Anne Siegel’s documentary/ fiction hybrid examines the unique quality of the psychoanalytical situation, in which people purchase emotional intimacy and share their most private feelings with a hopefully sympathetic stranger who ideally is both remote and consoling. The filmmaker’s approach is to mix interviews of three practicing psychotherapists with a fictionalized case study, further muddling the situation by adding to the mix the screen tests of various actresses up for the role of the unhappy patient.
The most compelling parts of the film (shot on video) are the interviews with the three therapists, whose responses go some distance toward demystifying their priestly professions. The three shrinks involved are all 60-ish males and the patients discussed are all women. One of the three is especially candid about the voyeuristic aspects of his profession, and the sexual temptations that can arise in a charged atmosphere of full disclosure.
The film suggests that psychoanalysis is the pursuit of the well-heeled, which is mostly true now that health insurance is more likely to pay for psychotropic drugs than quality time with a receptive ear.
When the movie pauses for a digression on “Modernity and Psychoanalysis” the focus is not on music, literature, movies and changing social roles, but rather oddly on architecture.
The least interesting part of the film is the fictional portion about a woman heading toward a breakthrough. This isn’t particularly involving, because we’ve been made keenly aware that this is an actress. The fictionalized case history is meant to demonstrate various ideas already expressed.
Even if the movie is uneven, it gets points for originality and should be of interest to anyone who’s experienced this inexact science.
Showing at the Detroit film Theatre (inside the DIA, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit), Monday, Oct. 11, at 7:30 p.m. Call 313-833-3237.
Richard C. Walls writes about film for Metro Times. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at email@example.com.
Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.