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Cinema Analysis Methodology

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Films are a great example of art and entertainment, and careful study only enhances the magic of cinema. If you are writing a review for a newspaper or as homework, then you will need to divide the film into parts and explain what they mean to you. To make a deep and comprehensive analysis of the film, you need to carefully review the picture, explore all aspects and focus on topics that hit the strings of your soul.

The psychology of the process of "cinema vision" The work of dreams and the work of "cinema vision"

Most of the psychoanalytic film criticism developed around the relationship between the movie screen and the “sleep screen,” filmmakers also turned to dreams, avant-garde filmmakers made films that can only be understood as dreams. If you try to understand them at the level of the secondary process, rational thinking, then frustration will be inevitable. But such films become clearer if one observes them at the level of condensation, displacement, symbolization, dramatization, and mobility of the cathexis of the dream work described by Z. Freud (1900) and others.

Back in 1916, the Harvard psychologist Hugo Mantberg suggested that the game of frames more convincingly reflects the mechanisms of thinking than the written forms of the story. In 1931, the American film industry was already called the "Dream Factory, which reflects the close similarity between the cinema and the dream. Cinema affects the senses much more literature, the cinema speaks directly to the unconscious. Cinema is organized so that only part of the cinema communicates in the form of a story. sound and image have a greater impact.Images and sound speak with us on a primary and unconscious level.

Let's look at the dynamics of the dream described by Z. Freud. During sleep, the censorship that guards the separation of Eid and Ego weakens its control. Typically, censorship prevents any displaced thoughts from breaking through into the mind, but when the mind rests, censorship can more easily be fooled. Although the Eid cannot directly miss the suppressed desire (if the dream becomes too direct, censorship is caught up, preventing the fulfillment of the unconscious desire, and the person wakes up), it can mask the desire as something strange, but not directly suppressed, that everyone remembers from the manifest content. Thus, the dream is in the Ego, everyone can remember it after awakening. But after awakening, censorship usually understands the latent content of the dream before it can become conscious, and then suppresses the entire content of the dream (manifest and latent), which is why it is often difficult to remember dreams for more than a few minutes after waking up. If someone can remember a manifest dream, they often experience conflicting emotions. For in the beginning it is pleasant to have a pronounced repressed desire, even if it is encrypted, but the Super Ego punishes this desire with guilt.

Although dreaming is an example of incomplete suppression, it serves the same basic purpose as defensive mechanisms, which are to suppress the Eid not become too strong (which would then produce any kind of explosive and uncontrolled release in hysterical symptoms). But it is in this release from tension, from pressure that the work of dreams lies. By doing this, as mentioned earlier, the Eid must hide the latent meaning of the dream in the manifest dream. Eid does this by encrypting the dream so that it expresses a desire, but this desire is usually incomprehensible to the Ego, so the dreamer is the last person to understand his own dreams. When everything is done accurately enough for the dream to slip, Eid is satisfied, and the person continues to lead a normal life with unconscious suppression, having only a funny dream in his head that makes him feel strangely satisfied, despite the inexplicable guilt.

Cinema acts in many ways in accordance with the same principles. Cinema speaks to the unconscious more directly. The language of dreams is filled with images that have hidden meanings. As already mentioned, only part of the cinema acts in the form of a story, most of the influence is exerted by sound and visual image. This is obvious when reading the script of the film. While words are understood consciously, images and sound have a large amount of content that speaks to us only on an unconscious level. To better understand this point, let's take a look at art forms that use only part of what can be used in the film. Visual art can often be seen consciously in an active search for symbolism, meaning, message, but when it is seen for the first time, everyone often finds that the influence exerted is emotional, and primarily refers to our instincts. Although everyone can then take a closer look at why a particle of visual art has exactly the influence it has, it is very difficult to do with the movie. Unlike painting, when we can closely examine the details and analyze their influence, the images in the cinema, as well as in the dream, are presented only briefly, we are not able to stop the cinema (except when a mental analysis occurs) and focus on the specific image. Moreover, the speed with which we reveal images allows most of what we see to be perceived only at an unconscious level. It is not possible to focus on all the visual information that appears on the screen at the same time. Especially if it's a gifted director. We will always have to ignore some of what we see in order to focus on the other part. But what we do not see consciously, we still see unconsciously. This is an instinctive process that occurs in everyone without conscious deliberation. This is how the unconscious aspect of the imaginative work of the movie happens. Even if we do not consciously focus on what is presented to us, our Eid is still subject to its influence, and what we consciously do not see affects us at a completely unconscious level.

Sound stimuli are even stronger. Music is not easy to stop by conscious analysis. While everyone can look at a painting for hours and focus on its specific sides, no one can listen to music, stop it, and focus on specific notes. Music is valuable in its flow, where one note has its meaning only when it is heard in continuous sequence with other notes and in relation to them. And therefore, music goes well with cinema, where the flow of music can synchronize with the flow of the film, in which visual images are also consistent. In addition to music, other sounds are also used. A heartbeat sound that is not recognized by the viewer is often used. The beating heart of the person watching the film can synchronize with it. When synchronicity is established, the director can accelerate the pace of the heartbeat in the film, which is an instinctive sign for our hearts to do the same. The sound of breathing produces the same effect. Natural sounds (such as buzzing bees) are used to evoke primitive emotions such as fear, unnatural sounds evoke terrifying sensations.

Thus, we see that the meaning conveyed through the movie is often as latent as the meaning conveyed by the dream. Both cinema and dreams do their mental work using the encrypted language of the unconscious, but cinema, of course, to a lesser extent.

Another difference is that the language of the unconscious is for the most part specific to each person, while the unconscious content of the film is intended to be transmitted to many. The same film can be perceived differently in different cultures. If cinema appeals to us at an unconscious level, then it should appeal to us in a specific cultural way, since different cultures suppress different things, thereby filling the unconscious with different content.

The second aspect that makes movie and sleep work related is regression. The dream is realized through regression. Some regression is present when watching a movie, especially in the dark hall of the cinema. Everything that the viewer can see and hear is controlled by the film. The viewer to some extent loses the feeling of his real (physical and mental) presence in the room. The fact is that most people allow themselves to "put aside distrust" or enter a state similar to the state of daytime dreams. The ego weakens and more access to the unconscious opens. We can say that the viewer is engrossed in the work of "cinema vision". In addition to this, it must be said that the role of the viewer presupposes some passivity, the viewer accepts what is shown to him, and in such a passive position additional pleasure is hidden. And then, the process of watching a movie can be thought of as a search for unity with an object (never completely unattainable), as a kind of effort to maintain an impossible unity with it. Just as a sleeping person is never alone in the full sense of the word, because he is sleeping with his introjected good object, so the viewer is not alone in front of the screen. The movie screen is a testament to the movie partner. And this partner helps transform emotional experiences into thoughts, into alpha elements according to Bion. If we touched on the theme of the pleasure of watching a movie in a movie theater, then one cannot fail to note the pleasure of a sense of ownership in a large group of viewers. In the cinema, we can feel ourselves part of something more than what we are, on our own, we can join the greater power, which reduces anxiety and fills with a sense of omnipotence.

What does the direct appeal of cinema to the unconscious lead to? The work of dreams consists in relieving tension arising from the suppression of id, so that excessively suppressed id does not lead to explosive and uncontrolled release in symptoms. In addition to satisfying a desire that reflects an internal conflict, the dream's job also consists in trying to master traumatic experiences. Also in films, we can see a reflection of similar attempts to master universal conflicts and traumatic experiences. Spectators can reconstruct moments of anxiety of early drives, maintaining a safe distance from them and knowing that they can survive them. People have always been looking for art to solve problems. The screen in this sense is suitable as a container for projections of personal and unconscious fears and drives. As with the study of all forms of art, when we study a movie, we study ourselves. The most successful films usually coincide with the suppressed desires and fears of the mass audience; we see in films the reflection of the problems of identity, the work of grief, the struggle with time and aging, with the fear of destruction and narcissistic anxieties.

In addition, one of the main themes in the cinema is the topic of a satisfactory resolution of the Oedipus conflict. Not surprisingly, the oedipal impulse finds a way of expression and satisfaction not only in dreams, but also in many popular films. Cinema allows everyone to enjoy the Oedipus victory, which he did not have as a child, in the form of a movie. This is evident in any action movie or romantic movie. Therefore, faced with a very successful combination of circumstances, they say: "It only happens in the movies," "Like in the movies!" But instead of openly presenting the basic structure, the film should use an implicit story containing the same basic relationships, changing them enough to make it invisible to the Super Ego.

Another of the main topics in cinema is the topic of satisfying the ideal Self. Most people see how impossible it is to achieve the Ideal Self, but many films give a way out to make the desire of the Ideal Self come true. Cinema offers us many options for the Ideal Self. For example, James Bond, in it the ideal Self of the audience finds relief from the restrictions imposed by reality, from fears, from incompetence. James Bond neglects the laws of physics and always wins, he has an infallible appearance, he can achieve any woman, he is able to kill anyone without consequences for himself, he is relaxed, not worried, not embarrassed, he makes the world meet all his desires. Of course, such films are popular because turned to an unconscious desire to achieve the Ideal Self.