JUNGIAN FILM STUDIES: THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE

ROUTLEDGE, 2016

Jungian film studies is a fast-growing academic field, but Jungian and post-Jungian concepts are still new to many academics and film critics. Helena Bassil-Morozow and Luke Hockley present Jungian Film Studies: The essential guide, the first book to bring together all the different strands, issues and arguments in the discipline, and guide the reader through the various ways in which Jungian psychology can be applied to moving images.

 

Bassil-Morozow and Hockley cover a range of Jungian concepts including the collective unconscious, archetypes, the individuation process, alchemy, and signs and symbols, showing how they can be used to discuss the core cinematic issues such as narrative structure, gender, identity, genre, authorship, and phenomenology. The authors argue that, as a place where the unconscious and conscious meet, cinema offers the potential for imagery that is psychologically potent, meaningful, and that plays a role in our personal psychological development.

 

This much needed book, which bridges the space between Jungian concepts and traditional film theory, will be essential reading for scholars and students of analytical psychology, psychoanalysis, Jungian film studies, media, film and cultural studies, psychosocial psychology and clinical psychology. It will also appeal to analytical psychologists, psychotherapists and readers with an interest in film analysis.

THE TRICKSTER AND THE SYSTEM: IDENTITY AND AGENCY IN CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY

ROUTLEDGE, 2014

For centuries, the trickster has been used in various narratives, including mythological, literary and cinematic, to convey the idea of agency, rebellion and, often turbulent, progress. In The Trickster and the System: Identity and Agency in Contemporary Society, Helena Bassil-Morozow shows how the trickster can be seen as a metaphor to describe the psycho-anthropological concept of change, an impulse that challenges the existing order of things, a progressive force that is a-structural and anti-structural in its nature. The book is about being able to see things from an unusual, even ‘odd’, perspective, which does not coincide with the homogenous normality of the mass, or the social system, or a political ideology, or some other kind of authority.

 

The Trickster and the System offers an analytical paradigm which can be used to examine relationships between tricksters and systems, change and stability, in a wide range of social, political and cultural contexts. It covers a range of systems, describes different types of tricksters and discusses possible conflicts, tensions and dialogues between the two opposing sides. One of the central ideas of the book is that social systems use shame as a tool to control and manage all kinds of tricksters – individuality, agency, creativity, spontaneity, innovation and initiative, to name but a few. The author argues that any society that neglects its tricksters (agents of change), ends up suffering from decay, stagnation – or even mass hysterical outbursts.

 

The Trickster and the System: Identity and Agency in Contemporary Society provides a fresh perspective on the trickster figure in a variety of cultural contexts. It covers a range of psychological, cultural, social and political phenomena, from personal issues to the highest level of society’s functioning: self-esteem and shame, lifestyle and relationships, creativity and self-expression, media, advertising, economy, political ideology and, most importantly, human identity and authenticity. The book is essential reading for scholars in the areas of psychoanalysis, analytical psychology, myth, cultural and media studies, narrative analysis, cultural anthropology, as well as anyone interested in critical issues in contemporary culture.

THE TRICKSTER IN CONTEMPORARY FILM

ROUTLEDGE, 2012

This book discusses the role of the trickster figure in contemporary film against the cultural imperatives and social issues of modernity and postmodernity, and argues that cinematic tricksters always reflect psychological, economic and social change in society. It covers a range of films, from Charlie Chaplin’s classics such as Modern Times (1936) and The Great Dictator (1940) to contemporary comedies and dramas with ‘trickster actors’ such as Jim Carrey, Sacha Baron-Cohen, Andy Kaufman and Jack Nicholson.

 

The Trickster in Contemporary Film offers a fresh perspective on the trickster figure not only in cinema but in Western culture in general. Alongside original film analyses, it touches upon a number of psychosocial issues including sovereignty of the individual, tricksterish qualities of the media, and human relationships in the mercurial digital age.

Further topics of discussion include

 

  • common motifs in trickster narratives
  • the trickster and personal relationships
  • gonzo-trickster and the art of comic insurrection.

Employing a number of complementary approaches such as Jungian psychology, film semiotics, narrative structure theories, Victor Turner’s concept of liminality and Mikhail Bakhtin’s theory of the carnivalesque, this book is essential reading for students and scholars of film, as well as anyone with an interest in analytical psychology and wider critical issues in contemporary culture.

TIM BURTON: THE MONSTER AND THE CROWD

ROUTLEDGE, 2010

Tim Burton’s films are well known for being complex and emotionally powerful. In this book, Helena Bassil-Morozow employs Jungian and post-Jungian concepts of unconscious mental processes along with film semiotics, analysis of narrative devices and cinematic history, to explore the reworking of myth and fairytale in Burton’s gothic fantasy world.

The book explores the idea that Burton’s lonely, rebellious ‘monstrous’ protagonists roam the earth because they are unable to fit into the normalising tendencies of society and become part of ‘the crowd’. Divided into six chapters the book considers the concept of the archetype in various settings focusing on:

 

  • the child
  • the monster
  • the superhero
  • the genius
  • the maniac
  • the monstrous society.

 

Tim Burton: The Monster and the Crowd offers an entirely fresh perspective on Tim Burton’s works. The book is essential reading for students and scholars of film or Jungian psychology, as well as anyone interested in critical issues in contemporary culture. It will also be of great help to those fans of Tim Burton who have been searching for a profound academic analysis of his works.

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