True Likeness by Catherine Grant

True likeness: Peeping Tom and Code inconnu/Code Unknown Related articles Psicanálise, Criptografia, Nazis e Peeping Tom: Emergency Island Direct Emotional Realism: The People’s War, Classlessness, and Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom Leo Marks, World War II codebreaker turned controversial screenwriter

Psicanálise, Criptografia, Nazis e Peeping Tom: Emergency Island

Air war broke out of the Oedipus complex of in-house research with one’s own children at home alone. Schreber, Freud, Klein, Spielrein, and Piaget were among the many scientists whose research with human subjects often never left home. Powell’s Peeping Tom, in which the serial killer protagonist photographs and kills the women who stand for the stepmother standing in for the mother whose death left him alone with a scientist father forever recording his own son’s visible reactions of fear – and grief – under the uniform lab conditions of traumatic home life, gives the psychoticmediatic rundown of this history of surveillance-survival research.
Although I take Powell’s Peeping Tom as the inside view of, and mascot for, the busy intersection of the genealogies I am unpacking, there turns out to be a World War II specificity to the film’s inception binding psychoanalysis to the making and breaking of codes. Leo Marks, who wrote the screenplay, came up with the idea for Peeping Tom while working in the offices and briefing rooms of the Code Department. His double interest (since childhood) in cryptography and psychoanalysis led him to contemplate the psychic conditions for an “indecipherable,” a coded message from a spy on location behind the enemy front that, because it cannot be decoded at the British end, leads to the request for an often fatal act of retransmission. Two transmissions of the same message in a row, and the enemy knows where you live.

24 Frames: The Last Temptation of Christ (Martin Scorsese, 1988)

If you, who are organized by Divine Providence for spiritual communion, refuse, and bury your talent in the earth, even though you should want natural bread, sorrow and desperation pursue you through life, and after death shame and confusion of face to eternity. William Blake Martin Scorsese once said that Michael Powell, his late friendContinuar lendo “24 Frames: The Last Temptation of Christ (Martin Scorsese, 1988)”

Peeping Tom: 50th Anniversary Blu-Ray

An instructive example of the use of Lacanian theory to examine film is provided by Parveen Adams in her essay on Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom, which tells the story of a young man, Mark Lewis, who films women as he kills them. The film raises questions about the pleasure of the spectator, since the spectator is placed in a position similar to that of Mark Lewis, who Adams argues is a pervert. Such a comparison between the pleasure of the spectator and the enjoyment of the pervert is certainly not new to film theory; it has even become somewhat of a cliche. However, it is precisely this comparison that Adams objects to, on the grounds that it ‘fails to distinguish between a pleasure and the question of jouissance. Adams argues that while Mark Lewis is (almost) entirely caught up within the perverse circuit of jouissance, the spectator is gradually separated from this scenario by a number of crucial shots in the film which disrupt his/her identitication with the protagonist. The jouissance of the perverse Mark Lewis leads him eventually to his death; the framing of certain key images in the film puts the spectator in quite a different position, a position from which a safe pleasure may be derived.

Key Concepts of Lacanian Psychoanalysis