The Monstrous-Feminine: Film, Feminism, Psychoanalysis (Popular Fictions Series)

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The Monstrous-Feminine: Film, Feminism, Psychoanalysis (Popular Fictions Series)

The Monstrous-Feminine: Film, Feminism, Psychoanalysis (Popular Fictions Series)

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Creed analyses women as monstrous through their roles in horror movies playing witches, vampires, archaic mothers, possessed monsters and mythical creatures, such as Medusa. In this final session, we stay with the maiden on the cusp of marriage, as betrayed brides and possessed women seek out supernatural revenge. With close reference to a number of classic horror films including the Alien trilogy, The Exorcist and Psycho, Creed analyses the seven `faces’ of the monstrous-feminine: archaic mother, monstrous womb, vampire, witch, possessed body, monstrous mother and castrator.

This book is sometimes hard to read, and the concepts of psychoanlaysis that she draws on are often dubious. Barbara Creed frequently mentions in her work that horror movies play on this fear of the vagina dentata and even include it visually in films, through enormous toothed monsters or aliens, to settings such as dark and narrow hallways, deadly traps and doors, and spaceships such as that in Alien. The term vagina dentata was coined by Sigmund Freud and follows the myth that female genitalia are monster-like, having teeth.One word of warning to potential readers is that the book, being a decade old, does not consider more recent horror films. In the first edition, Creed draws on Julia Kristeva’s theory of abjection to challenge the popular view that women in horror are almost always victims, and argues that patriarchal ideology constructs women as monstrous in relation to her sexuality and reproductive body to justify her subjugation. In this new edition Creed expands and updates the filmography to include horror films created by women to augment the ways in which the monstrous-feminine functions deliciously as patriarchy’s retribution. Abjection, or Why Freud Introduces the Phallus: Identification, Castration Theory, and the Logic of Fetishism". Creed places emphasis on this idea of the monstrous-womb, as the maternal body has been considered a source of anxiety to the male gaze.

One final note: Creed has found some shortcomings in Sigmund Freud's theories and has provided some brilliant solutions, especially to the famous "Little Hans" case.

Creed examples that in examples where the monster is clearly defined as male, its status as male identifies it with a lack, and hence defines it as feminized. Taking place during the week of International Women’s Day 2022, this online day course takes Creed’s work as a starting point, alongside the psychoanalytic theories of Kristeva and Freud.

Creed argues that the development of technology in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has allowed people to experiment with reality and time, and disassociate one's self from their own reality, as well as challenge ideas of "fixed personal identity". Mis]conceptions of female sexuality are inherent within the horror genre, as a common motif is that virtuous or "pure" women survive to the end of the film, and women who exhibit sexual behaviour commonly die early into the narrative. It would make no difference whether the child was born in a matriarchy or a patriachy, because the development of the psyche occurs long before any sort of patriarchal indoctrination could ever occur. You can change your choices at any time by visiting Cookie preferences, as described in the Cookie notice.Payments made using National Book Tokens are processed by National Book Tokens Ltd, and you can read their Terms and Conditions here. You can watch the video straight from our page once you’ve paid or log in to your Vimeo account, where you can find all the videos that you have rented. Creed’s argument contests Freudian and Lacanian theories of sexual difference to offer a provocative rereading of classical and contemporary horror. In this, "lack" signifies the female, wherein male monsters are identified as abject, lacking; ultimately feminine. Creed examines Freud's psychoanalytic theory of sexual difference, and the marking of female sexuality as dangerous, as Freud believed women had vagina dentata and that they were castrators of men.

Barbara Creed's The Monstrous-Feminine: Film, Feminism, Psychoanalysis (1993) [4] investigates the types of monsters that women are portrayed as in horror films, particularly examining archaic mothers, and mythological adaption's of characters. Near the beginning of the book, she scolds the patriarchy for believing that there is no Monstrous Feminine. Creed's The Monstrous-Feminine [4] was published in 1993 and clearly draws inspiration from her earlier work on Kristeva. Creed argues that the monstrous feminine horrifies her audience through her sexuality, as she is either constructed as a virgin or a whore. Creed challenges this view with a feminist psychoanalytic critique, discussing films such as Alien, I Spit on Your Grave and Psycho.

This is a timely update of a seminal text which re-interprets key films of the horror genre, including Carrie, The Exorcist, The Brood and Psycho. Barbara Creed has identified several faces of the Monstrous Feminine in the horror film genre, and lays out the basis for these faces in psychoanalysis.

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