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| Jungian Reflections within the Cinema: A Psychological Analysis of Sci-Fi and Fantasy Archetypes
Book by James F. Iaccino; Praeger Publishers, 1998
When I was writing my book entitled Psychological Reflections on Cine-
matic Terror: Jungian Archetypes in Horror Films for Praeger Publishers
in 1994, I knew that I would not be able to do justice to the psychoanalytic
theory by focusing on just one movie genre. Though the correlation be-
tween Carl Jung's primordial images and horror story lines was a striking
one, I felt that other treatments could be considered along the same lines
of investigation as the first work. Thus, the purpose behind Jungian Re-
flections within the Cinema is primarily to extend the archetypal analysis
to a number of movie categories, ranging from science-fiction to fantasy
films. There is even a section on television series that have tried to emulate
the larger-than-life movies in plot and character development. In the proc-
ess of broadening my scope, I hope that I have succeeded in providing
greater substance and three-dimensional life to Jung's extensive list of ar-
chetypes not only to this present generation of readers, but also to those
who will follow.
The format of Jungian Reflections within the Cinema is similar to the
previous text. Each chapter will concentrate exclusively on an archetype
via a package of films that illustrate its essential contents. For instance, the
Jungian shadow has been represented in various movies as an oppressive
society ( Logan's Run) or an alien race ( Battlestar: Galactica) that is hell-
bent on maintaining control and order in the universe. Archetypal heroes
like Logan-5 or Commander Adama are inserted into the stories not only
to fight such debilitating influences, but also to lead the people to a more
democratic (and paradisiac) way of life. The perpetual struggle between the
ego and its complementary dark side is a common theme which has been
transmitted to every culture since the beginning of time and will not be
Some other notable images discussed within these pages consist of the
following: the space-father, the god-image, and the shadow species for the
science-fiction genre (Part One); alchemic travelers, divided superheroes,
grail quests, and deadly children for the fantasy genre (Part Two); and, to
complete the analysis, shadow pursuers for the television genre (Part
Three). A special introduction to Jung's archetypes will precede the three
basic divisions to supply the reader with the necessary reference point for
mastering the complex material presented later.
I am indebted to the authors listed below for helping me perform my
second set of archetypal investigations: first and foremost, Carol S. Pearson,
who has written several pivotal works on the subject, including The Hero
Within: Six Archetypes We Live By ( 1989) and, more recently, Awakening
the Heroes Within: Twelve Archetypes to Help Us Find Ourselves and
Transform Our World ( 1991); also Robert H. Hopcke, who has done an
excellent job in giving a layman's perspective on Jung's major concepts with
his Guided Tour of the Collected Works of C. G. Jung ( 1992); and, finally,
Stuart M. Kaminsky, who really started the process of applying Jung's ar-
chetypes to the cinema and television in, respectively, American Film Gen-
res ( 1988) and American Television Genres ( 1988).
I would personally like to thank my wife, Michele, for the hours she has
devoted (and continues to devote) to the rearing of our four children: Jon,
Nicole, Kaitlin, and Rebecca. She has made it possible for me to read every
possible source of Jung's I could find, thus allowing me to become an expert
on his archetypal theory. Without my wife's assistance and support, I could
never have written this companion text to Psychological Reflections on
Cinematic Terror or, for that matter, ever begun the archetypal journey
into the cinema. Thank you so much, Michele!
Let us now enter the world of primordial images and see what we can
discover by examining some fairly popular films over the last two decades.
I can assure you that our travels will be quite exciting. We might even open
up new doors into our hidden psyche and understand a little bit better
exactly who we are and what our nature is like.
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