Madness and Cinema: Psychoanalysis, Spectatorship and Culture
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attribute a specific meaning to an act of madness is it still madness? How do we understand something like madness? (These are issues that will be taken up later). The underlying relationship of knowledge, meaning, and understanding to madness is one of schism. Madness is what it is because it is outside of knowledge, challenges knowledge, functions as knowledge’s Other, and so on. This would include the binarism of reason/madness, and knowledge and its collapse. This is the way in which madness
within the ego as a self-reflexive moment. Therefore, the spectator must eroticise his/her Angst not simply in order to cope with it, make it pleasurable or even be seduced by it. The spectator eroticises it because it provides a capacity for his/her subjectivity to be THE NEUROTIC SPECTATOR WHO EROTICISES 61 asserted. This is the ego of the spectator made real, which becomes part of the id- Angst. This helps to explain why we do not flee the sources and objects of fear and unpleasure, for they
even if it is inaccurate there is a delusional certainty that overrides this (historical) reality. The rendering of a historical figure such as Billy the Kid (a noted sadistic killer) as heroic and handsome in Westerns means that reality has been replaced by this cinematic delusional certainty. The representation of white and black American service men as having a shared camaraderie in Pearl Harbour (Bay 2001) certainly bears little or no resemblance to the historical reality of the situation.
notes to himself, is provided to give stability to interpretation. Yet, it is precisely the fluidity of the past events recalled as knowledge that makes interpretation impossible, or at least exceedingly difficult. The notes should occupy the site of knowledge, should convey that which is known and therefore beyond interpretation, but their limits are tested because of the sense of madness – the madness of continual forgetting and subsequent paranoia. A different use of the past as a type of
common representation of gay men has been the alternative, otherness to the normal world of people. Where, one must ask, is the ordinariness of gay life? 73 We have referred to this elsewhere. It is Lacan’s ‘formula’ of desire and otherness – the objects of a little otherness ( autre). 74 Which in itself is a curious idea – is the production of loss still production? If loss is the result can we still speak of production? 75 S᭛ a is Lacan’s symbol for phantasy. It is the split subject caught