The Celluloid Couch: An Annotated International Filmography of the Mental Health Professional in the Movies and Television, from the Beginning to 1990
In this unique filmography, Leslie Rabkin delves deeply into film's "unconscious," producing a valuable reference text concerned with the history of film and its representation of therapy and mental illness. The Celluloid Couch is arranged by decade, with the exception of the earliest period, The Silent Era (from the very beginnings of film to 1920). Each period contains a thoughtful introduction that highlights important films and discusses the intersection of film with history and psychology. Rabkin's overview lays bare patterns in film's representation of mental illness and therapy, and inquires how contemporary stereotypes of psychiatric patients and institutions have been formed from film. Textual examples in the introduction are drawn from magazines and newspapers, as well as numerous readings of particularly important films refracted through the lens of a psychologist. The alphabetical entries are compact and inclusive, containing main titles as well as foreign listings, and detailed information such as cast, length, director, producer, and a brief synopsis of the film's plot and discussion of the forms of therapy depicted and utilized in the film. An efficient resource for the student of film, psychology, or mass culture, The Celluloid Couch makes the huge number of popular films that portray mental illness and therapy accessible.
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