Archive | April, 2013

Self-Relfection on the Process of Inquiry

29 Apr

Looking back on the process of inquiry I traveled through to create my previous post (a cinematic inquiry presentation), I have realized that I learned a lot more than I initially thought I could. In completing my presentation, not only did I uncover aspects of the film I needed better understanding of, but I also apprehended quite about the research process.

In approaching the assignment, I started by making a list of questions concerning that which I did not comprehend in the film Being John Malkovich. I decided, in the end, to go in the direction of Jungian theory, which was the concept that most interested me. I appreciated that I was allowed the freedom in this assignment to explore the topic that most interested me. I enjoyed relating Jungian theory to the film and the characters within it because it revealed a lot about the film to me. It also helped me understand some of the deeper roots of the characters and the direction the film was going. It was a way to relate what I was learning in class to the film.

Using Prezi to create my presentation was something new to me, but in the end I came to love the creativity it allowed me to harbor. Different from a written paper, I was able to use media and a creative flow to get my research out there. I decided to use a tree being watered as my theme. I used the sources as the water, Jungian theory as the roots, and the application to the film as the tree branches and leaves. I felt that the theme was an important piece of how the information I obtained was portrayed. The multimodal Prezi gave me many options and modes to relay my research to my audience.

This process as a whole taught me a great deal about research. I am an indecisive person and I have always known that. I realized during this project how important it is to make a decision. It took a while to settle on a topic and I learned that it was important to do that in order to find structure. With so much freedom (regarding the topic and the direction you choose to take it) it is necessary to find some structure so you can create something that is directed. The quicker you pick the topic the more structured your thoughts and research can be.

For the sake of future research, I learned not to limit myself to just one method and also that I need to be more aggressive with my research. There is so much to learn and so many directions to take and I feel that I need to let myself dive into research much more thoroughly. I know if I allow myself to go deeper, I will achieve better results from the process.


The Shadows Behind “Being John Malkovich”

22 Apr

Have you ever watched a movie and been left completely confused?

Well….that is how I felt after watching Being John Malkovich.

After breaking down the movie with the concepts of the unconscious side of Carl Jung’s model of the psyche I have come to better understand this film.

If you, too, feel confused by the storyline and characters of this film, I hope this helps:

A Vessel to a Desired Reality

15 Apr

The first thing that came to my mind after watching the film Being John Malkovich is one question…what did I just watch? The plot of this movie was completely unpredictable and almost every thing in it was contrary to how my mind thinks it should have been. One of the most confusing aspects of this plot, that Charlie Kaufman created, is how the idea of the vessel (and it being John Malkovich) ties into the plot. There are many layers of the film that were left unanswered that led to my confusion. The movie has left me questioning many of the details.

Throughout the film I noticed that Craig and Lotte Schwartz were always struggling to change the reality of their lives, alongside a few other characters. I began to wonder, what is so bad about their reality that gives them the need to change it? Maybe it is not that their reality is bad but that they merely have a longing to reach the things that satisfy them. The shadows, as shown in Carl Jung’s model of the psyche, these characters are revealing are both explicit and implicit. In watching the film, you see Craig and Lotte’s desire for a different love, for Maxine. That is one aspect of the plot that is very clearly shown.


Every time Maxine enters a scene she has a fierce and attracting nature about her. You see so many times that Craig sees her and immediately feels drawn to her. It is all in her nature too because Craig barely knows her (much like his wife who become draw to Maxine). So, why is Maxine the desired reality?

The main character Craig loves puppeteering as you discover from the beginning. Although we may come to understand that much, it takes a far deeper approach to comprehend that Craig fulfills that dream by going into John Malkovich’s mind. As any of the characters enter the portal to John Malkovich’s mind they not only gain access to his ways but they also come to find that they can control him.

Characters like Lotte work to live out their desires through John Malkovich but none of them fulfill that as well or as successfully as Craig does. Many of Craig’s complexes are shown directly in the film. His unconscious reactions subsequent from his desires are very noticeable (i.e. his initial interactions with Maxine, the puppet shows he preforms, and his lack of passion used in his interactions with his wife, Lotte). He desires a different reality and that is a clear example of existentialism. He works to change his reality because he has the will to do so.

As the film plays out we begin to see how the vessel, John Malkovich, becomes the outlet for many of the characters to fulfill the realities they desire. So, how does the vessel get chosen? Why is it John? Why does it become Emily? While watching this movie it became apparent that the vessel is this all-powerful archetype leading them to their desired realities. Even when I cannot understand how it made it’s way into the plot, I understand that it belongs, that the vessel creates purpose for the plot. It is their gateway. These characters desire realities that they themselves feel to be possible from the will they have as John Malkovich. When they go into the vessel the outcome is satisfaction.