From Psychoanalysis to Schizoanalysis: An Intensive Voyage

Anna Powell

in Deleuze and Horror Film

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780748617470
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651061 | DOI:
From Psychoanalysis to Schizoanalysis: An Intensive Voyage

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This chapter discusses the established status of psychoanalysis in horror film studies. Gilles Deleuze offers a method and a language to open up the film event to exploration, analysis and articulation. The innovation of schizoanalysis leads to a radical re-thinking of both the theme of madness and the spectator's disturbed responses to the horror film. Insanity is a traditional theme of horror, with its psychopaths and victims driven insane by terror. Normative modes of consciousness and behaviour are assumed, into which madness erupts. Pathologising anomalous mental states is refused by Deleuze and Félix Guattari, whose use of schizoanalysis privileges the transitions accessible in certain intensive states, and in the material aesthetic of immanence. The chapter presents psychoanalytic readings of five horror films – Psycho, The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Repulsion and The Shining – and also examines intensive states in Natural Born Killers.

Keywords: psychoanalysis; horror films; horror film studies; Gilles Deleuze; Félix Guattari; schizoanalysis; madness; insanity; intensive states; Psycho

Chapter.  20806 words. 

Subjects: Film

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