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TitleMadness and Cinema: Psychoanalysis, Spectatorship and Culture
ISBN 139780230629486
CategoryArts - Film
Author
LanguageEnglish
File Size558.5 KB
Total Pages190
Table of Contents
                            Cover
Contents
List of Figures and Tables
Acknowledgements
Preface
1 Madness and Cinematisation
	A certain type of contextualising
	Some notes on the structure of the book
	The impossibility of madness
2 Representing the Impossible
	Representation: cultural paranoia, wanderers, and social transgression
	Cinema alongside madness
	The prestige of the image: the transpositionality of madness
	Animality, passion and fear
	Resistances
3 The Neurotic Spectator who Eroticises
	The erotics between pleasure and anxiety
	Angst, pleasure and the cinema
	Realistic Angst and the film/spectator
	Neurotic Angst and the film/spectator
	The rupturing effect of cinema
	‘Preserving error in the heart of reality’
	A visit to the butchers
4 The Psychotic Spectator who Transgresses
	On the bed: the language of the psychotic
	Soul murder and calibene: Schreber and Rivière
	Psychotic disturbances of the cinematic language
	A note on foreclosure and the spectator
	Hallucination, delusion, and phantasy
5 The Hysterical Spectator against the Good
	On the Good
	Hysterical flesh and the function of the beautiful
	The intimidation of desire by the beautiful
	Hysterical flesh and the substance of fantasy
	The spectator’s hysterical body
6 The Limits of Knowledge
	The dog over us
	The challenge to interpretation
	Cinema, knowledge and exceeding pleasure
	Cinematic knowledge and madness
	Truth and knowledge out of madness
	The limits to meaning
Notes
Bibliography
Index
	A
	B
	C
	D
	E
	F
	G
	H
	I
	J
	K
	L
	M
	N
	O
	P
	R
	S
	T
	U
	W
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 1

Madness and
Cinema

Psychoanalysis,
Spectatorship and Culture

Patrick Fuery

Page 2

Madness and Cinema

Page 95

Aboriginal are seen as a type of madness by the girl. These acts,
caught up in versions of sexuality and death, seem to exclude the
young boy and pass unobserved by him.

It would be over simplifying, however, to argue that these four
processes are the primary formation and constitution of a
psychotic language – and that all signs of psychosis will contain
such elements. At the very least such a summary carries with it the
mistake of not acknowledging the template of the discourse of
madness that has necessarily been placed on all such cases. In
other words, we may see a set of recurring themes (such as the
family, sexuality, religion and the seductive forces of transgression
that the text holds for the spectator), but at the same time we must
recognise the discourses that encase and interpret (through
predisposition), them. This is precisely Foucault’s project in the
collection of the medical and legal documents that surround the
Rivière memoirs; it is also part of the radical rereading that Lacan
gives the Papin sisters case when he looks to the socio-psychical
forces at play; and it is the interpretative gesture that Freud makes
when he reads Schreber’s memoirs. And yet these commentators
become part of the very discourse they are attempting to analyse.
This is all part of the language of psychosis – it is the moment
where all discourses meet, from the psychotic’s invention of signs
to the attempts to read them outside of the context in which they
are generated. Positioned in this way the psychotic becomes the
site of resistance for the sorts of things Foucault aligns to ‘state-
ments’ (see, for example, Foucault 1970). Let us now return to the
idea of the image, for this is where we find a key aspect of the
psychotic in the cinematic Imaginary.

Psychotic disturbances of the cinematic
language
What we have termed the cinematic Imaginary – the relationship
between the becoming spectator and the cinematic – is essential to
these issues of the discourses of the psychoses. It is part of what
Lacan describes as the ‘order of relations of understanding’
(Lacan 1993: 9) between the subject and his/her world order. For
our concerns here, this must at the very least constitute how the
spectator comes to terms with the representation of madness, and
how he/she becomes part of that configuration. This is the idea
that the becoming spectator is part of the formation of this

82 MADNESS AND CINEMA

Page 96

psychotic language, for it is realised through the gaze of the
cinema spectator. This is a parallel that functions at many different
levels. To list the ones we have so far: the psychotic’s own language
read through its particular discourses (the Seelenmord of Schreber,
the enceepharating of Rivière, the self-mutilation of Christine Papin,
and so forth); the cinematic ‘translation’ of these signs into narra-
tive representations (such as Lester Burnham, Colonel Fitts,
Norman Bates, at the level of characterisation, as well as specific
moments, such as the rose petal in the mouth as a blurring of
phantasy and reality); the discourses that attempt to analyse them
(such as psychoanalysis, history, science and medicine, as well as
the cinematic apparatus).

To this (incomplete) list we can add the spectator’s mirroring of
the psychoses in order to watch a film. This complex relationship
operates in itself at a number of different levels. If in no other way,
and at the very least, the spectator is like the psychotic because of
the paranoia involved in reading a film. Just as when we watch a
film all elements have the possibility of meaning, so too does the
psychotic interpret the world. Lacan argues the psychotic finds
him/herself as a foreigner in the world, and as such finds mean-
ingfulness in every act and object, every event and moment. The
psychotic feels a constant gaze upon themselves, not just from
other people, but from literally everything. It is not simply other
people who seem to spy on the psychotic but the non-human
objects of the world. (See for example, Lacan 1993: 9 where this
sense of being spied on by the world itself is sometimes even seen
as a wink). This can work as part of our definition of the cinema
spectator – one who sees everything as a sign, and who feels the
entire world of the film is addressed towards him/herself. Not only
that, but objects do have a gaze and a speech that is directed at the
spectator of the film. The close-up of the star thrown into the dust
at the end of High Noon (Zinnemann 1952) gives that inanimate
object the capacity to speak to, point, look, and yes even wink at
the spectator. Of course it does not do this solely by itself, but in
combination with the required acts of spectating in order to
attribute meaning to the badge.

Of course, as we have noted elsewhere, it is not enough, even at
the level of metaphor, to conflate the acts of madness with the
processes of the spectator because they can be seen to demonstrate
certain shared traits. Our struggle here is with the impossibilities
of madness and the fecund nature of spectatorship; of how each of

THE PSYCHOTIC SPECTATOR WHO TRANSGRESSES 83

Page 189

Godard, Jean-Luc 86
Godfather, The 22
Good, the Bad and the Ugly, The 37

Hallucination 91, 104
Hegel, G.W.F. 3, 4, 25, 66, 67, 100,

150
High Noon 83, 125–7, 128
Hollywood 18, 37, 91

Id 54–5, 95, 97
Imaginary 60, 78, 82, 102, 104,

131, 141, 156, 157–8
Intertextuality 23, 24
Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The

18

Jouissance 11, 68, 69, 111, 117, 130,
140, 144–8, 149, 158

Kant, Immanuel 112, 113, 116,
117, 120

Klein, Melanie 61–2
Knowledge 5, 27, 36, 69, 72, 130,

133, 134–5, 144–5, 147

La Femme Nikita 37
La jetée 66
L’Avventura 153
Lacan, Jacques 6, 58, 60, 62, 65,

66, 69, 71–2, 73, 83, 84, 85,
86, 115, 116, 117, 118, 128,
135, 139, 153, 155

Language 73, 75, 76, 78, 82, 83,
84, 87, 92, 102, 144

Last Seduction, The 33
Last Tango in Paris 23
Last Year at Marienbad 48, 153
Le sang d’un poète 24, 48
Lethal Weapon 37, 38
L’Histoire d’Adèle H 22
Libido 53, 59, 63, 64, 65
Longest Day, The 87
Lost Highway 48, 153
Love 61, 63, 69, 97

Mad Max 22, 37
Man of Flowers 23
Man Who Knew Too Much, The

125
Masculinity 39, 40, 127
Matrix, The 24
Meaning 3, 4, 17, 72, 83, 87, 130,

131, 133, 156–7
Memento 136–7
Mirror 30, 33
Mission: Impossible 127, 128
Morality 33, 34, 42, 43, 51
Morgan: A Suitable Case for

Treatment 22
Mulholland Drive 48, 153

Narrative 44, 45, 46, 58
Night of the Hunter, The 19
North by Northwest 104
Nosferatu 136, 157

Objet petit a 67, 68, 119, 141
Oh Brother Where Art Thou? 34
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest 22
Other/Otherness xii, 4, 5, 17, 19,

27, 61, 68, 69, 89, 98–102,
117–18, 130, 133, 134–5, 139,
141–2, 154

Passenger, The 21, 153
Passion 19. 22, 38, 122
Pearl Harbour 94
Peeping Tom 20, 21
Phantasy 63, 64, 65, 67–70, 81,

83, 85–6, 89, 90, 91, 103, 145,
149

Pi 24
Pleasure 12, 45, 47, 53, 59, 62, 71,

72, 84, 90, 92, 97, 104, 130,
143, 144, 147–8, 153, 158

Postman Always Rings Twice, The 40
Power 115–16, 139–41, 151, 153
Primal Fear 24
Psycho 24, 33, 77, 81, 123–4, 126,

127, 128, 154

176 INDEX

Page 190

Real 78, 119
Representation 13, 14, 15, 16, 120
Repression 59, 62, 105, 116, 117,

137, 148, 154
Repulsion 22
Resistance 5, 8, 10, 11, 14, 43–9,

73–5, 82, 110, 112, 120, 123,
146, 150–2

Rivière, Pierre 78–83, 85, 102
Rome, Open City 150
Rosemary’s Baby 24

Schreber, Daniel 6, 58, 78–83, 85,
87, 91, 102, 141, 150, 157–8

Searchers, The 25, 154
Serial Killers 28–31, 42, 43
Se7en 29, 31, 51–3
Sexuality 92, 129, 138–40, 151,

154
Shadow of the Vampire 136, 157
Shining, The 24, 36
Siesta 152
Signs 152
Silence of the Lambs 22, 29, 31
Sister, My Sister 33, 80
Sixth Sense, The 152
Slasher Films 42, 43
Spectator 4, 6, 8, 9, 28, 30, 33, 41,

43, 44, 46, 47, 60, 62, 144–5,
147, 148, 149–60, 157

Becoming Spectator 5, 7, 11,
64, 65, 67, 74, 76–7, 82, 85,
94, 95, 98, 99, 140, 153, 158

Spellbound 29
Strange Days 21
Sublimation 61–2, 63, 65, 116
Sublime 117–23, 127, 129, 130
Summer of Sam 135, 137, 157
Symbolic 24, 48, 69, 72, 75, 76, 77,

78, 85, 88, 90, 92, 96, 98, 99,
102, 110, 111, 112, 114, 115,
117, 118, 119, 120, 131,
141–2, 144, 146, 156

Taxi Driver 19, 25–6, 51–3, 81
Tenant, The 22
Terminator 40, 41
Terminator 2 40, 41
Terror 59, 62, 123, 124
That Obscure Object of Desire 75, 76
Thin Red Line, The 48
Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down 75
Transference 60, 154, 155
Transgression 6, 12
Triumph of the Will 94, 116
Twelve Monkeys 36, 38

Un chien andalou 24, 48, 66
Unconscious 100, 110, 114, 146,

147, 148–9
Usual Suspects, The 152

Walkabout 81
Wall Street 22
White Heat 22, 29
Wittgenstein, Ludwig 137–8

INDEX 177

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