Sunday, June 9, 2019

The Phallus and Nothingness

In France especially, psychoanalysts seem hell bent on going down with the Freudian ship. Your will sit agape when you hear a coterie of French psychoanalysts explain their theories about sexuality. They speak openly and honestly and shamelessly to documentary filmmaker Sophie Robert for her new film, The Phallus and Nothingness. (Full disclosure, she is a personal friend.)

For now, the film does not contain English subtitles, so it is only intelligible to those who understand French. I am told that subtitles will be forthcoming, but for now, alas, only French speakers will be able to grasp its truths.

For the record, the film’s thesis is consonant with my own theories, written in my book The Last Psychoanalyst. It is available in English, via Amazon.

Having watched the film, I find it to be one of the most effective attacks on Freudian psychoanalysis that I have ever seen. It is most effective because the words that condemn psychoanalysis are spoken by psychoanalysts themselves.

They resemble spiders spinning out a narrative web, and getting caught in it. They are so enthralled by the beauty of their productions that they fail to notice that they are wrapping themselves in their own web.

These psychoanalysts believe that they have latched on to a higher truth, but their smug smirks cannot disguise the fact that they are appallingly insouciant about rape, incest and sexual molestation. Freudian theory has taught them that none of it is a big deal. So they believe that none of it is a big deal. They have no feelings for the victims of sexual abuse and happily worship a great Frenchman, by name of the Marquis de Sade, a symbol of sexual enlightenment, who was imprisoned for raping and torturing and drugging women.

I suspect, from what I know about the French scene, that these analysts consider themselves to be sophisticated in erotic matters. And that they believe that the American rejection of their appalling attitudes can only derive from a Puritanical distaste for the dark side of sexual behavior. French psychoanalysis has not yet had its own #MeToo moment, but it will be a hell of a time when it does.

In the movie, the psychoanalysts' words are interspersed with the frightening testimony of victims of sexual abuse. As you listen to these women recounting their analytic treatments, it will chill you to your marrow.

When the film becomes available with English subtitles, I will post it again. For now, here is a link to the French version, via Vimeo.


Anonymous said...

Interesting title, the title's imagery alone is of a phallus floating alone in space.

Anonymous said...

Space to some, flat-world to others.