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Archives for June, 2011

Defense Mechanisms

Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’ Music Video and Her Triumph Over Shame

Lady Gaga's music video for Born This Way begins with a creation myth about the origins of an imaginary Manichaen world.  Her voice-over, accompanied by stunning visuals and set to portions of the magnificent Bernard Herrmann score for Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo, tells of the "infinite" birth of "a new race, a race within the  race of humanity.  A race which bears no prejudice, no judgment, but boundless freedom."  On the same day that...
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Anger and Hatred

Wholeness vs. Goodness: Pleasantville (Part I)

“I’d rather be whole than good.” ~ Carl Jung

Though there are many themes presented in Pleasantville (1998), those that will be explored here are the shadow side of our emotions, the dangers of not dealing with them consciously and the rewards of living in connection with all parts of our ourselves.

The film shows that the cost of living in “black and white” is a life that is flat, bland...
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Family Dynamics

‘Thor’ the Movie: A Father Teaches Humility

When Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and his loyal band of cohorts launch an assault on the Frost Giants of Jutenheim, disobeying his father Odin's will not to violate the truce with that realm, Odin (Anthony Hopkins) intervenes to save them.  "You are a vain, greedy, cruel boy!" he tells his son.  "And you are an old man and a fool!" Thor retorts.  "Yes, I was a fool, to think you were ready [to become king]."   Odin...
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Exploring the Ghostly Lover: “Pandora and the Flying Dutchman” (Part I)

The film Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1951) illustrates the archetype of the Ghostly Lover. An archetype is a symbol or pattern that consistently recurs and is recognizable as a part of human experience, often seen in myths or fairy tales.

Viewing Pandora as if it were a fairy tale helps shed light on the dynamics of the Ghostly Lover who keeps us in the realm of dreams, not of...
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Sarah Ferguson on ‘Oprah’: The Persistent Narcissistic Defense

This week, the Sunday Styles section of the New York Times features an interview with Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, promoting a documentary that will begin airing June 12th on the new Oprah Network.

This six-part series, entitled "Finding Sarah: From Royalty to the Real World," supposedly traces Ms. Ferguson's journey from the "gutter" into which she fell during the last few years, to a place of new-found understanding and self-acceptance -- "getting Sarah right,"...
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Exploring Self-Rejection and Self Love in “Cold Souls”

“Soul: the essential part or fundamental nature of anything.” ~ World English Dictionary

Paul Giamatti plays the main character in Cold Souls (2009) as a fictionalized version of himself. Starring in a stage play of Uncle Vanya and having difficulty with his role, he is filled with anxiety. Feeling that his soul is to blame, he decides to undergo a “soul extraction and storage,” a new technology performed...
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