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Jarmusch, J. Oshima, N. Minerbo, M. (2007). Two faces of Thanatos: Broken flowers (2005) and Ai no corrida (1976). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 88(3):777-790.

(2007). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 88(3):777-790

Film Essay

Two faces of Thanatos: Broken flowers (2005) and Ai no corrida (1976)

Directors: Jim Jarmusch, Nagisa Oshima and Marion Minerbo

Since Freud formulated the death instinct concept, it has received widely diverse interpretations. Even Freud advanced two versions. The concomitant analyses of two films, Ai no corrida (1976) [In the realm of the senses (1977)] and Broken flowers (2005) evince Thanatos's two faces: the cold death of decathexis of an object, in the case of Don (in Broken flowers) and the hot death of the subject-object fusion in Sada's case ( Ai no corrida). In our analysis, we elaborate two possible vicissitudes of the death instinct: in Broken flowers, the main character finds an ‘analyst’ and is cured. In Ai no corrida, the protagonist meets a complementary object and goes mad.

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