Here’s a short film made by YouTube user VioletPsychofluid. It features narration taken from an audiobook version of Carl Jung’s book, ‘Man and His Symbols,’ overlaid with various feature film and documentary clips that seem to illustrate the points made by Jung on the ‘anima,’ which is the feminine aspect of the male personality or psyche. I particularly like the inclusion of clips from Jean Cocteau’s film, ‘Orpheus,’ which is one of the greatest depictions of the underworld ever put on film. This is really magnificent work done by someone willing to upload into the wilds of YouTube, potentially unnoticed. The filmmaker is deeply connected to the subtleties of Jung’s thought and seeks out images that illustrate and compliment the very difficult to grasp ideas and theories about the anima. When I read Jung I experience great excitement about his ideas. But when I put the books down I have difficulty keeping it all straight and remembering what an anima or a projection represents. For me, it’s almost as if Jung’s work itself exists in a hazy dreamworld that only intermittently connects with logic, rationality or memory.
This film was shot in 1950 by Jerome Hill. It was then edited by underground film pioneer Jonas Mekas in 1991. It shows Carl Jung talking and stone carving at his home by a lake. He’s working at things he liked to do and he’s describing something rather elusive. I think Jung’s great contribution was in not fearing the deep subconscious, but rather enjoying it and opening the door to let it in.
Adam Curtis makes fascinating documentary films for the British Broadcasting Corporation. This one is about the manipulation of memory, or the attempt to manipulate it, by governments during the Cold War era. It features several scientists and psychology experts who worked for either the U.S. or Soviet governments trying to figure out how to control minds.
I post the work of Curtis because his filmmaking is actually quite a lot like my own in several ways. This film bears a relationship to my latest film, Yellow Plastic Raygun, which is also about memory and how it influences the future. Curtis dwells in the domain of documentary, a form that I have serious misgivings about, while I dwell in the domain of art – or direct mind control if you will! I like Curtis’ use of corporate, military, instructional, and entertainment films as his raw visual material. He mixes it up with what is actually a rather simplistic script relating information that is not especially insightful. The film seems to suggest something more under the surface because of its imagery which often bears no relationship whatsoever to the information being related by the voice-over. This is a tricky area for documentary that brings it perilously close to the realm of art. You don’t quite know what it is that you are actually watching. I like that but I also distrust it. But Curtis appears to me to be making a documentary about his own feelings and artistic interpretations of the factual material. He is not trying to teach or inform at all. He is simply trying to create an impression. The words of the documentary could be replaced with gibberish. In fact, it would probably be a slightly better film if they were!
The Living Dead – Part 1 (watch the next 5 parts after the jump)
Memory is perhaps the single most important quality of existence. We are simply memory machines walking around and recording. All of our activities point toward an ever-increasing ability to record and remember. We are building memory. The idea, pursued in the first half of this documentary, of wiping out unpleasant memories that are assumed to be destroying the health of an individual, seems to me to be misguided and foolish. I have always viewed it as the job of every human to be able to stare straight into the most horrific scene, remember it, and not allow it to take control. Very simple. You must be able to look at anything… and continue to eat your ice cream.
I am impervious to the persuasions of all clubs, organizations and religions. I’ve read the entire Old Testament and know that god has never spoken a single word to any living human being in history. I’ve been in terribly close proximity to Catholic priests for extended periods of time, argued with them and sat gritting my teeth through their best attempts at mass. You can burn all the bushes in my backyard and come down the hill with as many tablets as you like and I’ll know you’re a damned fake. So I can watch L. Ron Hubbard speak through all six parts of the interview above and have not the slightest fear of showing up in a Scientology storefront with my wallet out. However, I don’t really see anything terribly wrong with what Hubbard says in the interview. What’s all the Scientology warfare really about?