More than half a century apart, Blanche (played by Vivian Leigh) in Elia Kazan’s renowned A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) and Jasmine (Cate Blanchet) in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine (2013) mutually refer to each other – especially for the therapeutic mind. Both characters, along with the filmmakers’ other powerful cast of adjunct characters, will be approached didactically as case-study vignettes to examine narcissism, psychosis, and borderline personality development.
- Describe some of the major developmental and dynamic themes in feminine narcissism, as they appear in the films under discussion.
- Formulate the psychodynamic bases of borderline personality development, delusional states, and psychosis as dramatized in these films.
- Show how psychodynamic treatment approaches for narcissistic pathology can improve patient care.
- Articulate the role of culture in the psychodynamically understood fantasies of the films’ protagonists, and the pertinence of social class clashes (which play a significant part in the protagonists’ internal worlds.)
Calvin Colarusso, M.D. is a board-certified Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego. He is also a Training and Supervising Analyst in child and adult psychoanalysis at the San Diego Psychoanalytic Center and an internationally known lecturer to students, professionals, and the general public on many aspects of normal and pathologic development. His books have been published in English, Korean, and Spanish. He has published over 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals.
Alain J.-J. Cohen, Ph.D. is Professor of Comparative Literature and Film Studies at the University of California, San Diego, and a practicing psychoanalyst, graduate of SDPC. Throughout his 100-odd research articles in professional journals and scholarly volumes – as well as hundreds of presentations at invited lectures around the world – he analyzes auteur filmmakers’ styles and psychologies, as he highlights psychoanalytic approaches to cinema, methods of film analysis, the aesthetics of the filmic image, aggression, and the rhetoric of violence in contemporary U.S. cinema.