Discuss the use of psychoanalytic concepts of identification, fetishism, voyeurism and narcissism to cinema with detailed reference to at lease one film. Film: Basic Instinct

Essay by sazzleUniversity, Bachelor'sC, May 2004

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Psychoanalysis and film have long encountered each other since both were born around the same time. It was in 1896 that Freud first used the term psychoanalysis only a year after the first screening of the Lumiere films in the Grande Café. A number of people have greatly influenced film theory using psychoanalysis including Mulvey and Lacan whose theories shall be explored in this essay. There are a number of basic Freudian ideas that must first be understood.

Freud believed every human being has a sexual energy know as libido - this energy is found in a person right from birth and how this energy is sublimated or diverted away from sexual aims is one factor making each person different. According to Freud, there are five stages to life; the oral, anal, phallic, latency and puberty, each occurring in that order. In the oral stage pleasure is not gained through the genitals but is gained through oral activities.

Sucking on a mothers breast is the first of these and through satisfying a babies sexual desires she becomes the first love object. During the phallic stage the child (boy or girl) notices the father to be a rival for the mothers love and attention. On discovering that, for example his mother or sister does not have a penis, a boy believes that the female has been castrated. In order to save himself from castration by his powerful father the boy must give up his mother as his love object and side with his father. Girls also believe themselves abnormal for not having a penis, she believes she has been castrated by her mother because she too lacks. For this she hates the mother and desires the father or rather she desires his penis. The only way in which she can over...