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Michels, R. (2003). Psychoanalysis And Film, by Glen Gabbard, M.D., London: Karnac, 2001, 240 pp... Psychoanal Q., 72(4):1057-1060.

(2003). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 72(4):1057-1060

Psychoanalysis And Film, by Glen Gabbard, M.D., London: Karnac, 2001, 240 pp..

Review by:
Robert Michels

I like movies. I know that film is an important aspect of contemporary culture and a major modern art form, but to be honest, I think of them as movies and, most of the time, experience them as entertainment. Also, I do not know much about them. I read reviews regularly, usually before I have seen the movie (or decided not to see it), primarily to help me decide whether or not I want to see it and to enhance my pleasure and appreciation if I do. For me, a good review makes the movie more interesting, calls my attention to things I might not otherwise notice, provides context, and adds meaning. It cannot make a bad movie good, but it can make a good movie better. There are also good reviews of bad movies that explain how and why the movie fails, and can often be more interesting than the movie itself.

Glen Gabbard has assembled twenty-four reviews from the first four years of the film section of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis, his term as film review editor for that publication. They are brief (only three are more than ten pages each) and are written by analysts and critics from around the world (two by Gabbard himself, three by Emanuel Berman of Israel, two by Andrea Sabbadini of London, and the others each by an analyst or critic). Most of them discuss superior films or film “classics.” The new Zagat Survey Movie Guide ranks seven of them “extraordinary to perfection” (Vertigo, Chinatown, Wild Strawberries, The Conformist, Saving Private Ryan, M, and The Sixth Sense), and another twelve “very good to excellent.”

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