Psychiatry and the Cinema

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American Psychiatric Pub, 1999 - Medical - 408 pages
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Early in the history of cinema, psychiatrists studied the movies to understand their appeal and power. Meanwhile, filmmakers have long been intrigued by psychiatry and frequently portray this mysterious world in film. Both movies and psychiatry focus on human thought, emotions, behavior, and motivation -- making a link between the two subjects inevitable.

Psychiatry and the Cinema explores this complementary relationship from two angles, psychiatrists who have studied the movies and movies that have depicted psychiatry. This second edition has updated this definitive text with a discussion of new trends in psychoanalytically oriented film theory, and an expanded list of movies is analyzed.

Glen and Krin Gabbard survey more than 400 theatrically released American films that feature psychiatrists or other mental health professionals at work. In part one, the authors examine the stereotypical characters and conventions dominating the presentation of movie psychiatrists, trace the historical rise and fall of the image of the psychotherapist in the movies, and relate that history to societal views about psychiatry and psychiatric treatment.

In part two, the authors explain state-of-the-art psychoanalytic film criticism and illustrates the use of that methodology with films such as Casablanca, Alien, Three Women, Sea of Love, Working Girl, Good Will Hunting and many more. In total, this comprehensive edition reviews hundreds of movies through the eyes of the psychiatrically informed. It also discusses the clinical implications of the film representations of psychotherapy for the mental health practitioner.

Both entertaining and educational, this book serves as an important aid in understanding the special hold that movies have on audiences.


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Page 1947 - ... the photoplay tells us the human story by overcoming the forms of the outer world, namely, space, time, and causality, and hy adjusting the events to the forms of the inner world, namely, attention, memory, imagination, and emotion.

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About the author (1999)

Glen O. Gabbard, M.D., is Professor and Director of the Baylor Psychiatry Clinic at the Baylor College of Medicine and Training and Supervising Analyst at the Houston-Galveston Psychoanalytic Institute in Houston, Texas. He was previously Director of the Menninger Hospital in Topeka, Kansas. Dr. Gabbard is the author or editor of sixteen books and currently is joint Editor-in-Chief and Editor for North America of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis. His numerous awards include the 2000 Mary Sigourney Award for outstanding contributions to psychoanalysis.

Krin Gabbard, Ph.D., teaches film, literature, and cultural studies at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is author of Jammin' at the Margins: Jazz and the American Cinema (1996) and editor of Jazz Among the Discourses (1995) and Representing Jazz (1995). He is currently working on a book about movies, masculinity, and music.

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