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August 1993


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Norm Holland <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 31 Aug 1993 12:08:07 EDT
text/plain (81 lines)
A book I thought y'all might be interested in.  One of our
subscribers, Harvey Greenberg is writing as good psychiatric
criticism of movies as there is.
                                    --Norm Holland
by Harvey Roy Greenberg
SCREEN  MEMORIES:  Hollywood  Cinema  on the Psychoanalytic Couch
delves  into  the  psychological  aspects  of mainstream American
movies from CASABLANCA  to ENEMIES: A  LOVE STORY.   Much psycho-
analytic film criticism is  dryly theoretical.  Greenberg  writes
in a candid, entertaining style which will appeal to cineasts and
scholars alike.
Greenberg begins with a comprehensive overview of the field.   He
then directs his focus on character, motivation, and conflict  in
detective, war,  science fiction  and horror  movies, as  well as
cult cinema.  The author  addresses problems of adaptation in  an
essay  on  THE  BOSTONIANS,  novel  and  film.    In the realm of
cultural criticism, "On the McMovie" probes the hollow,  escapist
fare which emerged from Hollywood in the 1980s and 1980s, embrac-
ing nearly every genre.   Greenberg zooms in on the  pathological
narcissism of heroes in McMovies such as Rambo and Top Gun.
In a consideration of ALWAYS, Steven Spielberg's ill-fated rehash
of Victor  Flemining's A  GUY NAMED  JOE, Greenberg  analyzes the
Oedipal  dynamic  which  may  be  latent in the remaking process.
SCREEN MEMORIES  concludes by  addressing two  important films of
the late 1980s.  Greenberg describes Working Girl as an exemplary
"Co-opt" film with  a seemingly liberal  agenda, which mocks  and
subverts very social advances it would seem to affirm.   Enemies:
A  Love  Story  --  with  its  humor,  manic energy, and theme of
renewal in the very  teeth of death --  is seen as evidence  of a
tentative, but hopeful return to quality in Hollywood.
Harvey Roy Greenberg, M.D.  is a Manhattan psychiatrist  and psy-
choanalyst.   He is  a Clinical  Professor of  Psychiatry at  the
Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he teaches  adolescent
psychiatry  and  medical  humanities.    He has written widely on
cinema, in The  New York Times  Sunday Arts and  Leisure Section,
Tikkun,  Movieline,  Camera  Obscura,  Psychoanalytic Review, and
Film Quarterly.  His  television appearances include Today,  Good
Morning America, Larry King Live, and CBS Sunday.  He is the film
critic of the Psychiatric  Times, author of a  pioneering psycho-
analytic study  of cinema,  THE MOVIES  ON YOUR  MIND, as well as
several  highly  regarded  books  for  teenagers  on drung abuse,
adolescent and family mental health issues.
"Harvey Greenberg brings a unique and important voice to  psycho-
analytically based film theory  and criticism.  He  possesses the
unusual combination of  clinical psychiatric experience,  a broad
knowledge of film  theory, and a  writing style that  reveals the
flair  of  an  accomplished  journalist;  his work is accessible,
informed,  and  substantial.    SCREEN  MEMORIES is an insightful
engagement of contemporary psychoanalytic film discourse."
--William Luhr, Saint Peter's College
"Deft,  mordant,  frolicsome,  SCREEN  MEMORIES  delivers  on its
pledge to be entertaining as well as instructive."
--Ellen Handler Spitz, author, IMAGE AND INSIGHT
"Movies are a collective dream, a way of dreaming together;  Har-
vey Greenberg's criticism is  like dream interpretation, full  of
bright new insight.  He is fresh, funny, tough, holding all of us
who make  movies accountable  to rigorous  standards of emotional
truth and social responsibility...We must listen to this man."
--Frank Pierson, Screenwriter, DOG DAY AFTERNOON
SCREEN MEMORIES  delves into  the psychological  aspects of  film
characters in mainstream movies ranging from CASABLANCA to  WORK-
ING GIRL.  Greenberg writes in a candid and entertaining style as
fun and convincing as the movies themselves.
| Norm Holland            Department of English                     |
| University of Florida   Gainesville FL 32611  Tel: (904) 377-0096 |
| BITNET: nnh@nervm       INTERNET: [log in to unmask]         |