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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Mixing Memory and Desire: Elegiac Consciousness in Two Films by Pedro Almodóvar
by Allemand, John X., Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2018, 442; 10810395
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation is a depth psychological analysis of the films of Pedro Almodóvar, with a particular focus on All About My Mother (1999) and Volver (2006). The writer examines the stylistic, narrative, and thematic ties between these films and suggests that they represent a sustained meditation on the nature of loss, grief, memory, and desire, one whose primary affective and aesthetic tone is elegiac in nature. The study employs a hermeneutic approach grounded in the principles of depth psychology—psychoanalysis, analytic psychology, and the archetypal psychology of James Hillman—to elucidate Almodóvar’s poesis, or myth-making of mourning. The generativity of image and its relation to desire and memory in the cinema is a pervasive theme in depth psychological approaches to film; the medium lends itself to a kind of nostalgia in which those necessary losses, conscious and unconscious, so central to the development of the self, activate a search for origins, whether intrapsychic, interpersonal, or collective. The films in question were examined as “texts” to be read and interpreted; Almodóvar’s texts are heavily intertextual in nature. The researcher distinguished between film as text, cinema as “apparatus” (mechanical representation), film theory and criticism as “discourse,” and cinema as “institution or ritual.” Relevant concepts from related arts disciplines (drama, fiction, visual art) were used to amplify new meanings generated by a depth psychological study of the texts. Keywords: Pedro Almodóvar, film, psychoanalysis, Jung, archetypal psychology, grief, mourning, elegy, women, intertextuality, hermeneutic

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Nelson, Elizabeth
Commitee: Fontelieu, Sukey, Hockley, Luke
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Depth Psychotherapy
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 79/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Film studies
Keywords: Archetypal psychology, Elegy, Grief, Pedro almodóvar, Psychoanalysis, Women
Publication Number: 10810395
ISBN: 978-0-355-87257-6
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