Freudian And Lacanian Psychoanalysis, By Barbara Creed

1395 Words6 Pages
Psychoanalytic film theory, which is derived from Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis, appears in the discussion of cinema early in the 1970s. As the conjunction of psychoanalysis and film theory, scholars use this theory for textual analysis and different elements like the monstrous-feminine, mirror stage identification, and the Oedipus complex are concluded and developed. To reexamine the mother-child relationship, I will argue that these key elements of psychoanalytic film theory are useful to understand the psychic activities of protagonists of Black Swan and The Babadook. Additionally, they provide some evidence to explain the mode of how a mother gets along with her child. I will begin by discussing the term
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Based on this idea, Barbara Creed (1993) concluded the concept of monstrous-feminine as the “shocking, terrifying, horrific, and abject” (Creed 1993, 1) female image which is also commonly associated with mothering functions. We can find that the abjection occupies the whole film The Babadook.
For Amelia, the loss of her husband on the birthday of her son becomes a powerful abjection which she tries to deny and avoid. However, every time Amelia struggles to reject it, exclude it and make it ‘other’ (Buerger 2017, 35), the significance and the effects brought by the trauma become profound. Thus, the monstrous feminine is fully revealed when Amelia has to surrender to mister Babadook, the embodiment of the abjection. One of the scene shows Amelia tries to pull a tooth out of her mouth. A series of close-up of Amelia’s facial expression and hand movements indicate the struggle she goes through when the Babadook takes up her. The only sound is Amelia’s painful cry, which also shows her cruelty and determination. In relation to several scenes before, Amelia has a toothache when she eats something with her son. Working the same as a viscera, the tooth Amelia pulls out symbolize her son Samuel, and the action of pulling the tooth out represents Amelia refuses to play the maternal role and wants to get rid of her son. Besides showing Amelia in the front, a few

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