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The concepts of psychoanalysis have been applied to films in various ways. However, the 1970s and 1980s saw the development of theory that took concepts developed by the French psychoanalyst and writer Jacques Lacan and applied them to the experience of watching a film.
The viewing subject may be offered particular identifications (usually with a leading male character) from which to watch. The theory stresses the subject's longing for a completeness which the film may appear to offer through identification with an image; in fact, according to Lacanian theory, identification with the image is never anything but an illusion and the subject is always split simply by virtue of coming into existence.
- "Psychoanalysis in/and/of the Horror Film" excerpt from the Introduction to Freud's Worst Nightmares by Steven Jay Schneider
- Bibliography on film and psychoanalytic theory, film and dreams via UC Berkeley Media Resources Center
- Bibliography - from The 3rd European Psychoanalytic Film Festival
- de:Psychoanalytische Filmtheorie
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