Chapter 6 focuses on cinematic representations of traumatic fixation which illustrate how the histories of cinema and psychoanalysis converged in films about psychiatric treatment and psychoanalytic theories of film. Drawing on Thomas Elsaesser’s view of Sigmund Freud as a media theorist, two case studies demonstrate how the female musician was viewed as an unconscious medium for the storage of childhood trauma, whose cure requires cathartic abreaction through recall in a repeat performance. This plays out in the context of a British culture at different historical moments—after World War II and after the Thatcher years—where the influence of American popular culture through mass media was seen as symptomatic of a larger malaise. Once psychoanalysis had gone culturally mainstream by the 1940s, The Seventh Veil (1945) assumed that the similarity between psychic and cinematic apparatus was scientifically sound, so that film could render the treatment of a traumatized pianist through narco-analysis and the effect of musical transference in repeat performances. In Little Voice (1998), by contrast, a hysteric teenager adept at vocal impersonation becomes suspect and subject to satire, suggesting that the obsessively regressive listening to her father’s record collection delays her psychosexual development.
Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.