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Film, Music, Memory$
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Berthold Hoeckner

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226649610

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226649894.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

Freudian Fixations

Freudian Fixations

Chapter:
(p.159) Chapter Six Freudian Fixations
Source:
Film, Music, Memory
Author(s):

Berthold Hoeckner

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226649894.003.0007

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.

Keywords:   Little Voice (1998), The Seventh Veil (1945), traumatic fixation, narco-analysis, musical transference, medium unconscious, vocal impersonation, regressive listening

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