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Borden, D.M. (2008). Volver written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar Sony Pictures Classics, 2006; 121 min.. Fort Da, 14(2):136-136.

(2008). Fort Da, 14(2):136-136

Film Reviews

Volver written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar Sony Pictures Classics, 2006; 121 min.

Review by:
Diane M. Borden, Ph.D.

The following three papers on Almodóvar's Volver were originally presented at the fifth-year memorial celebration honoring Gayle Wheeler, analyst and member of PINC. The program, held on the UC Berkeley campus in November of 2007, screened Volver, a film representing the psychological dynamics between and among three generations of women. Volver was chosen in part because of Dr. Wheeler's clinical and research interests in “dangerous women.” For many years Dr. Wheeler participated in the San Francisco film and psychoanalysis study group, gave presentations on film in various venues, and published in the area of psychoanalysis and cinema.

The memorial program was introduced by Dr. Jeanne Wolf Bernstein, then president of PINC, who also moderated the panel discussion. After screening Volver, five papers were presented, followed by a lively, insightful interchange between audience and panel. The five short papers had been selected for the program because of their diverse critical, analytic, and theoretical perspectives. They became, in effect, a kind of casebook on multiple approaches to the study of film and the application of psychoanalysis to the interpretation of texts in general.

The three papers published here exemplify that diversity: from Dr. Artson's broad thematic overview, to Dr. Borden's focus on film genre and issues of the Archaic Mother, to Dr. González's exploration of the role of “Mother” within Spanish-language cultural contexts. Afterward, the conversation (and the celebration) continued in the building's courtyard, with wine, cheese, and further thoughts of how cinema and psychoanalysis jointly contribute to enlivening our knowledge and understanding.

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