Archive for the ‘Sigmund Freud’ Category


Paging Dr. Freud…

December 30, 2008
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Regarded as  the father of psychoanalysis- a systematic structure of theories concerning the relation between the conscious and unconscious mind- the name Sigmund Freud is synonymous with psychology.  When I took my first psychology course in middle school, I was convinced that I wanted to be a psychotherapist.  Fascinated by his  theories on dreams, the three-part personality, psychoses, and neuroses, Freud pretty much shaped my desire to dabble in the fields of psychology and therapy. 

Filmmakers too, have been largely influenced by Freud’s ideas on the conscious and unconscious mind.  Whether they be films about dissociative identities (i.e. The Three Faces of Eve, The Bad Seed), psychopaths, (Natural Born Killers, Monster, Silence of the Lambs) , dreams (Requiem for a Dream, The Cell, A Nightmare on Elm Street), or neurotics (insert any Diane Keaton film here) almost all movies explore the psychological undertones of man being shaped by nature, nurture, or both. 

Then again, some movies just flat out pay homage to Freud in a satirical sense.  In  What About Bob, Richard Dreyfuss’ character Dr. Leo Marvin, a psychiatrist who himself becomes unwound, names his son Sigmund.  And then there’s that  line from Analyze This, in which mob boss Paul Vitti (Robert De Niro), reluctant to talk about his mother, tells his psychiatrist Dr. Ben Sobel (Billy Crystal), “Freud’s a sick fuck and so are you”.  Classic.

Whether you give credit to Freud’s theories or deduce his insights to those of a rambling cocaine addict, you can’t deny his appeal.  Principles rooted in psychoanalytic theory (i.e. repression, denial, etc.) continue to hold weight and are still discussed on doctors’ couches 123 years since their inception.  For this reason I want to pay homage to Freud by introducing my new rating system which shall describe the level of therapeutic merit in films.   All movies reviewed from here on will be rated as such.  Behold, the Siggy’s!

 freud   1 Siggy: Mild therapeutic value.  Don’t waste your time soul-searching.

freudfreud 2 Siggy’s: Moderate therapeutic value.  Scratch your head in awe at the things that make you go hmmm…. 

freudfreudfreud 3 Siggy’s: Strong therapeutic value. You might want to consider taking mental and/or written notes.

freudfreudfreudfreud 4 Siggy’s: Exceptional therapeutic value.  Talk it over with a professional if you’re so inclined.