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An article in The Guardian (@guardian) sets out to tell us something that its writer thought of serious import, about, despite the elapse of seven decades, the static representation of ‘female shrinks'…
Spellbound to Suicide Squad: movies are neurotic about female shrinks https://t.co/Qou6NZDTij— The Guardian (@guardian) August 13, 2016
Perhaps, in its tag-line, the description ‘female shrinks’ might just have left it ambiguous whether psychiatry per se is what was really meant here.
No doubt, after re-watching Spellbound (1945) : 'Women psychiatrists', but Constance is a psychoanalyst, @guardian ? https://t.co/wK6hlszKvO— THE AGENT APSLEY (@THEAGENTAPSLEY) August 16, 2016
However, the words below the tag-line, which introduce the piece, and its opening words (both as quoted¹), plainly use the word ‘psychiatrist’ : yet Dr Constance Petersen, in the person of Ingrid Bergman², is repeatedly and consistently defined by reference to the professional term ‘psychoanalyst’.
So, sadly, referring to 'psychiatry', in this article now, is not exactly interchangeable with talking about psychoanalysis – even if it might once have been in the mid-1940s, with a lesser emphasis on medication ? – and is probably almost on a similar level to calling an astrologer an astronomer (or vice versa)… ?
More to come, where we may actually review the film, or come onto the question whether films ever really represent – or set out to represent – psychiatric practice…
Anyway, the cover of the novel clearly references both Nosferatu : eine Symphonie des Grauens (1922) and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920).— THE AGENT APSLEY (@THEAGENTAPSLEY) August 29, 2016
Or was it that of screenwriter Ben Hecht ? (Francis Beeding is just an alias of John Palmer and Hilary A. Saunders.) https://t.co/b2DUclyzLy— THE AGENT APSLEY (@THEAGENTAPSLEY) August 29, 2016
When Matt Damon and Ben Affleck wrote Good Will Hunting (1997) (and both appeared in, the latter as ‘Chuckie’ Sullivan), can we any more just take at face value that Dr Sean Maguire (Robin Williams) really is literally to be taken to represent even some sort of maverick psychologist ?
Can we do so any more than view Dr Constance Petersen (Ingrid Bergman) in Spellbound (1945) as really being a practising psychoanalyst of whatever age, who has never been in love before, but falls for John Ballantyne (then in the mistaken guise of Dr Edwardes) within a matter of hours ?
A genuine point about psychiatry and film ?— THE AGENT APSLEY (@THEAGENTAPSLEY) August 13, 2016
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest wasn't of its time - #ECT still exists https://t.co/wK6hlszKvO
This piece may have ended abruptly, but see also Whatever you mean by calling something ‘sexism’, take a look at Spellbound (1945)
¹ Respectively, Seventy years separates the Hitchcock’s film with [sic - on both counts] the DC blockbuster, but the social attitudes towards women psychiatrists they exhibit have barely altered, and A sexless female psychiatrist, devoted to her work, encounters a fascinating mentally ill man. Suddenly, she is awakened to the joys of love and devotes herself to her patient, abandoning her profession in a sensual ecstasy of criminality. Women psychiatrists : they’re driven mad by love.
¹ If, just if, Alfred Hitchcock had ever meant us to forget for a second that this was Ingrid Bergman on screen, would he have cast her – and not someone relatively anonymous – to be utterly convincing as this psychoanalyst, who breaks (as far as one can judge, but somehow actually gets away with it) all the professional rules in the book ? !
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Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)