The Master: a perversion of psychoanalysis incited by the compulsion to repeat & The Anti-Freud: Bennett Roth’s Review of the Film The Master (angl-fr)

The Master: a perversion of psychoanalysis incited by the compulsion to repeat & The Anti-Freud: Bennett Roth’s Review of the Film The Master (angl-fr)


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Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master is a psychological film, while at the same time it’s a film about psychology. No, not today’s psychology that has become denuded of adventure: a discipline obsessed with legitimising itself with outcome measures, random control trials (RCTs), and mind-numbing narrow-focus experimentation
A dystopian film. “ THE MASTER”
For some time I was occupied by a search for a title for this review of ‘The Master’; Paul Thomas Anderson’s 70 mm film homage to post war alienation and deceit. Anderson is a student of film history while his being an auteur is essential to understanding his intent.


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The Master: a perversion of psychoanalysis incited by the compulsion to repeat
Paul Thomas Anderson’sThe Masteris a psychological Ilm, while at the same time it’s a Ilm about psychology. No, not today’s psychology that has become denuded of adventure: a discipline obsessed with legitimising itself with outcome measures, random control trials (RCTs), and mind-numbing narrow-focus experimentation. This was a more dangerous and exciting time for psychology when the wind that had blown from the consultation rooms of Vienna, Berlin, Budapest and London was billowing its way onto American shores. Psychoanalysis transIxed the nation and produced a series of bastard oFshoots that were equally as brilliant as they were dangerous: exciting as they were irresponsible.
ït should be noted that reud too, had been called “The Master.” And the many gurus that followed after him had similar monikers includingWilhelm Reich,ritz Perls,L Ron Hubbard(upon whom the Ilm is loosely based),Werner Erhard(ofEST), and a variety of others. These movements aren’t to be completely dismissed, each were deeply psychologically powerful, though not often deployed with care. People arrived knocking at the doors of these gurus not simply because they were passive recipients of brainwashing, but because they were seeking something that the guru was able to provide.The Mastertakes place at the very beginning this heady time for psychology in America.
The Ilm is like a dream; beautifully shot, episodic, and sometimes has the characteristics of a non-hallucinogenic drug trip (psychedelics too, were shortly to make their kaleidoscopic entrance onto the psychological scene). Though oFering a narrative and a plot, meaning often eludes the audience creating an experience that for some is frustrating, and for others, a completely compelling and engaging one. Each corner turned in the journey brings you no closer to an answer or a resolution. ïnstead it leads you further astray, and with good reason (stay with me).
To quote reud, this Ilm comes towards that spot in the dream referred to as its navel:
There is at least one spot in every dream at which it is unplummable – a navel, as it were, that is its point of contact with the unknown (Freud 1900, 111).
ïn psychoanalysis the dream is the royal road to the unconscious, and this Ilm/dream has resonances with the way in which the unconscious experiences the world. What reud called “primary process” where the mind’s energy:
… Lows freely, passing unhindered by means of the mechanisms ofcondensationanddisplacement(aplanche and, from one idea to another . . . Pontalis 1973).
This is the modus operandi of the Ilm. ït follows primary process rather than that of the secondary (consciousness) system. This is a Ilm built by the rich world of psychoanalysis, not the rational one of cognitive behavioural therapy.
The unconscious compulsion to repeat:
The Masteropens aboard a ship in the last moments of World War ïï, the helmeted head of reddy Quell’s (Joaquin Phoenix) head glinting in the sun, his face already twisted by trauma beyond his years. ïmmediately we are confronted with some potent psychological symbolism; the great blue sea representing the deep and sublime unconscious, upon which the comparably tiny ship oats – his head protected from shrapnel by a helmet. We learn immediately that we needn’t fear any shrapnel as the peace is already being signed. The battles of this Ilm are all inside the mind, coming from the inside where a shrapnel helmet will do little to protect him.
There will be a lot of boats and ships inThe Master;a lot of running away and returning. There are also a lot of women, from the giant sand woman at the start (literally, an Earth Mother) whose giant breasts oFer maternal care and feminine desire, to the imagined women in the Rorshcacht test, the denuded women at the gathering, the repeated images of his love, Doris (who became Doris Day, and you don’t get much more archetypal than that), to the only woman with which we see him fully physical at the beginning of the Ilm, and right back again to the
beginning, Quell resting his head on the Earth Mother’s breast. What is the source of all this repetition?
The repetition compulsion is deIned as:
an ungovernable process originating in the unconscious . . . the subject deliberately places himself in distressing situations, thereby repeating an old experience, but he dos not recall this [original experience]; on the contrary he has the strong impression that the situation is fully determined by the circumstances at the moment (aplanche and Pontalis, 1973).
The dream like quality of this Ilm is fully saturated in primary process and the compulsion to repeat
The constant coming and going
The returning of the gaze to woman after woman, girlfriend after mother
The method of ‘The Cause” in its repetition of names, the going over of trauma, the ever seeking backwards, from the present life, to “trillions of years ago”.
The compulsion to repeat comes from trauma, to go back to this trauma over and over again, to make sense of it, to gain control of it. or psychoanalysis the understanding of the initial trauma alongside a full experience of its emotional meaning alone can stand to alter the repetition. “The Cause” (the psycho/religious system developed by the Master) has its explanations for trauma, and psychoanalysis has its own.
You don’t want be the winner of the Oedipal Triangle:
The psychological theme inThe Mastercomes from a more prosaic source than Scientology (which the Ilm obliquely proports to be about). ït is, in fact,old fashioned psychoanalysis or even Greek myth that provides the building block of the character relationships.
The simple idea of the Oedipus complex is that the child wants the attention of one parent, and sees the other as competition to the desired parent; it is a metaphor for wanting to be with one parent while resenting the other parent for getting in the way.
We ideally deal with our Oedipus complexes by accepting that we are not the only prince in the eye of our mother (to take the most reductive version – it works in a variety of ways) and that we must relinquish her, and seek someone else. The way in which we deal with jealousy and competition in relationships later in life (and in work) comes down to how we managed to eek our way through this diîcult process.
We don’t get a great deal of detail of reddie Quell’s personal story, but we do know that his father is dead (the fulIlment of reddie’s wish), his mother is absent (away in an asylum) and he had incestuous relations with his aunt; we also know he ‘accidentally’ killed a man who looked like his father. ïn this sense reddie plays the very role of Oedipus in the myth: ridding himself of father and bedding the mother-surrogate. This proved disastrous for Oedipus, as it does for reddie. A disaster that is writ large on his concave body and awkward bent-armed presence (see Reich on character analysis and body armour).
Thro ughout the Ilm we Ind a confusion of mother and lover, and a desperate seeking for a kind of wholeness that he Inds in neither. His one potential lover, Doris, gives him her love and he leaves her the next day. Once Inally integrated into his new “family” he disappears looking for the old object that is now surely long gone (as he comes to Ind out). Again, at the end, given the opportunity to integrate into “family” again, he chooses his own path, Inding a woman who resembles
both mother and lover. He asks her to repeat her name, again and again – a repetition of his Irst “session” with The Master himself.
The Master plays the role of the Oedipal father, but despite his “show”, he too is repeating something. There is an odd overlap between the two, as both have a talent for quelling (notice the term) the traumatic dissonances of others. AsPhilip renchbrilliantly words it:
Freddie’s gift for brewing up moonshine out of anything to hand (paint-stripper, developing Luid, fruit, bread) and making himself the life and soul of the party is no incidental detail. His booze-genius is of course analogous to Dodd’s gift for intoxicating rhetoric and ideas, cobbled together from bits and pieces of science and established religion.
Changing partners, maybe, but the object remains the same:
This enigmatic Ilm ends with a charming song performed by Helen orest. The words must not be ignored:
We were waltzing together to a dreamy melody
When they called out “change partners” and you waltzed away from me
Now my arms feel so empty as I gaze around the Loor
And I keep on changing partners
Till I hold you once more
ïn psychoanalysis we speak of “the Irst object” which is understood to be the mother, or in more technical terms, the mother’s breast. Such is our relationship with that Irst object that we seek the sense of it (the sense of being held, loved, fed, being taken care of) for the rest of our lives. ïn some senses, we never recover from the loss of near-symbiosis with that Irst object, so we keep seeking
over and over again. None of our Irst objects were perfect — less so for reddie Quell who can barely survive this world with out assistance from his concoctions. The seeking of this object is never complete, there is always a lack, which is exactly what this Ilm oFers its audience in the experiencing: this is why, in the most important way, it is unsatisfying.
reud, S. (1900).The Interpretation of Dreams
Laplanche, J. and Pontalis J.B. (1973).The anguage of Psychoanalysis
Note: There is so much more ï would like to say about this Ilm, it is so rich. ï might add more later, but this seems for than enough for now.
Le Matre: une perversion de la psychanalyse incité par la compulsion de répétition
Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master est un Ilm psychologique, tandis que dans le même temps c'est un Ilm sur la psychologie. Non, pas aujourd'hui la psychologie qui est devenu dénudé de l'aventure: une discipline obsédé par lui-même légitimer des mesures de résultats, des essais contrôlés aléatoires (ECR), et abrutissante étroite de mise au point d'expérimentation. Ce fut un moment plus dangereux et excitant pour la psychologie quand le vent qui avait soué dans les salles de consultation de Vienne, Berlin, Budapest et Londres a été gonées son chemin sur les côtes américaines. La psychanalyse transpercé la nation et produit une série de ramiIcations bâtards qui étaient tout aussi brillantes qu'elles étaient dangereuses: passionnante car ils étaient irresponsables.
ïl convient de noter que reud lui aussi, avait été appelé «Le chef». Et les nombreux gourous qui suivirent avaient monikers similaires, y compris Wilhelm Reich, ritz Perls, L Ron Hubbard (à qui le Ilm est librement inspiré), Werner Erhard ( de l'EST), et une variété d'autres. Ces mouvements ne doivent pas être
complètement écarté, chacun d'eux était profondément psychologiquement puissant, mais pas souvent déployé avec soin. Les gens sont arrivés à frapper à la porte de ces gourous pas simplement parce qu'elles étaient des bénéIciaires passifs de lavage de cerveau, mais parce qu'ils cherchaient quelque chose que le gourou était en mesure de fournir. Le lieu Mastertakes au tout début de cette période grisante de la psychologie en Amérique.
Le Ilm est comme un rêve; magniIquement tourné, épisodique, et a parfois les caractéristiques d'un voyage de drogues non hallucinogène (psychédélique aussi, ont peu de temps pour faire leur entrée sur la scène kaléidoscopique psychologique). Bien que proposant un récit et un complot, ce qui signiIe échappe souvent au public de créer une expérience qui pour certains est frustrant, et pour les autres, un autre totalement convaincante et engageante. Chaque coin tourné dans le voyage que vous apporte pas de rapprocher d'une réponse ou d'une résolution. Au lieu de cela vous mène plus égarés encore, et avec raison (reste avec moi).
Pour citer reud, ce Ilm vient à cet endroit dans le rêve désigné comme son nombril:
ïl ya au moins un point dans chaque rêve auquel il est unplummable - un nombril, pour ainsi dire, qui est son point de contact avec l'inconnu (reud, 1900a, 111).
En psychanalyse, le rêve est la voie royale vers l'inconscient, et ce Ilm / rêve a des résonances avec la manière dont l'inconscient vit le monde. Ce que reud a appelé «processus primaire» où l'esprit de l'énergie:
... Circule librement, sans entrave en passant par l'intermédiaire des mécanismes de anddisplacement condensation, d'une idée à une autre. . . (Laplanche et Pontalis, 1973).
C'est le modus operandi du Ilm. ïl s'ensuit processus primaire plutôt que celle du secondaire (la conscience) du système. C'est un Ilm construit par le riche monde de la psychanalyse, pas celui rationnelle de thérapie cognitivo-comportementale.
La compulsion inconsciente de répéter:
Le Master ouvre à bord d'un navire dans les derniers moments de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, la tête casquée de reddy Quell l'(Joaquin Phoenix) tête étincelant dans le soleil, le visage tordu par un traumatisme déjà au-delà de ses années. ïmmédiatement nous sommes confrontés à un certain symbolisme psychologique puissante, la grande mer bleue représentant l'inconscient profond et sublime, sur lequel otte le navire comparable minuscules - la tête protégée contre les éclats d'obus par un casque. Nous apprenons tout de suite que nous ne devons pas craindre un éclat d'obus que la paix est déjà signé. Les batailles de ce Ilm sont tous à l'intérieur de l'esprit, venant de l'intérieur où un casque éclats fera peu pour le protéger.
ïl y aura beaucoup de bateaux et des navires dans Le Matre, beaucoup de s'enfuir et de retourner. ïl ya aussi beaucoup de femmes, de la femme sable géant au début (littéralement, un Terre-Mère), dont le géant seins oFrir des soins de la mère et le désir féminin, les femmes imaginées dans le test Rorshcacht, les femmes dénudées à la collecte, l' images répétées de son amour, Doris (qui est devenu Doris Day, et vous ne recevez pas beaucoup plus archétypal que ça), à la seule femme avec laquelle on le voit bien physique au début du Ilm, et le droit de retour à l' début, Quell reposant sa tête sur le sein de la Mère Terre. Quelle est la source de toute cette répétition?
La compulsion de répétition est déInie comme suit:
un processus incontrôlable originaire de l'inconscient. . . le sujet lui-même se place délibérément dans des situations pénibles, répétant ainsi une vieille expérience, mais il DOS ne me souviens pas de ce [expérience originale]; au contraire, il a la forte impression que la situation est entièrement déterminée par les circonstances en ce moment (Laplanche et Pontalis , 1973).
Le rêve comme la qualité de ce Ilm est complètement saturé dans le processus primaire et la compulsion de répétition
• La constante de va et vient
• La petite amie de retour du regard à la femme après femme, de la mère
• La méthode de «La Cause» dans sa répétition de noms, le va plus du traumatisme, la recherche de plus vers l'arrière, de la vie présente, à ". Trillions d'années"
La compulsion de répétition vient de traumatisme, de revenir à ce traumatisme, encore et encore, pour lui donner un sens, de prendre le contrôle de celui-ci. Pour la psychanalyse la compréhension du traumatisme initial à côté d'une expérience complète de sa signiIcation émotionnelle seul peut tenir pour modiIer la répétition. «La Cause» (le système psycho / religieux développé par le matre) a ses explications pour un traumatisme, et la psychanalyse a le sien.
Vous ne voulez pas être le gagnant du triangle œdipien:
Le thème psychologique dans Le Matre vient d'une source plus prosaque que la Scientologie (dont le Ilm proports obliquement à environ). ïl est, en fait, vieux façonné la psychanalyse ou même mythe grec qui fournit la pierre angulaire des relations de caractère.
La simple idée du complexe d'Œdipe, c'est que l'enfant veut l'attention de l'un des parents, et voit l'autre comme une concurrence pour le parent souhaité, c'est une métaphore de vouloir être avec un parent tout en sentant l'autre parent pour se mettre en travers .