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The Presence of the Feminine in Film (New)

by Apperson, Virginia

Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Binding: Paperback

Book ID: 9781443805131, 1443805130


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This pioneering book introduces a largely unremarked dimension of film, the “feminine,” which cannot be reduced to women’s experience, or to men’s projections onto women. The Presence of the Feminine in Film gives body to that often rather loosely formulated Jungian conception, the “feminine aspect of psyche,” by noticing what “feminine” turns out to mean in particular cinematic contexts. Spanning seven decades -- from Pride and Prejudice, Notorious, and Letter from an Unknown Woman to Monsoon Wedding, Brokeback Mountain, and The Lives of Others -- the movies selected for particular study here make it clear that the feminine is at home in the movies, and that when she appears, it is to appeal to our sensibilities as well as to our senses. This is a book that will enhance the appreciation of film as a depth psychological medium.

Virginia Apperson is a Zurich-trained Jungian analyst practicing in Atlanta who has long specialized in feminine psychology. John Beebe, an analyst who trained and practices in San Francisco, is the editor of Jung's Aspects of the Masculine and the author of Integrity in Depth.

"Jungians and film criticism are made for each other. There is so much here that is illuminating--it completely changed my way of looking at movies, not only in applying the Jungian vocabulary to a medium in need of one, but also because of the brilliant insights into the many ways auteur filmmakers have found to depict the feminine, from Alfred Hitchcock’s preoccupation with the challenged goddesses in Notorious, Vertigo, and Marnie, to Max Ophuls’ evocation of the all-but-forgotten anima in Letter from an Unknown Woman, to contemporary celebrations of her presence in Guy Maddin’s The Heart of the World, Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding, and Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. John Beebe's classic essay on the Anima in Film opened all this up to me, but each essay added to my understanding of the way archetypes are deployed in all movies." -- Diane Johnson, author of The Shadow Knows, Le Divorce, and other novels and the screenplay for Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.

"Virginia Apperson’s and John Beebe's fascinating book weaves together cinematic, theoretical and psychoanalytic discourses in demonstrating the complex ways that images of women in movies become images of a more pervasive cultural feminine that is deeply internalized in all of us. Rich in psychological insights and perceptive analyses, The Presence of the Feminine in Film carries the implications of cinematic representations into the realms of gender and cultural studies, sexuality and the unconscious." -- Whitney Chadwick, author of Women, Art, and Society

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