one example of this sort of unproductive pluralism centers on the post-structural psychoanalytic claim that at the heart of cinematic horror lies a patriarchal fear of female sexuality. Clearly, the pluralism Turvey has in mind here is not of the productive or “methodologically robust” type advocated by Noël Carroll. This volume seeks to find the proper place of psychoanalytic thought in critical discussion of cinema in a series of essays that … 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. Manchester, Manchester University Press: 124-50. Three sophisticated horror movies are interpreted from the perspective of Homo ludens and the Theatrum mundi-metaphor, in which the boundaries between fiction and reality are called into question in creative ways.Adler, Alfred (1910c/2007): Der psychische Hermaphroditismus im Leben und in der Neurose. 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. (Memento vom 25. Thus, locating quality scholars ready and willing to contribute to a collection of essays all of which would apply psychoanalysis (of whatever species) to the horror film didn’t seem like it would pose too difficult an editorial task. 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. “Screen Theory.” Approaches to popular film. Penley, C. (1989). 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. And it effectively undermines the power of those prima facie affinities holding between psychoanalytic concepts and explanations on the one hand, and the manifest content of much horror cinema on the other. “A Fun Night Out: Horror and Other Pleasures of the Cinema.” Freud’s Worst Nightmares: Psychoanalysis and the Horror Film. Author retrieves from his unconscious the memories of his childhood when he used to listen stories of witches. In recent years, 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. Beginning in the early 1980s feminist film theory began to look at film through a more intersectional lens. In: Persönlichkeit und neurotische Entwicklung. 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. 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. Learn more. horror film, woman is conceptualized only as victim. In a typical horror film, the murderer/monster is a static character who dies, unchanged, in the film’s conclusion. The most common route of psychoanalytic inquiry into horror cinema is through considerations of the monster's gender and sexuality. 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. 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. Schneider, S. Psychoanalysis is the central issue for many contributors, with essays exploring not only its place in relation to the Gothic Imagination at the heart of horror but also its consequent role in both forming and analysing the horror film. 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. Schneider, S. 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? Not essays which simply (or not so simply, as the case may be) make creative use of one or more Freudian, Rankian, Jungian, Kleinian, Jonesian, or Lacanian principles in an effort to shed light on an aspect of the horror film. 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. Enter your email address below and we will send you your username, If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username, I have read and accept the Wiley Online Library Terms and Conditions of Use, https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118883648.ch2. Dezember 2010 im Internet Archive) bei: Senses of Cinema; Bibliographie des 3rd European Psychoanalytic Film Festivals (Memento vom 17. Creed, B. In film theory psychoanalytic approaches became dominant during the 1970s and 1980s, at the heyday of the poststructuralist movement. London, Creation Books: 110-133. Especially since the late 1970s, there has been a tremendous diversity of psychoanalytic approaches to the horror film, as well as substantive disagreements between the advocates of these varying approaches. (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. (1993). Working off-campus? In order to remain intelligible, I have employed the strategy of trying to reconstruct the arguments of psychoanalytic theorists in my own words. London, BFI. Han-yu Huang. http://www.theaudiopedia.com What is PSYCHOANALYTIC FILM THEORY? 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. “Feminism, Film Theory, and the Bachelor Machines.” The Future of An Illusion: Film, Feminism, and Psychoanalysis. Eschewing the bogus idea of “pure” meta-theoretical inquiry conducted by people with no first-order attachment to their arguments and conclusions, Freud’s Worst Nightmares responds to the need for critical dialogue amongst psychoanalytic horror film scholars and those of other theoretical and disciplinary stripes. The full text of this article hosted at iucr.org is unavailable due to technical difficulties. 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. (ed.). Mulvey, L. (1999). 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). Oxford, Oxford University Press: 833-44. “Philosophical Problems Concerning the Concept of Pleasure in Psychoanalytic Theories of (the Horror) Film.” Freud’s Worst Nightmares: Psychoanalysis and the Horror Film. 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. 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. But unless and until the necessary qualifications are proffered, they stand in evident conflict. This was to be a book about psychoanalytic theories of the horror film, rather than a book which merely offered still more new and/or improved (or not) psychoanalytic theories of the horror film. 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). “Cognitivism, Contemporary Film Theory and Method: A Response to Warren Buckland” (1992). Williams, L. (1999). Elizabeth Cowie, University of Kent Book Description. New York, Routledge. Braudy, L. and M. Cohen (eds.). 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 … Learn about our remote access options, Author of Un‐American Psycho: Brian De Palma and the Political Invisible. This is because, in general, such objections would be fatal to psychoanalysis if proven correct. 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. For more information, contact William Rothman or Steven Jay Schneider. Williams, L. (1996). Psychoanalytic theories of film, and of horror film in particular, have been subject to attack from various quarters. 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