Spellbound & Freud
Sigmund Freud was the originator of psychoanalysis. Some of the broad ideas of Freud’s psychoanalysis are used in the Hitchcock film Spellbound. Among them are the unconscious, Id, Ego, and Dream Analysis. The mind is broken up into two parts the conscious, the processes that one is aware of and the unconscious, processes that one is not aware of. The Id mainly resides in the unconscious mind; it desires to satisfy basic wants and needs and is present at birth. Ego develops slowly after birth, its role is mediator between what one wants, Id, and the restrictions the world places on a person. The Ego resides in both the conscious and unconscious mind. If the Ego cannot mediate between the world and the Id, the mind uses defense mechanisms to shut out upsetting ideas. One of those defense mechanisms is amnesia where one blocks or represses disturbing thoughts. Freud believed that one could access the unconscious mind through dreams and wrote an entire book about it. The movie Spellbound embraces Freud’s ideas and Alfred Hitchcock and Salvador Dali use cinematography to weave them into a riveting suspense filled cinematic ride. Dr. Peterson is a stifled, straight-laced, psychologist that works at Green Manors Mental Hospital in Vermont. She employs Freud’s psychoanalysis techniques with her patients as was taught to her by her mentor and teacher Dr. Burlov. Completely out of character, Peterson immediately falls in love with who she believes is her college and boss Dr. Anthony Edwardes, just arrived to replace Dr. Murchison, the previous director of Green Manors. Very quickly she discovers that her beloved is in fact an imposter that has amnesia and is repressing memories of the demise of the real Dr. Edwardes. Dr. Peterson is convinced that she can cure this mysterious and troubled man with psychoanalysis. We later find out that this mysterious man’s name is Ballantyne. One of the ways Alfred Hitchcock uses cinematography to capture Freud’s...
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