The Erotic Screen: Desire, Addiction and Perversity in Cinema

Author(s) : Thomas Wolman

The Erotic Screen: Desire, Addiction and Perversity in Cinema

Book Details

  • Publisher : Phoenix Publishing House
  • Published : February 2020
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 256
  • Category :
    Psychoanalysis
  • Catalogue No : 94841
  • ISBN 13 : 9781912691272
  • ISBN 10 : 9781912691
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The Erotic Screen takes as its starting point that Hollywood movies were steeped in eroticism from the beginning but censorship forced filmmakers to devise hidden sexual subtexts to preserve a film’s subliminal eroticism. Science fiction films were particularly effective, using horror to induce sexual excitement, as studied in ‘Part I: The nature of desire in a trio of science fiction thrillers.’ Another device was to display unrestricted consumption of alcohol and tobacco and gratuitous spending. Today, this is a cliché of mainstream cinema but some filmmakers expose the dark underbelly.

The five films scrutinized in ‘Part II: Portraits of addiction in Hollywood melodrama’ make explicit the connections between greed, addictions, and sexuality. Finally, in ‘Part III: Perverse desire in mainstream cinema,’ the nuanced position toward the psychosexual obsessions on view in the films is investigated by posing the provocative question of whether S&M practice can work as a “cure” for psychic suffering, by raising the alarm over sexuality run amok in a suburban community, and by offering a devastating critique of voyeurism’s “fatal attraction” to viewers.

The Erotic Screen stirs up discussion and debate – and helps these movies live on in our minds.

About the Author(s)

Thomas Wolman, MD, was born and raised in New York City, where he now lives after residing in Philadelphia PA for forty-four years. He attended Johns Hopkins University and the Pennsylvania State University Medical College. Subsequently, he trained at the Philadelphia Psychoanalytic Center, where he taught in both the psychoanalytic and the psychotherapy training programs. Until his move, he held the title of assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He has written on Winnicott, Mahler, Kohut and Lacan, as well as on contemporary films, and more recently on greed, bereavement and privacy issues. Currently, he teaches a course on the history of psychoanalysis at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute.

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