1. films picturing therapy ant therapists.
2. psychological disorders
3. psychological problems, life difficulties and coping strategies.
4. theoretical base. metaphors of theories and ideas.
FREUD (1962, John Huston) pictures early days of Freud’s career – he works with Breuer, develops his main ideas and is rejected by his colleagues. However the film is not a mere illustration of the book called “History of Psychology”. Freud is pictured as humane, emotional, gentle ant etc. Interestingly, he looks more like a modern man. He’s like a man you would meet on a street – maybe not in sixties (when the film was made), but nowadays for sure. He’s questioning things, experimenting and searching for Truth like a detective in some TV series. Though in the end of the movie you can imagine Freud becoming the Master and sticking to his new dogmas as rigidly as his colleagues used to do (or is there other way how one can permanently believe in what he’s doing?). The film itself is not a cinematic chef-d’oeuvre but it is not cheap and has some interesting scenes. I think a psychologist can’t be bored of watching it cause the film gives time and space to rethink the birth of Freud’s ideas. Watching how he works with his cases I couldn’t help but see it in a perspective of cognitive-behavioral psychology and other theories which certainly contribute to understanding of what was going on at that time. Finally it’s just pleasant to watch psychology working like magic (super-effective!) and just for a moment to dive into the world where all things make perfect sense and one can find it all out with an effort. Oh, postmodernism, why did you destroy that?
ZELIG (1983, Woody Allen) is a mock-documentary. That means it looks like a documentary but it’s not. So it mock-documents the life of Zelig – a very sensitive young man who wants to be accepted by others. Because of this great desire to fit in, he actually becomes similar to people he’s talking to – he changes his manners, he changes his appearance, even his race. He’s being described like a “human chameleon” and on the other hand “ultimate conformist” – “the well-adjusted, normal person, only carried to an extreme degree.” Apart from all jokes (Zelig always appears in the middle of all the important events like Forrest Gump later on), movie rises interesting philosophical questions as well as psychological ones. How much do we really change to please others? In a movie a psychiatrist cures Zelig (once again, impressive success!) in her own original and reasonable methods (though fails to control transference?). I mostly value this film for being a great mock-documentary and for giving a clear image of a certain archetype to which a psychologist can refer to in a favorable circumstances.
CHRONICLE OF A SUMMER (1960, Edgar Morin, Jean Rouch) is a documentary. It is all known but easily forgotten fact that most documentaries simulate a favorable version or interpretation of reality. They use various effective means to make us believe that what we see is the reality (as if we had been there ourselves). “Chronicle of a summer” is a film witch doesn’t impose a way to understand the world but it gives you a chance to experience it in a different perspective. In a film we can see ordinary people talking about various issues and at first it looks a little bit pointless. But suddenly this ordinary woman asks if anyone sitting by the table knows what the number on her hand means. During this or similar scenes I had an insight – the world really have changed… wow… but this is how it looked on summer of 1960. These changes… they’re not only about historical events, the absence of internet and cell phones. These people walking the streets in 1960 were really different and yet… A great film for a person who likes existential psychology.Read less