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Showing posts from June, 2016

Spellbound (1945) and Freud

There is a Latin epigram that goes: Quidquid luce fuit, tenebris agit, in English: what has taken place in the light continues in the dark. The reverse seems also true, though thousands of other epigrams also warn of the illusions that darkness elicits, the insidious workings that can so easily escape our beclouded vision. The riddle cannot be better illustrated through an even more insoluble enigma- that of dreaming. Nietzsche, in 1886, discovered that a man who acquired the ability to fly in his dream related this gravity-defying “upwardness” to an uplifted happiness he felt in his waking moments. From then on that man’s notion of happiness had been dramatically altered- whatever feeling that failed to evoke that peculiar upwardness would seem to him too heavy and, on a superior note, too “earthly.”

The entrance of Sigmund Freud, in his audacious quest of unlocking the age-old mysteries of dream, effected a startling change in the psychological study of the subject. His seminal work,…

Review: The Night of the Iguana (1964)

Of all those that explore the troubled frontier of human psyche, there can be a few who have subjected it to a more penetrating study, and with a greater avidity for the discovery of its intricacy than Tennessee Williams. His plays centre on the lonely, the grotesque, the misunderstood, the crazed, the perverted and, ultimately, the tragic. One is surprised to know that one of America’s most loved playwrights is such a morbid purveyor of unhappy tales. And a wayward maverick, too, unafraid to challenge censorship by evoking themes like homosexuality and substance abuse. In Williams’s memoir he enumerates the countless events in which he made for “long, agonising exits” when his plays were roundly booed by the audience. Common to those who rebel against an established tradition, Williams was both reviled and admired, the acknowledgement of his astounding impact on America’s theatrical culture however unanimous. In the late 50s and early 60s especially he became a favorite amongst serio…