Usless Science Forum

Image and Symbol => Film => Topic started by: Matt Koeske on June 07, 2009, 10:38:04 PM

Title: Up
Post by: Matt Koeske on June 07, 2009, 10:38:04 PM
I saw Pixar's latest, Up, with my sons this weekend.  Excellent movie . . . and perhaps one of the most "Jungian"/archetypal films ever.  This movie will delight and fascinate any analytical psychologist.  Symbolism galore.  It shows just like a dream (well, an epic dream, at least).

Very nice portrayal of the hero/Demon/anima dynamic (although the anima figure is absent throughout the latter 4/5 of the film, she remains in spirit as the protagonist's house . . . and the old dream of the hero/anima couple moving to Paradise Falls in South America.  Wonderful metaphor that developmentalists especially would eat up . . . as they might also the fatherless boyscout, Russell).  The house in the film could also correspond with my Core Complex construct.

The individuation paradigm in the subtext of this film is very, very rich . . . and arguably extends beyond the usual Jungian construct (as the narrative of the film could be seen as post-anima work or even "second opus").  It seemed to me more like a mid to late life individuation event . . . and not the prolonged-adolescence-as-midlife that is part of the conventional Jungian construction.

The film's portrayal of the Demon (as lost explorer, Charles Muntz) is superb.  All the right notes and nuances of the Demon are captured.

The young boy, Russell, is a charming child-Self figure (an emblem of the Work or individuation event the film portrays), a kind of filius philosophorum that combines Carl (the hero) and his wife Ellie into a perfectly blended New Birth cable of change.

Up is so dense with archetypal symbolism that it stands as a living testament that the archetypal imagination is far from dead, despite our general inability to recognize it for its psychological subtext.  Perhaps the most deeply and "perfectly" (i.e. untainted by egoic intrusions) archetypal film (portraying an individuation event) since the Coens' Barton Fink and Cronenberg's Naked Lunch.

Highly recommended.  Every Jungian should see this film.
Title: Re: Up
Post by: Matt Koeske on June 07, 2009, 10:51:19 PM
I should add that although it wouldn't surprise me to learn that the filmmakers knew a bit about Jung or (more likely) Joseph Campbell, I would bet that they had little notion of what the psychological subtext of the film was saying.  That's the fascinating thing about this archetypal subtext.  It's a factor of the affect-toned portrayal of transformative human relationships and scenarios, not some kind of design or intentioned ingredient.  Creating stories "for children" especially allows a writer to tap into this deep river of affect.  It just happens that this river of affect that runs through all of us in individualized forms and looks chaotic on the surface is structured with currents of its own specific logic beneath.

The key here is transformation narrative.  Where narratives tap into transformative events, we have the trappings of an individuation event (and/or traumatic experience . . . they have numerous similarities).  Where a personality changes from one attitude into another in a complex way (e.g., a kind of state change), this psychodynamic is activated.
Title: Re: Up
Post by: juli888 on August 12, 2010, 05:33:29 AM
I saw last Pixar, too very much it was pleasant to me. It was excellent. Literally one of these days saw.