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Watching The Movie "Mom!" Together With A Psychologist - Reviews, Self-development
Watching The Movie "Mom!" Together With A Psychologist - Reviews, Self-development

Video: Watching The Movie "Mom!" Together With A Psychologist - Reviews, Self-development

Video: Watching The Movie "Mom!" Together With A Psychologist - Reviews, Self-development
Video: Improve English While Sleeping | Real Listening Exercise 2023, March

We offer you to watch the film "Mom!" Darren Aronofsky with Jennifer Lawrence, Michelle Pfeiffer and Javier Bardem in the lead roles, and then analyze what is happening together with the psychologist, author of the magazine "Our Psychology" Andrei Bespalov. Indeed, sometimes what we see is only images and symbols, behind which a whole world of dreams and myths is hidden.

The famous researcher of mythology Joseph Campbell wrote that "a dream is a personalized myth, and a myth is a depersonalized dream." From myself, I would add that art lies somewhere in between. And this is perfectly illustrated by the example of Darren Aronofsky's new film “Mom!”, Filmed in the form of a surreal dream, but at the same time touching on eternal archetypal plots.

"mum!" like a myth

At first glance, it seems that the film offers us just a free retelling of the Old Testament in abstract scenery. The biblical parallels in the film are quite transparent: in the house, which is unambiguously called "paradise", a man appears with a wound in the place of a rib, the next morning his wife joins him. The owner of the house welcomes them and does not limit them in anything, except for the prohibition to touch one single thing in his office.

When the ban is violated, the owner expels everyone from the office and locks it forever. Then the sons of a man and a woman appear, the elder kills the younger, and so on, and so on, including the global flood, the birth and death of the Son, and even a few small nods towards the Egyptian executions.

But from whom is this story told? On behalf of a character who is not in the Bible at all. She was in classical mythologies - a divine female figure, dually complementing the male. Mother earth, mother nature. But the guests of the house, although they revere the owner, ignore or humiliate the hostess (“who are you ?!”), who can do nothing but clean up after them and again and again return a semblance of order to the house. But nature also has ultimate strength, and therefore at some point it destroys the entire house-universe with its cleansing fire.

We live in a crazy time. The world's population is approaching eight billion, the ecosystem is crumbling, extinction has reached unprecedented levels; ancient tribal disputes and beliefs continue to sow war and discord; the largest iceberg ever seen broke away from the Antarctic shelf and floated out to sea … Nevertheless, we live in a state of denial about the state of our planet and our place in this picture. From this primordial soup of anxiety and helplessness, I woke up one morning and this film poured out of me like a feverish dream

Darren Aronofsky

So the film can be seen as a reflection on the conflict between nature and culture. Cultures are born and die, but nature abides forever … In the same film, on the contrary, nature dies, and the Logos revives the universe from the ashes. But what kind of peace can be built solely by the power of words on the ashes of a burnt planet? Perhaps the world of the virtual matrix. Perhaps that is why at the end of the film we see the new mistress of the house, not nearly as beautiful as Jennifer Lawrence.

"mum!" like a dream

If we consider what is happening in the film not as a universal story, but as a dream of the individual psyche, then what is it about?

Nowadays, few people remember that films are dreams. Vivid dreams, and it's incredibly interesting

Darren Aronofsky

At first glance - about the fear of motherhood. In the beginning, we see an idyllic relationship in which the wife is completely absorbed in her poet husband. This situation was very well described by Jung in his article "Marriage as a Psychological Attitude": "In such somewhat tangled natures, another person can easily get lost, that is, he finds in them such an abundance of opportunities for experiences that they are quite enough to completely absorb all his interests … A simpler person is surrounded by them and even falls into their captivity; she seems to become absorbed in a more complex personality, except for her she sees nothing.

The absorbed person is, in fact, wholly within the marriage. He is completely turned to another, for him outside there are no serious responsibilities and no binding interests. The unpleasant side of this otherwise “ideal” state is the troubling dependence on an insufficiently predictable, and therefore not entirely understandable or not entirely reliable, personality.” Here, the house symbolizes the relationship of the couple, and, pay attention, the heroine never leaves its limits for the entire film.

And then a stranger appears, constantly demanding attention and care, bringing chaos and starting a chain of events that inevitably lead to the complete destruction of the house. This is also hinted at by the title of the film and obsessive questions about why the heroine does not want / did not have a child; a nightmare that the child will be taken away, that she will have to give, sacrifice, abandon herself all her life …

This is a story about the danger of bias within a particular psyche.

Here is what the famous Jungian analyst Valery Zelensky writes: “Jung often thought about the nature of Eros and the Logos just to indicate how sometimes collective images of masculinity or femininity disfigure individuality, involuntarily contributing to the manifestations of its one-sidedness.

Again and again Jung emphasized the importance of the connectedness of Eros for men and the orientation of the Logos for women, citing numerous examples when patients found themselves in a psychological impasse - the Procrustean bed of collective norms-prescriptions for one or the other sex.

The problem is aggravated by the fact that in traditional society a woman was for a long time denied both principles - she was considered too stupid for the Logos (art, politics and science), but her Eros was also very limited. And this is what we see in the film - "a woman as she should be", and what would lead to following these instructions.

The heroine's prohibition on displaying aggression is so strong that she is unable to defend her boundaries, even when they are unambiguously pressed on them. She began repairing and improving her house (which in a dream often symbolizes the psyche) from the upper floors, and her hands have not yet reached the basement (unconscious). Well, neglect of vitality naturally leads to the disappearance of fire, passion and sex from relationships.

Female images in a female dream often represent a shadow - all those features that the dreamer refuses to recognize in herself. Michelle Pfeiffer's heroine combines aggressiveness and sexuality, which Laurence's heroine considers unacceptable for herself (remember the two objects that she throws out of sight - a lighter and lace panties).

The problem with displacement is that over time, the pressure of the displaced material only grows and when the dam eventually breaks through, a person, having no experience of interacting with these energies, is completely captured by them (for example, a person who has denied feelings all his life may end up in captivity of an all-consuming and blinding passion). And the heroine of the film, who, according to the plot, “not being able to control the male energy of fire” (her food burns, and the frying pan burns her palm), when she picks up a lighter, instantly burns the whole house.

In the article “Woman in Europe,” Jung writes that a woman needs to acquire masculine features, otherwise she will be "captured by an antiquated, purely instinctive femininity, lost and alone in the world of men," and a man, in turn, must develop his feminine side.

And I would say that the film even hints at possible solutions. When the heroine goes down to the basement for the first time and comes to the walled door, something knocks from there and at the same moment a fire lights up in the furnace - not a destructive and all-burning flame, but a warm warming fire of the hearth. When she finally opens this door, behind her lies a dark tunnel (the collective unconscious?), From which the toad emerges. As an amphibian, she can personify the connection between two worlds: the deep waters of the unconscious and the land illuminated by the light of consciousness. And in the fairy tale about the frog princess, she symbolizes femininity, which for the time being has been driven into an ugly, externally imposed form.

“It is by looking into the darkest parts of our psyche that we find light,” director Darren Aronofsky as if draws the line with this finale

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