Film References: Cinema, Psychology, Psychoanalysis and Mental Distress

In the Film References we included interesting films under a psychological perspective and from a more general point of view of mental distress. The selection of films has followed different criteria: the explicit content; the multidimensional deepening of the psychology of characters or of an atmosphere; the possible usage of the film as a tool in a clinical or educational context; apparent group dynamics. As to the explicit content, it can refer to the presence of characters affected by a mental distress, to the presence of a professional of mental health, the setting in a mental health institution. Clearly, some of these categories overlap, but not always; in some cases the mental health professional is absent even when the film set is a mental asylum, as in The Escaped Lunatic. Often, both a patient and a mental health professional are present when the relationship matters in the film, but it can happen that only a mental distressed character plays a role, or that a mental health professional is portrayed in his private life. It can even happen that they are the same person, rather often indeed when the film is a thriller. With respect to this criterion, of the explicit content, our choice followed neither an aesthetic evaluation, nor plausibility of the clinical situations represented, because, especially when dealing with American film, a few films would have been there. Moreover, as G. Gabbard (1999) and I. Schneider (1985) maintain among many authors, also a distortion in presenting clinical practices can deliver interesting clues. With reference to the way characters’ psychology is featured, and the psychological perspective from which situations are developed as well, the criterion is almost subjective and the field very wide. In this case our choice has followed different threads, trying to consider the film impact on collective imagination, and to include authors who bore a general interest in or an explicit will to shape this kind of issues – for Italy, for instance, we can mention Federico Fellini and Bernardo Bertolucci – . Such a will is sometimes signaled by the fact that the author – either the director, or screenplay writer – resorted to the advice of a psychoanalyst during film realization, as Chabrol sometimes did. For some directors, almost all their works satisfy the above criteria, even all at once: this is the case of Robert Altman, Woody Allen, Ingmar Bergman and Alfred Hitchcock. The possible usage of films as an educational or clinical tool is closely related to the previous point. We deal in deep with this issue in our article, Psychoanalysis Group and Cinema, further published in this Journal issue. The fourth criterion is clearly of great importance, considering the present context of this Journal. Group dynamics are represented in films like Twelve Angry Men by Lumet, Orchestra Rehearsal by Fellini and Waiting List by Tabío. On the latter, C. Marogna and F. Caccamo focused their attention within this Journal issue. Films in the list, which is not intended to be and could not be exhaustive, are presented in alphabetical order.

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Adam’s Apples (Adams æbler) Anders Thomas Jensen. Denmark 2005

Adaptation Spike Jonze. USA 2002

Agnes of God Norman Jewison. USA 1985

Altered States Ken Russel. USA 1980

All About Eve Joseph L. Mankiewicz. USA 1950

Amelie (Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain) Jean-Pierre Jeunet. France 2001

American Splendor Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini. USA 2003

Analize This Harold Ramis. USA 1999

Anatomy of a Murder Otto Preminger. USA 1959

Andalusian Dog, An (Un Chien Andalou) Luis Buñuel. France (short film)

Angel Baby Michael Rymer. Australia 1995

Anna M. Michel Spinosa. France 2007

Annie Hall Woody Allen. USA 1977

Another Woman Woody Allen. USA 1988

Antonia & Jane Beeban Kidron. UK 1990

Antwone Fisher Denzel Washington. USA 2002

Antz Eric Darnell, Tim Johnson. USA 1998

Anywhere but Here Wayne Wang. USA 1999

Arsenic and Old Lace Frank Capra. USA 1942

As Good As It Gets James L. Brooks. USA 1997

Asylum Roy Ward Baker. UK 1972

Asylum James Seale. USA 1997

Asylum David Mackenzie. UK-Eire 2005

At Close Range James Foley. USA 1986

Autumn Leaves Robert Aldrich. USA 1956

Aviator, The Martin Scorsese. USA 2004

Away From Her Sarah Polley. Canada 2006

Balia, La [Wetnurse] Marco Bellocchio. Italy 1999

Basic Instinct Paul Verhoeven. USA 1992

Beautiful Mind, A Ron Howard. UK 2001

Bedlam Mark Robson. USA 1946

Benny & Joon Jeremiah S. Chechik. USA 1993

Berlin Calling Hannes Stöhr. Germany 2008

Beyond Therapy Robert Altman. USA 1987

Bianca [White] Nanni Moretti. Italia 1984

Bird Clint Eastwood. USA 1998

Birdy Alan Parker. USA 1984

Black Balloon, The Elissa Down. Australia 2008

Blind Alley Charles Vidor. USA 1939

Blindfold Philip Dunne. USA 1966

Bliss Lance Young. USA 1997

Blue Velvet David Lynch. USA 1986

Boys Don’t Cry Kimberly Peirce. USA 1999

Breaking the Waves Lars von Trier. Denmark 1996

Body Parts Eric Red. USA 1991

Boston Strangler, The Richard Flesicher. USA 1968

Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The (Das Kabinett des Dr. Caligari) Robert Wiene. Germany 1920

Caine Mutiny, The Edward Dmytryk. USA 1954

Captain Newman, M.D. David Miller. USA 1963

Carefree Mark Sandrich. USA 1938

Cat People Jacques Tourneur. USA 1942

Caveman’s Valentine, A Kasi Lemmons. USA 2001

Ceremony, The (La cérémonie) Claude Chabrol. France 1995

Chattahoochee Mick Jackson. USA 1990

Child Is Waiting, A John Cassavetes. USA 1963

City of Woman (La città delle donne) Federico Fellini. ItalyFrance 1980

Clean, Shaven Lodge Kerrigan. USA 1994

Clockwork Orange, A Stanley Kubrick 1971

Color of Night Richard Rush. USA 1994

Committed, The William A. Levey. USA 1991

Confident de ces dames, Le [The Confidant of these Ladies] Jean Boyer. France-Italy 1959

Copycat Jon Amiel. USA 1995

Cosi Mark Joffe. Australia 1996

Couch in New York, A (Un divan à New York) Chantal Akerman. Belgium-France-Germany 1996

Couch Trip, The Michael Ritchie. USA 1988

Crazy People Tony Bill. USA 1990

Cries and Whispers (Viskiningar och rop) Ingmar Bergman. Sweden 1972

Criminal Hypnotist, The David W. Griffith. USA 1909 (short film)

Dark Mirror, The Robert Siodmak. USA 1946

Dark City Alex Proyas. USA 1998

Dark Past, The Rudolph Maté. USA 1948

David and Lisa Frank Perry. USA 1962

Dead Again Kenneth Branagh. USA 1991

Dead in therapy (Passage à l’acte) Francis Girod. France 1996

Dead of Nigh Basil Dearden. UK 1945

Deer Hunter, The Michael Cimino. USA 1978

Diario di un vizio [Diary of Vice] Marco Ferreri. Italy 1993

Diary of a Lost Girl, The (Das Tagebuch einer Verlorenen) Georg Wihelm Pabst. Germany 1929

Dirty, Filthy Love Adrian Shergold. UK 2004

Dreams (Konna yume wo mita) Akira Kurosawa. Japan 1990

Deconstructing Harry Woody Allen. USA 1997

Der Student von Prag [The Student of Prague] Stellan Rye. Germany 1913

Diary of a Mad housewife Frank Perry. USA 1970

Diary of a Schizophrenic Girl (Diario di una schizofrenica) Nelo Risi. Italy 1968

Diavolo in corpo, Il (The Devil in body) Marco Bellocchio. Italy 1986

Don Juan DeMarco Jeremy Leven. USA 1995

Donnie Darko Richard Kelly. USA 2001

Don’t Bother to Knock Roy Ward Baker. USA 1952

Don’t Say a Word Gary Fleder. USA 2001

Down the Ancient Staircase (Per le antiche scale) Mauro Bolognini. Italia 1975

Dorothy Mills Agnès Merlet. France-Eire 2008

Dr. Dippy’s Sanitarium Arthur Marvin? USA 1906

Dr. Giggles Manny Coto. USA 1992

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Rouben Mamoulian. USA 1932

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Victor Fleming. USA 1941

Dr. Mabuse the Gambler (Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler) Fritz Lang. Germany 1922

Dr. Strangelove Kubrick Stanley. UK 1964

Dressed to kill Brian de Palma. USA 1980

Drunkard’s Reformation, A David W. Griffith. USA 1909 (short film)

Edward Scissorhands Tim Burton. USA 1990

Ed Wood Tim Burton. USA 1994

Elettroshock Denis Sanders. USA 1964

Elling Petter Naess. Norway 2001

Enduring Love Roger Michell. UK 2004

Equus Sidney Lumet. USA 1977

Escaped Lunatic, The Wallace McCutcheon. USA 1904

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Michel Gondry. USA 2004

Eyes Wide Shut Stanley Kubrick. USA-UK 1999

Face to Face (Ansikte mot ansikte) Ingmar Bergman. Sweden 1975

Faithful Paul Marzursky. USA 1996

Family Life Ken Loach. UK 1971

Fearless Peter Weir. USA 1993

Fear Strikes Out Robert Mulligan. USA 1957

Female Perversions Susan Streitfeld. UK 1996

Fifth Floor, The Howard Avedis. USA 1980

Fight Club David Fincher. USA 1999

Final Analysis Phil Joanou. USA 1992

Final Approach Eric Steven Stahl. USA 1991

Fine Madness, A Irvin Kershner. USA 1966

Fisher King, The Terry Gilliam. USA 1991

Fists in the Pocket (I pugni in tasca) Marco Bellocchio. Italy 1965

Flirting with Disaster David O. Russell. USA 1996

Folle embellie Dominique Cabrera. France 2002

Follia amore mio [Madness my Love] Gianni Bongioanni. Italy 1986

Forgotten, The ‒ Dont Look in the Basement S.F. Brownrigg. USA 1973

For Just One Hour (Unora sola ti vorrei) Alina Marazzi. Italy 2002

Flower of Evil, The (Le fleurs du mal) Claude Chabrol. France 2003

Frances Graeme Clifford. USA 1982

Freeway Matthew Bright. USA 1997

Frenzy Alfred Hitchcock. UK 1972

Freud: The Secret Passion John Huston. USA 1962

Friend Will Come Tonight, A (Un ami viendra ce soir) Raymond Bernard. France 1946

Gaslight George Cukor. USA 1944

Genealogiesof aCrime(Généalogies d’un crime) Raoul Ruiz. France 1997

Gingerbread Man, The Robert Altman. USA 1998

Girl, Interrupted James Mangold. USA 1999

Good Son, The Joseph Ruben. USA 1993

Good Will Hunting Gus Van Sant. USA 1997

Grace Quigley Anthony Harvey. USA 1984

Great Pumpkin, The (Il grande cocomero) Francesca Archibugi. Italy 1993

Grosse Pointe Blank George Armitage. USA 1997

Groundhog Day Harold Ramis. USA 1992

Halloween John Carpenter. USA 1978

Happiness Todd Solondz. USA 1998

Harold and Maude Hal Ashby. USA 1971

Harvey Henry Koster. USA 1950

Harvey Middleman, Fireman Ernest Pintoff. USA 1965

Haunted Lewis Gilbert. UK 1995

Head Against the Wall (La tête contre les murs) Georges Franju. France 1958

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (A la folie…pas du tout) Laetitia Colombani. France 2002

High Anxiety Mel Brooks. USA 1977

Hospital, The Arthur Miller. USA 1971

Hours, The Stephen Daldry. UK 2002

House of Cards Michael Lessac. USA 1993

House of Fools (Dom durakov) Andrej Konchalovsky. Russian 2002

House of Games David Mamet. USA 1987

Identity James Mangold. USA 2003

I Don’t Buy Kisses Anymore Robert Marcarelli. USA 1992

If Lucy Fell Eric Shaeffer. USA 1996

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden Anthony Page. USA 1977

Intimate Strangers (Confidences trop intimes) Patrice Leconte. France 2003

Invasion of the Body Snatchers Don Siegel. USA 1956

Jacob’s Ladder Adrian Lyne. USA 1990

Jade William Friedkin. USA 1995

Kids Are All Right, The Lisa Cholodenko. USA 2010

King of Hearts (Le roi de coeur) Philippe de Broca. France 1966

Kinsey Bill Condon. USA 2004

Kiss the Girls. Gary Fleder. USA 1997

Kitchen Stories Bent Hamer. Norway-Sweden 2003

Kleptomaniac, The Edwin Porter. USA 1905 (Short film)

K pax Ian Softley. USA 2000

Lady in the Dark Mitchel Leisen. USA 1944

Lars and the Real Girl Craig Gillespie. USA-Canada 2007

Last Embrace Jonathan Demme. USA 1979

Leave Her to Heaven John M. Stahl. USA 1945

Left-handed Gun, The Arthur Penn. USA 1955

Letting Go Jack Bender. USA 1985

Lilith Robert Rossen. USA 1964

Little Miss Sunshine Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris. USA 2006

Lost Highway David Lynch. USA-France 1997

Lost Week End, The Billy Wilder. USA 1945

Love at First Bite Stan Dragoti. USA 1979

Lovesick Marshall Brickman. USA 1983

Lunacy (Šílení) Jan Švankmajer. Czech 2005

Lunatics (Le système du docteur Goudron et du professeur Plume) Maurice Tourneur. France 1912 (short film)

Lunatics in Power J. Searle Dawley. USA 1909 (short film)

Lured Sirk Douglas. USA 1947

Madness of King George, The Nicholas Hytner. UK 1994

Mansion of Madness, The (La mansión de la loucura) Juan López Moctezuma. Mexico 1973

Magic Richard Attenborough. USA 1978

Magic in the Water Rick Stevenson. USA 1995

Manhattan Woody Allen. USA 1982

Manhunter Michael Mann. USA 1986

Maniac Chase Edwin Porter. USA 1904 (short film)

Maniac Cook, The David W. Griffith. USA 1909 (short film)

Man Who Loved Women, The Blake Edwards. USA 1983

Marat/Sade Peter Brook. UK 1967

Mark, The Guy Green. UK 1961

Marnie Alfred Hitchcock. USA 1964

Marvin’s Room Jerry Zaks. USA 1996

Matchstick Men Ridley Scott. USA 2003

Memento Chistopher Nolan. USA 2000

Merci pour le chocolat [Thank you for Chocolate] Claude Chabrol. France-Switzerland 2000

Method, The (El método) Marcelo Piñeyro. Argentina-Spain 2005

Mind Twister Fred Olen Ray. USA 1992

Mister Frost Philippe Setbon. France-UK 1990

Mixed in Nut James Parrott. USA 1922

Mood Indigo John Patterson. USA 1992

Mr. Jones Mike Figgis. USA 1993

Mrs. Dalloway Marleen Gorris. UK 1997

Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle Alan Rudolph. USA 1994

Mumford Lawrence Kasdan. USA 1999

Murder in Mind Andrew Morahan. USA 1997

National Lampoon’s The Don Analyst David Jablin. USA 1997

Nell Michael Apted. USA 1994

Never Talk to a Stranger Peter Hall. USA 1995

New York Stories Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Woody Allen. USA 1989

Night Listener, The Patrick Stettner. USA 2006

Nightmare Alley Edmund Goulding. USA 1947

Nine Months Chris Columbus. USA 1995

Now, Voyager Irving Rapper. USA 1942

Nuts Martin Ritt. USA 1987

October Man, The Roy Ward Baker. UK 1947

Open Your Eyes (Abre los ojos) Alejandro Amenábar. Spain-France-Italy 1997

One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest Milos Forman. USA 1975

Federico Fellini. Italy 1963

Pecora nera, La [The black sheep] Ascanio Celestini. Italy 2010

Persona Ingmar Bergman. Sweden1966

Phantom Lady Robert Siodmak. USA 1944

Pianist, The (Le Pianiste) Roman Polanski. France-Poland-Germany-UK 2002

Play Misty for Me Clint Eastwood. USA 1971

Portnoy’s Complaint Ernest Lehman. USA 1972

Possessed Curtis Bernhardt. USA 1947

President’s Analyst, The Theodore J. Flicker. USA 1967

Pressure Point Hubert Cornfield. USA 1962

Primal Fear Gregory Hoblit. USA 1996

Prime Ben Younger. USA 2006

Prince of Tides, The Barbra Streisand. USA 1991

Prison sans barreaux [Prison without bars] Leonide Moguy. France 1938

Private Worlds Gregory La Cava. USA 1935

Psyco Alfred Hitchcock. USA 1960

Purple Rose of Cairo Woody Allen. USA 1985

Raising Cain Brian De Palma. USA 1992

Rampage William Friedkin. USA 1992

Random Harvest Mervyn LeRoy. USA 1942

Rashomon (Rashmon) Akira Kurosawa. Japan 1950

Repulsion Roman Polanski. UK 1965

Scenes From a Mall Paul Mazursky. USA 1991

Scissors Frank De Felitta. USA 1991

Secret of a Soul (Das Tagebuch einer Verlorenen) Georg Wihelm Pabst. Germany 1929

Separate Lives David Madden. USA 1995

Session 9 Brad Anderson. USA 2001

Sex and the Single Girl Richard Quine. USA 1964

She’s So Lovely Nick Cassavetes. USA 1997

Seven Year Itch, The Billy Wilder. USA 1955

She’s Been Away Peter Hall. UK 1989

Shock Corridor Samuel Fuller. USA 1963

Shadow of a Doubt Alfred Hitchcock. USA 1942

Shining Stanley Kubrick. USA 1980

Shutter Island Martin Scorsese. USA 2010

Siamo uomini o caporali? [We men or corporals] Valerio Mastrocinque. Italy 1955

Silence of the Lambs, The Jonathan Demme. USA 1991

Silent Fall Bruce Beresford. USA 1994

Sixth Sense, The M. Night Shyamalan. USA 1999

Sliding Doors Peter Howitt. UK 1998

Smoke Wayne Wang. USA 1995

Snake Pit, The Anatole Litvak. USA 1948

Son’s Room,The(La stanza del figlio) Nanni Moretti. Italy 2001

Soul Keeper, The (Prendimi l’anima) Roberto Faenza. Italy 2003

Spellbound Alfred Hitchcock. USA 1945

Spiral Staircase, The Robert Siodmak. USA 1946

Spirit of the Beehive, The (El espiritu de la colmena) Victor Erice. Spain 1973

Splendor in the Grass Elia Kazan. USA 1961

Stardast Memories Woody Allen. USA 1980

Stay Marc Forster. USA 2005

Stranger Than Fiction Marc Forster. USA 2006

Story of Adele H., The (l’histoire d’adèle) François Truffaut. France 1975

Sucker Punch Zack Snyder. USA 2011

Suddenly, Last Summer Joseph L. Mankiewicz. USA 1959

Sybil Daniel Petrie jr. USA 1976

Système du docteur Goudron et du professeur Plume, Le Claude Chabrol. France 1981 (film tv)

Targets Peter Bogdanovich. USA 1968

Taxi Driver Martin Scorsese. USA 1976

Tenant, The (Le locataire) Roman Polanski. France 1976

Testament of Doctor Cordelier, The (Le testament du docteur Cordelier) Jean Renoir. France 1959

Testament of Dr. Mabuse, The (Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse) Fritz Lang. Germany 1933

Thrill of It All, The Norman Jewison. USA 1963

Through a Glass Darkly (Säsom i en spegel) Ingmar Bergman. Sweden 1961

Three Faces of Eve, The Nunnally Johnson. USA1957

3 Nuts in Search of a BoltTommy Noonan. USA 1964

Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse, The (Die 1000 Augen des Dr. Mabuse) Fritz Lang. Germany 1960

Tin Cup Ron Shelton. USA 1996

Tommy Ken Russell. UK 1975

Total Recall Paul Verhoeven. USA 1990

Très bien, merci [Very Well, Thank You] Emmanuelle Cuau. France 2007

Thrill of It All, The Norman Jewison. USA 1963

Truman Show, The Peter Weir. USA 1998

Twelve Monkeys Terry Gilliam. USA 1996

Urnebesna tragedija [Tragedy Burlesque] Goran Markovic. Bulgaria-France 1995

Under the Sand (Sous le sable) François Ozon. France 2000

Uncanny Stories (Unheimliche Geschichten) Richard Oswald. Germany 1932

Unmarried Woman, An Paul Mazursky. USA 1977

Vengeance d’Edgar Poë, Une [Revenge of Edgar Allan Poe] Gérard Bourgeois. France 1912

Very Special Favor, A Michael Gordon. USA 1965

Vertigo Alfred Hitchcock. USA 1958

Vincere [Winning] Marco Bellocchio. Italy 2009

Virgin Suicides, The Sofia Coppola. USA 1999

Voice of the Moon, The (La voce della luna) Federico Fellini. Italy-France 1990

Waiting List (Lista de espera) Juan Carlos Tabío. France-Mexico-Spain-Cuba 2000

Wall, The Alan Parker. UK 1982

Walking and Talking Nicole Holofcener. USA 1996

Ward, The John Carpenter. USA 2010

We Need to Talk About Kevin Lynne Ramsay. UK-USA 2011

We Have a Pope (Habemus Papam) Nanni Moretti. Italy 2011

What About Bob? Frank Oz. USA 1991

What Drink Did David W. Griffith. USA 1909 (short film)

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Robert Aldrich. USA 1962

What’s now, Pussycat? Clive Donner. USA 1965

What Women Want Nancy Meyers. USA 2000

Whispers in the Dark Christopher Crowe. USA 1992

Who is Harry Kellerman and Why is He Saying Those Terrible Things about Me? Ulu Grosbard. USA 1971

Wizard of Oz Victor Fleming. USA 1939

Zelig Woody Allen. USA 1983



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Sergio Stagnitta, Psycologyst and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist.
Creator of the site “cinema and psychology”:

Marco Tramonte, Psycologyst and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist.
Creator of the site “cinema and psychology”: