WEINER
What’s Wrong With Anthony Weiner?
A Psychoanalyst’s Answer

The big question in Josh Kreigman and Elyse Steinberg’s documentary Weiner is: “What’s wrong with Anthony Weiner?” Why would a political official destroy his reputation and his career? Why would he humiliate his wife? Lawrence O’Donnell of MSNBC’s Last Word posed this million-dollar question to Weiner on national TV: “What is wrong with you…I mean…

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JANIS LITTLE GIRL BLUE
Singing For Her Feelings
To Be Heard

“I sing because I can experience a lot of feelings…” Otherwise, Janis Joplin had no one to hear. The most chilling part of Amy Berg’s documentary, Janis: Little Girl Blue, is to witness the cold formality of Mother and Father Joplin. No one can miss Janis’s hunger for love. Less obvious are the roots of…

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LOSING GROUND
When A Call For ‘Mama’
Is Unanswered

What is lurking below the surface of a highly intellectualized philosophy professor’s emotional control? We find out in Losing Ground, filmed in 1982 but recently released by Milestone Films, noteworthy for being the first feature-length film produced and directed by a Black American woman. Kathleen Collins, who died an early death of cancer in 1988,…

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CAROL
The Questions &Answers
Love Can Bring

Carol, directed by Todd Haynes, starring Cate Blanchett as Carol and Rooney Mara as Therese, is a story of love. More deeply, though, Carol is a story about why we’re drawn to love a certain person. In each attraction, something missing is sensed and desired in the other. Love can bring us to ourselves in a…

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THE LOOK OF SILENCE
Why A Replacement Child
Must Face His Brother’s Death

Joshua Oppenheimer’s 2016 Oscar-nominated documentary, The Look Of Silence, is a riveting exploration of the Indonesian genocide’s complicated psychological aftermath. In 1965-1967, the military dictatorship killed over a million assumed Communists opposed to their rule. In the film, we follow the Rukun family, centered on 44-year-old Adi, all unable to grieve the brutal murder of…

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PSYCHOLOGY OF THE OSCARS 2016
And The Winners Are …?

I am a psychoanalyst who loves my work. I am also intrigued by what the characters in film can tell us about real human problems. This season, I’ve closely watched and written about all the Best Picture Nominees for the Oscars 2016. I’ve also written pieces on several of the nominated documentaries and some of the films with nominated actors and actresses.…

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