Psychoanalytic postpsychoanalytic and antipsychoanalytic criticism Chapters and

One of the recurring themes in almost all the chapters has been the element of 'knowingness', of 'irony' and 'pastiche' not only in the generic tone of the films but also in their manner of situating their stylistic and formal procedures. They are aware of their special status of'coming after' the classical mode, reviving it, mimicking it, deconstructing it. But they are so self-assuredly aware of this place and status that they have, in some sense, also overcome it, finding themselves in another realm, another mode, another episteme, even if we have as yet no more than an intuition what this means for the future of the cinema, and even if we do not as yet have a name to mark the 'transitional', 'in-between', 'hybrid' or 'post' stage of the present practice.

This poses special problems to an interpretation committed to the psychoanalytic paradigm or which proceeds via the 'hermeneutic of suspicion', in that the films 'mirror' the analyst, giving little purchase to the gesture that seeks to wrest from them their secret or hidden meaning.

• In Robert Zemeckis's Back to the Future we are confronted with such a classically Oedipal plot that a Freudian analysis risks becoming a description rather than an interpretation. Even a Lacanian reading around the mirror phase finds itself pastiched in the plot's use of a fading photograph: by seemingly accommodating them, the film resists analysis within the framework of these models. Outlining within its arch-conventional family comedy format the contours of a post-Oedipal, post-patriarchal society, Back to the Future could be said to hint at a different psychosocial organization, repositioning ideals of masculinity and racial superiority, but taking from psychoanalysis not the idea of an unconscious, but such concepts as 'deferred action' and 'repetition compulsion'. Rather than referring to a possible logic of the subject, these achronological temporalities now stage the logic of the film industry, with its remakes, sequels, prequels, and revivals.

• The Silence of the.Lambs. The crisis of critical purchase also applies to The Silence of the Lambs, notably with respect to its contradictory reception by feminists, gays, and gender activists. Focusing initially on feminist and queer readings of the film, and the deadlocks these types of analysis seem to generate, the chapter rereads the films' character-constellation in categories derived from two major anti-psychoanalytic thinkers, namely Foucault and Deleuze, and their theories of the body, in contrast to psychoanalysis' reliance on the concept of the subject. What is important, however, is that 'body', too, is not a positive entity, which interpretation could 'read' and critically position. In the cognitive and affective relation human beings maintain with their environment, which is to say, their capacity for experience (including the film experience), the body is both foundational and constructed, a fantasy formation and a material-physiological fact. It marks the limits of the film-as-experience, and returns us once more to the film-as-text, since only through some sort of segmentation and semiotization, that is, through analysis, can sensation become experience.

Analysis is, finally, a key term when studying movies and accounting for the film experience. Coming after description and preceding interpretation, it is engaged in a movement that is, so to speak, bidirectional - taking us from the visible, perceptual, sensory phenomena which is the film to the invisible structure(s) and process(es) that have generated those phenomena, and then leading us to a further visibility in another medium, that of language and verbal discourse, where these structures or patterns are rendered legible, intelligible, communicable, and therefore available to interpretation, which is to say, open to dialogue and debate.

In spite of this book seeming to adhere to a broadly semiotic or perhaps 'cognitive semiotic' project, the juxtaposition or interaction of different paradigms in the preceding chapters has reaffirmed our sense of a film as both a personal experience and an interpersonal event or encounter. As such, film analysis continues to require the skills of hermeneutics, of reading surfaces and textures, structures and schemata. Interpretation is what we do every day also with the sensory input we receive from the 'real world', just as interpretation is crucial to any interchange with other human beings, whether verbal or non-verbal. There can be no end to interpretation, and thus no end to the needs for acquiring the skills of analysis.

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