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September 2000, Week 3


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mike chopra-gant <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 14 Sep 2000 10:40:39 +0100
text/plain (68 lines)
It's not really my area and I'm pressed to think of specific examples off
the top of my head but my recollection is that this is often a feature of
1950s and 1960s sci fi films.  I seem to remember a scene in ( I think)
Forbidden Planet in which the monster is explained by one character as a
creature conjured from the id of another character.  On a totally different
tack, right at the end of The Jolson Story, Jolson's wife interprets her
husband's character as one which can only find happiness as long as he can
perform, thus rendering him unsuited to the life of quiet domesticity she

'Whodunnits' are rather good for the kind of scene you are looking for so
you might look at some of the film adaptations of Agatha Christie novels and
also Sherlock Holmes films.  For more a contemporary example, Silence of the
Lambs is full of Lecter's and Starlings readings of each other and of
Buffalo Bill.  If TV examples are of any use to you then any episode of the
British series Silent Witness involves reconstruction of a crime using
interpretations of autopsy evidence.  Quincy may be similar for American TV.
Also Cracker, another British TV series, involves interpretations of
psychological profiles of criminals as an aid to detection.  The American
version is, I believe, called Fitz.   Also how about Analyse This or The

Mike Chopra-Gant
University of London

----- Original Message -----
From: Bet MacArthur <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, September 13, 2000 2:18 AM
Subject: Seeking movies _containing_ 'interpretation'

> Greetings --
> While many of us would say that a film is .in itself. an interpretation of
> the makers' image --- here I am instead seeking suggestions of readily
> acquirable films from any period which .contain. scenes of a character(s)
> offering an interpretation about something to another character(s) --
> of an event, or of the second person's (or someone else's) behavior, or of
> something the 2d person has said, or about a third party's behavior or
> speech.
>      Eg: the last scene of _Psycho_ where Martin Balsam explains
> the landscape of Norman Bates' madness to the gathered detectives.  OR:
> Woody Allen following his wife around the apartment in _Deconstructing
> spewing any number of manipulative interpretations about her needs or
> intentions -- clearly 'acts of aggression' on his part.
>      I am sure there are countless good examples from drama and comedy
> of1930-2000, including in some recent pop films (a colleague suggested
> looking in some of Jim Carrey's movies, for example).   Yes, even movies
> where an actual psychiatrist or analyst offers an interpretation to a
> would be fine, too.
>     Any help will be most welcome. Time sensitivity: by October 15.
> Best regards,
>    Bet MacArthur        Cambridge MA
> ----
> For past messages, visit the Screen-L Archives:

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