Gastbeitrag: Anoush Masoudi Analyse „A journey into the unconscious – A lacanian study on back to the future“ (engl.)

Heute Abend haben wir auf Filmexe einen Beitrag für Euch, der ein wenig aus der Reihe fällt, auch wenn er sich komplett um das Thema Film dreht. Besser gesagt um einen der berühmtesten Filme der 80er Jahre, den ich, welch ein Frevel, immernoch nicht gesehen habe: Zurück in die Zukunft.

Gastautor heute ist Anoush Masoudi, Filmemacher und Filmstudent, und Anoush hat uns seine Analyse „A journey into the unconscious – A lacanian study on back to the future“ mitgebracht. Wie der Titel bereits erahnen lässt, ist der gesamte Text auf englisch verfasst und deutet den Film hinsichtlich der Ideen des Psychoanalysten Jaques Lacan, oder wie es Anoush selbst schreibt:

I try to read this film as an text to analyze the signs and relations between characters through Jaques Lacan’s theories. I want to show that the film in not a simple picture about a young teenager, who is embarrassed because of his parents, but also it is a journey into his unconscious to accept his castration.

Da der gesamte Text für einen einzelnen WordPress-Beitrag zu lang werden würde, folgen an dieser Stelle einige Passagen aus der Analyse. Wer sich für den gesamten Text interessiert, findet diesen hier: Analyse – PDF (


 Louise Bunuel has written in his autobiography book that he and Salvador Dali tried to make a movie without any logical coherence. They had just one rule: No idea or image that might lend itself to a rational explanation of any kind would be accepted, he explains the Un chien Andalou was a film to be not controlled or analyzed by psychoanalysis. [1]

After more than 60 years it seems that this film has been analyzed by lots of film critics from different views and aspects.

Although surrealist films such as Un chien Andalou or Viva La Muerte by Fernando Arrabal were under the influence of Sigmund Freud’s theories, they actually used mechanism of dream as a structure of their images but at the same time these films can easily be analyzed by Freud theories too.

The first signs of psychoanalytic theories are visible in surrealists theories, manifests, films and shows, especially in theories of Anthonin Artaud, French writer, theater director and actor.

Artaud in his important books like Theater and his double and Theater of cruelty tries to find a way to prevent his work from being stolen away by the Other.

What Artaud wanted was a language that would not only express, but also be “the very flesh and blood of his thought”.[2] Artaud wanted to create a theater or film, which the unconscious of author talks with unconscious of audiences through non-verbal language but violent images, different sounds, exaggerated gestures, body forms and signs. He believes that theater or film need to create its own language, which is completely different from verbal language, what as Jaques Drida and Jerzy Grotowsky say is impossible.

[1] Luis Bunuel :My last breath , USA, 1985 , P:105-106

[2] Linda Williams: Figures of desire : A theory and analysis of surrealist films, USA , 1992, P:20

Artaud writes about the Films language:

“We are not trying to find an equivalent of the written language in the visual language which is simply a bad interpretation of it, we are trying to bring the very essence of the language and transport the action into a level where every interpretation would become useless and where this action would act almost intuitively on the brain”[1]

[1] Antonin Artaud: Collected Works , third Vol , USA, 1993, P:200


Oedipal Triangle and inverted world

The plot of “Back to the future” is so simple: A young teenager boy accidentally is sent to past in a time traveling machine which his friend, Dr. Emmet Brown has invented and must find a way to make his teenage dad and mom marry each other, so he can save his own existence.

The film itself is not as simple as it seems. After the opening scene we see Marty (Michael J. Fox) as a cool and charming teenager, who skates in the streets on his way to high school. Camera follows him in the streets, what shows us that he is the main figure of the film. He acts so self-confident, cool and relaxed. The first supporting role belongs to a beautiful and pretty young girl, Lorraine (Lea Thomson) who is in love with Marty. They talk and flirt, then want to kiss each other but exactly when their lips are so close, they get interrupted by Lorrain’s dad. This scene should be understood as a key. This scene begins like a dream, Marty is so lucky and he passes the streets so fast, his lover is so pretty and a sweet kiss can finish this scene but suddenly dreams fall into reality, “Father” comes and everything ends at this moment. Father (here Lorraine’s Father) steals Marty’s girl and his desire will stay unsatisfied. Father/son conflict is the most important issue of the film.


“Lacan lays great importance on the role of Father in psychic structure. He attributes the importance of the OEDIPUS COMPLEX to the fact that it combines in the figure of the father two almost conflicting functions: the protective function and the prohibitive function. He also points to the contemporary social decline in the paternal imago (clearly visible in the images of absent fathers and humiliated fathers) as the cause of current psychopathological peculiarities.

In Lacanian terms there are three different father relating to orders: Symbolic father, Imaginary father and real father. The imaginary father is an imago, the composite of all the imaginary constructs that the subject builds up in fantasy around the figure of the father.

This imaginary construction often bears little relationship to the father as he is in reality. The imaginary father can be construed as an ideal father, or the opposite, as ‘the father who has fucked the kid up’.“

[1] Dylan Evans: An introductory dictionary of Lacanian psychoanalysis, USA , 1996 , p64

Now it’s clearly visible that in the first part of the film we are facing with an imaginary father, who has destroyed Marty’s life. Georg is not the Real father or even symbolic father because Marty lives in imaginary order. He still couldn’t enter to symbolic order, which I believe will happens throughout his journey, what is not in the future or past but also in his unconscious. But why Marty doesn’t want to face with his real father or the function of his symbolic father or as Lacan names “the name of father”? To answer this question at first I must explain Marty’s oedipal complex and his fear of castration. Because in the first part of film he has not accepted his castration and tries to escape from it, although he must accept it, otherwise he will go toward his death.


Kommentar verfassen

Trage deine Daten unten ein oder klicke ein Icon um dich einzuloggen:

Du kommentierst mit Deinem Abmelden /  Ändern )


Du kommentierst mit Deinem Twitter-Konto. Abmelden /  Ändern )


Du kommentierst mit Deinem Facebook-Konto. Abmelden /  Ändern )

Verbinde mit %s