All posts by Dan Ross

The Hunter: A Film Analysis by Daniel Ross

HunterI am struck by what seems to be a lack of masculine energy that is life-giving rather than destructive in our culture.  I am also struck by the lack of films that address male individuation.  We have plenty of hero myths played out in film but the transformation is external, not internal.  The hero changes the world around him by defeating evil but remains unchanged.  The recent exception to that may be the latest James Bond film, “Skyfall”, but we suspect that any softening of Bond will mean his demise and the end of a franchise.  So it took a woman to write a story of male individuation with a Bond-like character.  In contrast, several very good films have portrayed individuation in young women in recent years.  Some of these we have presented at our Movie Night at the Evanston Jung Center, such as Black Swan, Winter’s Bone, An Education, True Grit and others.  Over the summer Jackie Mattfeld, a board member of the C.G. Jung Center, suggested I view the film “The Hunter” and perhaps present it at the Center.  On January 4th we will do just that.  In preparation for that I will discuss some aspects of the film here. Continue reading The Hunter: A Film Analysis by Daniel Ross

Biutiful: Movie Night and Film Analysis by Daniel Ross

BiutifulThis Friday we will be showing a film by Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s and starring Javier Bardem. It is González Iñárritu’s first feature since Babel and fourth overall, and his first film in his native Spanish language. The title Biutiful refers to the orthographical spelling in Spanish of the English word beautiful as it would sound to native Spanish speakers.  The spelling of the word sets the tone of the film which grounds us in the senses, not in the intellect. This is a story that has to be felt deeply and it is a rough road.  The director teaches us we are accustomed to films (particularly American) taking a stance in which good and evil is personified in characters and the good always prevails. This film asks us to see the complexity in people and that right and wrong and good and evil are part of the same whole.  This is a Jungian view of the world. Continue reading Biutiful: Movie Night and Film Analysis by Daniel Ross

Martha Marcy May Marlene: Movie Analysis by Daniel Ross

Martha Marcy May MerleneA close friend of mine, a psychotherapist, told me when she walked out of the theater after seeing this film she struggled getting her footing.  I too found the film to be unexpectedly disturbing like when you wake up in the middle of the night after hearing a sound and you begin quietly searching the house while your spouse sleeps comfortably in bed.  You feel alone to face what lies in the darkness which you know is nothing, yet your entire body is braced to meet the intruder.

Continue reading Martha Marcy May Marlene: Movie Analysis by Daniel Ross

True Grit: The Archetypal Realm of the Old West

True GritMovie night on June 10th involved an excellent discussion about the night sea journey (nekyia) of Mattie Ross, a 14 year old girl who begins a journey to avenge her father’s death by finding and killing the man responsible, Tom Chaney.  The story can be seen as an exploration through Mattie’s grief over the loss of her father and the characters of La Bouef  and Cogburn become archetypal and instrumental in Mattie coming to terms with her unresolved relationship with her father. Continue reading True Grit: The Archetypal Realm of the Old West