Baldovin Concept censured on Facebook

(ro- for English scroll down) Baldovin Concept a fost pentru o perioada in imposibilitate de a fi publicat pe Facebook. Probabil ca unii dusmani ai sigurantei femeilor au fost deranjati de articolele scrse aici in ultimul an, si l-au raportat masiv ca spam, desi continutul sau nu contine reclame si nu vinde nimic. La rugamintile mele, dvs. cititorii ati contraraportat ca spatiu sigur care nu incalca standarderele comunitatii, pentru care va multumesc.

Eng- Baldovin Concept was for some time banned to be published on Facebook. Probably some women's security enemies were disturbed by the last year's articles I wrote here and received multiple negative spam reports to Facebook, although its content doesn’t contain advertising or any kind of commerce. But due to my asking for help, you the readers counter-reported this space as safe, not going against the Facebook Community Standards, so I thank you for that.

8 ianuarie 2015

On the contemporary society neuroticist repression cycle noticed in the movie "Predestination"

Romanian version here: 

I recently saw “Predestination”:

From the very beginning I mention that the film must be seen before reading this text. I do not think that someone can understand anything from this text without seeing it before, maybe several times. A summary is impossible. Although I have described some actions from the film, I rather did it for recalling those facts that have must been actually seen in the film. As seen here, the text has already gotten quite long, so I can not make it any longer for something that, anyway, would not help much. In terms of length, I decided to split it into several sections that can be read independently, for those who get bored facing the entire text.


The film is based on the story “All You Zombies” by Robert A. Heinlein published in 1959, after having been written in one single day, a year before. The authors said that the film is based on the story "You ghosts" (All You Zombies) by Robert A. Heinlein published in 1959 just after being written a year before, in one day. This text can be very accessed here: Obviously, it is only a draft script. The rest was completed by Michael and Peter Spierig, the multidisciplinary skills (twins) brothers who have worked on it further more. My guess is that the brothers were inspired by the 2012 "Looper". The "Predestination" looks to me much closer to "Looper" than it is to "All You Zombies". I think they wanted to make a reply to Bruce Willis’s movie, seeing the theme psychological opportunities, deploring its technicalist placidity. Well, this is just a suspicion of mine. I do not care too much to know where the Spierig brothers had inspired from.

These two films movie theme is very used in SF; turning back in time to change the past in a way that would become favorable to the present or future. The success of such stories comes with the sorrows and fears that many have towards their decisions taken in the past, and with the desire to go there and change them. Just like the flight theme, this one has a strong tradition in cultural history. The transmigration described by Plato has also this meaning, among other ones. The popularity of the 1990s "Terminator" series is an example. In the same manner, in this film, the main character, the temporal agent, travel back in time trying to prevent some terrorist, called “ the fizzle bomber”, to set bombs in various locations.

The ancient theoretical anxieties related to the destiny/ chance theory is very visible in this film. The theoretical ambivalence specific to our historical mentality level is immortalized in a simple sentence that is repeated several times throughout the film: "Some things are inevitable." Such a theoretical position is specific to the common philosophy that (contradictory) combines the fatalistic with the hazard theories into one single theory.

Good sides

The theme is a combination of elements from psychology, philosophy and physics related to time travel fiction. As a SF author, Robert A. Heinlein was not mainly interested by psychopathology or psychology and, of course, nor Spierig brothers, who developed his short story into a 90 min movie. None of them have solid psychology studies, although they are not experts in philosophy and physics neither. The psychological side of the story is treated from the author perspective, who observes and notices, but from the observer one, who copies its own mind symptoms. But if the story had been forced to overlap on some psychopathological models, the film would have been even richer in meanings.

As it will be seen in the last section of this article, the film has a lot of major technical drawbacks. However, due to its idea, for me it is one of the best I've ever seen. I always deplored that "Terminator" or "Quantum Leap" basically insisted on action, explosions and special effects, instead of seeing the physical and philosophical opportunities can be developed from the idea of time travel. The time travel paradoxes were even more interesting used in "Looper". But this movie was not able to reach even 1 % of the psychological and the philosophical sides devolved by “Predestination”. Only in terms of the SF theme, the two films are very close. It is possible that its authors might have seen "Looper" before, and tried to develop the subject some more, unsatisfied with its coverage. I was glad to see this in this film, when the circus was replaced with a philosophy of destiny.

In the film there can be seen some unusual situations resulting from long negotiations between the phantasmagorical imagination and the censorship coming from physical principles, ultimately leading to consistent consequences that come out from the time returning phenomenon. For example, the main character, the temporal agent, was sending recorded messages to himself with a recorder for the future to increase his chances to stop the "Fizzle Bomber". At one point, he needed a topcoat and a hat; it was enough to record the voice that he needs these things and they immediately appeared in the closet as a feedback consequence result from the future and then in the present time (min. 64, or hour 1:04). His smile after opening the wardrobe and observing these things there (since a few minutes before they were not there) is an assurance that the other person that he is keeps listening to his advice and continues his way. Such a simple command is a metaphor for forecasting the human technology over several hundred years, when robots will fulfill our desires just as servants do. The future anticipating in the present banal reality opens up a very interesting realities puzzle: the recorder that took the command looked in his hand just like the Flintstones’s imitating phone stone, in terms of such advanced technologies.

The film opens up a very fine philosophical interpretation (with psychological flavor), based on the androgyne myth flipped upside down: two lovers live a love story then a disaster occurs, the destiny of every love. The two lovers constantly seek each other, their lives meaning is to find one another. Frustrated by this loss, one of them becomes a terrorist, a blind murderer without a purpose. The abstract revenge over the world involves a vicious circle of terrorism and “war on terror”: the authorities respond with greater violence on the community that the terrorist come from, killing many innocents and creating new eager for revenge people. Although they boast to fight against terrorism, in fact, the authorities are the main source of terror to ordinary citizens, as I have shown here: . It is also suggested in the film by the desire to punish the "Fizzle Bomber" who eventually ends up in the transformation the justicer into a terrorist..

Although not mentioned in the film, it is easy to conclude that that person who destroyed Jane’s life, stealing her child, actually made it possible also; the child has not been kidnapped to be abused but to be sent back in time in 1945 and to become Jane herself. We can imagine what John would discover once being put in the position of completing his revenge. He goes for revenging on the one who stole his baby but, if he would prevent that from happening, then basically he would kill himself, unable to reach to the orphanage. This is what actually happens eventually: you let me live and we will be together or you kill me and you kill yourself. From here starts a no way out vicious circle: you kill your love just by the very indentation to preserve it. If he would not kill his partner, then the Temporal Bureau would use a lethal injection for him.

"Time catches up with us all. Even those in our line of work" ,

says the character at minute 07. Or, at minute 09, the movie rethinks the world origin, said in the form of a joke:

"What comes first, the chicken or the egg? Rooster."

Just like in "Matrix" or, "I, Robot" or Bin Laden (in reality), the own creation tool became independent and came to take control its own destiny, even threatening those who created it. The robots took power in those movies and the terrorism has become part of our contemporary fears. The common people are trapped between the amateur terrorism, made by a rebel, and the professional terrorism made by the authorities. The rebel person wants revenge on someone at random, representing the world that hates. He then has two options: either does it on its own way or does it organized. The first case results in the antiwestern culture terrorist, as authorities describe it. The second case is equivalent with the terrorist hided in soldier or policeman uniform, order maintaining force in general. The social system lures that person to join the army and fight against amateur terrorism. As he turns into a soldier, the latent terrorist has become a pawn in the global slave hierarchy, in which the war has a very important role, as I have shown here:

In this film, the Temporal Bureau recruits only girls to send them back in time, in order not to fall in love with Jane on the way, and not fertilize her with a child who would later become "the Fizzle Bomber". After a summary control (min. 28), the physician from the Temporal Bureau sees that Jane may be a man too and excludes her from the organization under a sentence pretext that came after a misconduct. In fact, after the story’s logic, such a measure is taken to prevent Jane to travel back in time and fertilize a woman. But, at the same time, it also opens the way to becoming a mother, while releasing from professional restrictions. Both choices lead to the same result. If Jane is sent back in time, then, the Temporal Bureau sends back in time a man, actually. He will meet Jane and both will conceive a child who would later become "the Fizzle Bomber". Conversely, if Jane is excluded, then it is John who would come after her, fall in love and still will conceive the child. Jane would give birth in both cases, and will have the uterus mutilated, thus becoming John, in a circle with no exit. Concerning to this situation, at the minute 56 there is a very touching dialogue between the temporal agent and John, which had just been initiated in time travel:

John „– – This life... Is it lonely? No family.?”

Agentul temporal „– – No. But, you do have a purpose.

This dialogue reminds us the Sisyphus myth, the image of the person who finds purpose in the world’s absurdity, endlessly pushing the boulder to the top of the mountain.

On the other hand, in a world of isolation and differentiation, the individual togetherness as the same species remains a moral goal to be achieved. The philosophical side opens wide here. Each of us are in fact one and the same, we are part of the same family: the humanity. The abuse against one of our kind will eventually turn back against us ourselves. Our sex separation is meant for an effective reproduction control of our species. The sexuality permits reproduction when the environment is favorable. The male-female differences are not ontological radical ones. The reunion option of One into Everything is dialectically reflected in that of our individual splitting. Each of us would like to meet the opposite sex version of ourselves or our past and future versions of ourselves. How we would react to our opposite sex half? What advice we would have for our younger person we were? What advice would we ask from the older person we had become? Here are some mythical questions that the film knew how to exploit very effective!

Beyond this, the film is an invitation to reflection on life itself, taken in its banality and experienced by everybody. And this there is a way opened for a psychological analysis: we are born beautiful and loving, we grow and become unsatisfied by the world we live in, we fall in love, make compromises to protect our family and end up maimed and full of regrets. These are the same and different personalities that develop in time in film.

The psychological side of the film  

As seen, although they are SF authors, the story developed by Spierig brothers is more psychological than the most SF themes. They have a pretty acute (although uncultivated) psychological sense. Without this ability, they would not have been noticed the androgynous splitting subject, from the Heinlein's short story. They didn’t imagine it, but kept it in their mind, developed it and made a remarkable film out of it.

a) Before going into analytical details, I want to clarify a few things about psychoanalysis working methodology for a cultural product. I've briefly spoke them to folks at the Café Gradiva meetings, were some movies were psychoanalytically interpreted. This time I want to get into more details on these methodological impediments of such approach. An involuntary mind product can always be psychoanalyzed, like any other psychical product. But when it comes to psychoanalyze a voluntary mind product, like the imagination or the art, then the things get more complicated. In this case, there is not the mind itself that is psychoanalyzed but a mind’s projection into an imagined reality. It is imperative not to consider this imagined reality as an objective exterior one (I do not retract my Kantian past). Unfortunately, the classical psychoanalysis, since Freud, is not taking it much into account. We remember the way that Freud interpreted Moses as if Michelangelo had made a three-dimensional picture of the moment when the biblical character prepared to throw the tables. It is a big mistake. Michelangelo did not make any photo to Moses but he just imagined him that way, projecting himself into the character. Freud could very well analyze Michelangelo but not the fictive Moses’s character. The analysis of some imagined gestures is less accurate than that of the real gestures. Our character does not exist. It is a fiction. The psychoanalysis of a fiction is itself a fiction and should be treated as such.

Then, like in any film case, the story is a team work. If psychoanalyze a film, we must take into account that there is a collective mind analyzed. The team has physical similarities of course, otherwise its members would not be able to coordinate themselves and would not find the communication points. But each team member brings its individuality and creates the cultural product ultimate details. Those who psychoanalyze the global culture need to take this into account. Even the individualistic arts, like painting or poetry, for example, are team products, and the painter or the poet are negatively or positively influenced by other contemporary artists or by other predecessors. Looking to the history of that art, especially looking to the artists who have influenced the author, this is imperative.

For the analysis rigorousness, when we analyze the details of a cultural product, we should know who is its author from this team, and explain them relating to the mind of this particular person. Under these conditions we might make a cultural psychoanalysis, meeting the cabinet psychoanalysis’s rigors. Of course, such a thing is almost impossible to be done today. In the film case, practically every team member should be analyzed separately, but not during their work time. This would not be possible because, first, there would not be time for that, if we consider the hard work required for making a movie. Then, the psychoanalytic intervention would consume the mental tension of creation in front of the psychoanalyst and not inside the cultural product, which would affect the artist’s work quality. However, an individual psychoanalysis for film team members would be possible after finishing it, and some artists really need it. But, if a film is made in 6 months of filming, then the psychoanalysis effect on the artists would be much the same to that made on an ordinary dream, analyzed not in the coming days after its production, but after 6 months or more later. In this case, the mental details would have been lost in the depths of the mind. In the painter's case, things are even more complicated; there must be analyzed that person who influenced its work and style. Most often this precursor may be dead already for tens or hundreds of years.

So the analysis of a cultural product is more complicated than the analysis of individual symptom inside the cabinet. This is what my friends from Café Gradiva must take into account. But, on the other hand, I also do not agree with the opposite attitude who claims that psychoanalysis could not be done since there is no patient to confirm or reject it. But the art is not made by the author only; it is made also by the audience that resonates with it. Given the public, we can say that we have half a "patient" so we can concretely analyze it. A group of people who resonate with the psychoanalyst’s interpretations are part of a "collective unconscious" sample that "participates" at that work of art. These "participants" have the same role that individual patient has inside the cabinet. Therefore I say that, this time in accordance with friends from Café Gradiva, we can play with the interpretations and with fictitious person diagnosing. We can play with the analysis, without risk of raving, as long as we do recognize that we make a cultural analysis with psychoanalytic flavor, but not a genuine psychoanalysis, at least not a cabinet one. The condition is not to mix up the planes, and have in mind that we do not analyze a real person but a fictional character to which the prudence must be twice stronger.

This film is a symbol and, like any cultural product (and psychopathological also), there are several meanings joined within it. As a collective product, the symbol does not need so much the individual confirmations of reality, as happens with the actual analyze inside the cure. It only takes some parallel interpretation which, however, the viewer makes anyway with or without psychoanalysis. Of course, I am referring here to the general elements of the symbol but not its details. The psychoanalytic work tools can not penetrate very deeply into the meanings core of the cultural product details. Then, a psychoanalytical interpretation brings professionalism to any nonpsychoanalytical interpretation which, however, any spectator makes it more or less aware of.

b) The first thing that stands in front of this film is the narcissism. The authors saw the psychological opportunities coming out of the idea of meeting with itself, unlike the "Looper" film team, who was quasi-total immune to that issue. From my point of view, the narcissism is the abused person reaction to improve its marginal social status. The conceiving of Jesus, as a human-God, acts as a narcissistic identification with Him, and that has the role of salvation fantasy that the slave develops, mentally defending itself from master’s threats. The film main character achieves this narcissistic level of Christianity becoming "the one without beginning and without end". At the min. 32, the agent Robertson describes it as a kind of "People without families. Without husbands and wives and children. No past. No ties to the future. ". Another interesting remark in this regard is made by the temporal agent at the 07 minute: "we were born into this job."

If, at this first moment of the film, the expression "People with no past" has the meaning of people dedicated to career, then, as story develops, it becomes increasingly narcissistic. Here, at this moment, we notice the person "dedicated to its profession" metaphor as originally abused person, like a workaholic and a victim of mental slavery. This humiliation is related with the "inferiority complex" that Alfred Adler was talking about. Inside the dynamic story, this inferiority complex is due to the degeneration caused by the self-fertilizing. The cycle returning repetition involves the no partner fertilizing repetition. If this "sin" would be possible in the real world, then it would be bigger than the traditional incest sin, genetically speaking. A child resulted from incest has a chance to be a normal person because the opposite sex 1st degree relatives could have some genetic differences. But the repeating self-fertilizing cycle by sex changing and returning in time is practically a kind of several generations repeated incest. This would result into a kind of polymultiplied Oedipus Complex, but we must consider that we are on the imaginary realm so the story is fictitious and not real.

The mental suffering caused by this fictional Oedipus megacomplex can exist if authors want. But, since nothing concrete is seen the film about that, then we can only summarize to consider this track only an exercise of imagination. However, the genetic inferiority is a logical consequence that can be deduced even if the authors do not clearly show it. The existence of an inferiority complex based on this genetic predisposition toward inferiority is something very possible. In favorable conditions, the inferiority complex can turn into a superiority one. In this story, the humiliation turns into narcissism, and in the beginning the subject becomes a God of his profession, and then it becomes God itself.

This phantasmal narcissism of Christian religious experience did not stop there, in this film, but moved on. The character comes to love and have sex with himself/herself due to time traveling and sex changing. This adventure will cause a child that will eventually become himself/herself. In Christianity, God turns into human, but remains God. Here, the human becomes God and constantly give birth to himself/herself. This fictitious reality is, in my experience, the highest imaginary point of narcissism in the culture history. The God-human and the virgin mother fiction are left behind, in terms of narcissism, by this story.

c) The classical psychoanalysis would visualize this film, of course, in a psychotic perspective; the main character turns into several distinct characters that keep only the long-term memory and hopes. It is known that, for the classical psychoanalysis, the narcissism is the very essence of psychosis. From my experience with friends at Café Gradiva meetings, I can infer a way of interpretation which overlaps on the psychoanalytic cure work. The psychotic splitting, the fall into psychopathological abyss, is followed by trying to heal itself ego through "hallucination" killing.

"What if I could put him in front of you? The man that ruined your life?... If I could guarantee that you'd get away with it would you kill him?"

That is the question with which the film begins and (obsessionally!) returns several times along the way. I think this obsessive sentence would provoke my friends from Gradiva to consider such a conclusion. The main character returns in time and live there the events that have marked his existence, as a spectator. This is, indeed, a very successful metaphor for psychoanalytic cure work. The icing on the cake, the final "Fizzle Bomber" shooting, looks indeed like the paradigm of healing (or maybe not, others would say !!!), completing the cure ...

As a matter of fact, there is a parallel metaphorical situation in the film referring to the psychoanalytic cure. At minute 65 (hour 1:05) there is a dialogue between Jane and John, in which John describes the intimate own repressed psychical contents to Jane as "envy" and "love". Hearing this, she soon develops frustration and denial defensive positions, like they happen in the cure. But this does not happen only in the cure. It is as a normal dialogue between two different mental stages of a person. These things are the realities of human psychological development in general. It is true that it happens in the cure also, but the mental development is not necessarily a psychoanalytic cure.

I always have grumbled at the Café Gradiva meetings about that kind of interpretation in similar contexts. From my point of view, the psychoanalytic cure repeates at a higher speed, and in a shorter time, this natural evolution. Expressing one's mental development similarities with those of psychoanalytic cure is meaningless in this context. I do not like that panpsychoanalyticism attitude. I find it as a cultural colonialism against other different spiritual evolution phenomena that come to the same conclusions but on different ways than those of the psychoanalysis.

Further on, I bring hre the objection towards Café Gradiva folks opinions concerning the film "Conversation" ( ): the psychoanalytic cure has no effect on psychosis or, at least, not that on neurosis, where the effect is very visible. So, from this perspective, the parallel to psychoanalytic cure is also meaningless, since, for the psychosis evolution dynamics, it has no influence. Then what would be the connection between the psychoanalytic treatment and this story, since neither the characters nor the authors have experienced it? We couldn’t get along on this issue even after several years sessions so I doubt that things would be unanimously decided now, so I stop here with this topic.

One can see, however, that the psychotic narcissism that Freud imagined is quite different than that imagined by writers of this story, but overall, the ambiguous Freudian concept can include it also. I would not be surprised to find some refusal positions, concerning the classification in one or another concept, from classical psychoanalysis theorists, on the basis that the raw material, the subject to be analyzed, completely lacks. Without SF frame, something like this could not have been imagined, because, no matter how narcissistic could be someone, yet it could not possibly love itself at this scale. The analysis justification according to the above compromise, on the basis that it is actually analyzed the authors’ imagination itself, can not be sustained in this case. The gap between the product imagined by mind and the mind’s reality is the same as that between of the computer’s hardware and software.

Anyway, personally I do not find that the narcissism is the psychosis’s essence. Some nonpsychotic people are also narcissistic, like a schizoid one (here I refer to the "Schizoid personality disorder"), where the subject is much more careless regarding other people than is a schizophrenic person. Many schizophrenics seek affection from others, and this fact shakes the very foundations of Freudian concept of "narcissism" and his theory of psychosis as extreme narcissism. There might be found a psychosis constant in giving up the narcissism adjustment to the reality, however, but this giving up must be explained otherwise than by somatic conversion model of hysterical neurosis as Freud did.

And since we are in the SF zone, this type of narcissism could be explained rather by a hysterical, conversion neurosis, (SF itself, of course) than by a psychosis. Both own genitals atrophy (involving latent genitals development for traveling back in time) and self fertilization itself are actually some mental adjustments of (somatic) reality to the requirements of the "primary gain", which is the main photodynamic interest of the symptom. Regarding the psychosis’ field, this narcissism would not need so much the modeled reality like these (hysterical) "miracles", as are the sex changing and time traveling, but would choose the gross delirium. It is specific to hysterical strength only (typically non-psychotic) to coherently combine the reality with the symptom deep interests.

All these theoretical oddities are the absurd consequences of the unclear concept of "narcissism" that Freud has theorized. Beyond that, he and many others after him saw the neurosis and the psychosis as the base for normal psychical state. I am a radical adversary to such a psychopathologist vision. I see psychopathology just as the psychiatry sees it, namely as a (original) mental balance blackening stricare and not as a psychic incapacity to diminish this original psychopathological supposed state.

d) This film main character has not enough symptoms to meet any of the major psychiatric disorders. But, if we play a little and decide to analyze it under psychopathological criteria, this film can be interpreted both in the psychotic paranoid frame as much as in the neurotic-obsessional frame. The main argument for the first option is, firstly, the main character’s ego disintegration, and secondly, that of the spatial and temporal dimension dissolution; the time and space zigzag journey without tangible limits is causing an abyssal feeling, an existential uncertainty in a world that one don’t know where to grab from and can not control. And that is a psychotic sign. Here I agree with the classical psychoanalysis.

The main reason for the second alternative is the lack of hallucinations or delusions. The film producers give us absolutely no technical indication that the main character would experience a delirium, as happens, for example, in films like “Fight Club” or “Shutter Island”. In these movies, and many more, we gradually understand that the main characters have a psychotic perception of reality. The "Looper" has only one scene with some halucinoid aspect, somewhere after the 21 minutes when a character gradually disintegrates as a result of present actions that have implications in the future and then retroactively in the present, as a result of returning in time. But, as I previously mentioned, this scene has no intention of revealing any psychopathologistic purposes. It is a consequence of taking on next level the SF imagination of time travel paradoxes. However, "Predestination" has not at all such a scene, so that the hallucinations and delirium subject have no base.

On the other hand, breaking the main character’s ego apart into 3 or 4 different identities, each with its own interests and desires, is not specific to neurotic-obsessive constitution. This requires split between two forces only, i.e. between the compulsional ego and the compulsion inhibition obsessional ritual. On the other hand, in the film, there is also cooperation between some identities but not conflict only. For example, there exists only cooperation between the baby and the main character other stages of development. Then, the romance itself, involving character’s all 5 stages, is meant to show rather the linkage between them rather then division. The only visible conflict exists only between old disabled “Fizzle Bomber” and the agent. We mast have in mind that John was visible sympathizing with "Fizzle Bomber" in chat at the bar. There is no external cooperation between the two groups of forces involved in the compulsive obsessions, but the psychotic ego can very well have a friendly have a "dialogue" with its hallucinatory swarm.

Another reason for classifying the main character into the obsessional neurosis lies in the very idea of returning back in time to stop an event that was believed to be made by someone else, but actually finally proved to be made by oneself; the "killer" (ego) adaptation to the "authority" control (superego) is connected with the obsessional ritual itself which adapts to the compulsive diversity. This action is an obsessional neurosis "undoing" transfiguration into this specific SF theme. The concept of "undoing" was initiated by Freud himself. The phrase "some things are inevitable", that repeats several times in the film, looks very obsessional due to the obsession’ implacability seen in the subject’s inability to resist it. At minute 68 (hour 1:08) there is a hamletian dialogue:

" – That's the way it has to be. That's the way it's always been. You should understand that better than anyone.
– The snake that eats its own tail, forever and ever."

In this diagnostic game I would not agree with the main character disorder classification inside the hysteroid spectrum forms as " Dissociative Amnesia", " Mythomania" or " Dissociative Identity Disorder " (also known as “Multiple Personality Disorder”). In the first two cases the ego splitting would not be required; the subject remains the same, and only refuses to remember certain things or inserts fantasies in its biography. Further on, the “Multiple Personality Disorder” can not also be taken into account because the subject that has this disorder basically refuses to join its "personalities" into the same person; on the contrary, in the film, the characters are curious to solve the splitting mystery. The “Multiple Personality Disorder” person develops a new personality (usually totally different as the first one) and memory related to the previous identity is also suppressed. But in this film, the personality remains the same in the all four characters and the memories also remain faithful to past events.

Personally, however, I like more the psychotic-paranoid version due to the artistic consequences, richer in meanings in this case. The discussion between Jane and John from the minute 64 (hour 1:04) looks incredibly well with the psychotic discussion that a paranoid schizophrenic subject has with its hallucinatory alter ego, represented by its voices. Moving from admiration / love / joy to aggression / hate / sorrow is typical of this kind of dialogue that we can see at the lonely talking misunderstood psychotics on the streets.

So we can play with the diagnosis, if we mention that what we are doing it's just a game. But, in reality, if this would exist, the main character would be neither neurotic nor psychotic. He is a little bit schizoid due to the fact that does not stay too much in one place, traveling in time, and not having time to make friends. The schizoid side is more visible at the orphanage girl, but, since she has no parents, it's understandable to be introverted. We saw that, when he was offended, she responded with aggression, which is unspecific to schizoid personality. Therefore, there is no reliable diagnosis in this case.

e) Beyond the psychopathologist paradigm, as mentioned above, I think the concrete reality of romantic love paradigm has a very important role in strengthening this film symbol: we fall in love after a miraculous meeting, then we make mercantile compromises, then we lose love, then we come to hate the previously loved partner, and then die. This is the cycle of life, Jung’s mandala word-for-word described in the film in this sentence: "The snake that eats its own tail, forever and ever. "

Another very interesting track analysis is the neuroticism police repression. By punishing criminals on and on, the society gets into a repression vicious circle that continuously creates criminals, without in-depth solving the crime problem root, just like the neurotic patient itself does with its individual symptoms. The temporal agent goes back in time due to a police repressive impulse to prevent the crimes made by the “Fizzle Bomber”. But time traveling makes him himself sick also, so that he will become another “Fizzle Bomber”. The war on terror is itself a terror. The "Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder" syndrome, found in the American soldiers who commit suicide then after getting back home from wars, is the expression of this psycho-social reality. We take for granted that the police and the army protect us from criminals and terrorists but, in their haste repressive craziness for a patriarchal justice, we fall ourselves into their victims. The aggression, no matter how (apparently) justified, against someone else eventually returns, sooner or later, against us. "The snake that eats its own tail, forever and ever. ", a previously "Looper" idea that the authors probably were inspired from.

These "analytical play" tracks could be much more numerous. I will not insist on them now because that would require about 10 pages more in this article. I have exposed only those that I thought they are very important. Everyone who studied the psychoanalysis can find new ways of analysis like these. But, beyond this "playing", this film can be seriously psychoanalyzed, namely by analyzing the producers’ minds. This case is a lucky one because the Spierig brothers have multidisciplinary skills and were involved not only in the script development but also in the film production, direction and music. So, the film team "collective unconscious" actually centers pretty much on the Spierig brothers. No need so much to look after other team members to find some genuine psychoanalysis tracks in this film. Of course, that would be good for a detailed analysis, however, but they are not necessarily required for some general ideas. Personally I am not able to make this kind of work due to the lack of time or concrete analysis "material", concerning the two brothers or the other members. Nevertheless, I think this sketch bellow is the way for this film genuine psychoanalysis.

So, for me, the analysis core of this particular movie is the fact that its producers are (monozygotic) twins. I think we can start a genuine psychoanalysis from here on this film, as autobiographical one. The two brothers had always have the meeting with oneself through the other one, they loved each other, they argued one another, they split one into another and had rivalries. They might have loved each other more than they loved themselves, individually, taking the well-known Christianity sentence into an unimaginable fictional absurdity. The Oedipal triad became a quartet in their case. It should be also mentioned that they were German immigrants, so they must have or have had experienced the immigrant’s typical anxieties. The fact that this "Fizzle Bomber" has a central role in this movie can be explained by the resentment that immigrants generally have towards the world. The percentage of antisocial behavior among immigrants or their descendants is much higher than that of the native population. These fears were multiplied with the terrible Australian snakes and spiders threats (unlike the European ones).

The literal killing of "Fizzle Bomber" is a way to suppress this revenge that, as immigrants and socially marginalized, they want to point over the world. Returning in time and becoming "better" than the vengeful terrorist is a metaphor of civilization, of calming down the primitive warlike impulses and cultivating the values of forgiveness and tolerance towards others. This wisdom way is common to the natural course of warring communities, or to the individual enemies that eventually reconcile each other, but also to someone's individual personal development. The revenge is sweet at the moment, but it can bring long-term burden into soul; the avenger super-egowill eventually end up in questioning whether the "punishment" applied in the past to someone for correction was too high, becoming itself guilty and seeking punishment for cleaning this burden off of its mind.

Another trail for genuine psychoanalysis concerns their identical twins destiny who threatens one another their deep narcissism: if there is someone identical to me, then it means that I am not the best and only one as there is another one who is least my equal. From here these themes can be developed in relation to the analysis material. Since do not have it at the moment, I stop here.

Bad sides  

The film is an exceptional one because the theme is an exceptional one. But it could have been much better if it would not have some negative things that I will enumerate below.

1. The film is helter-skelter arranged, starting from the middle of the story. Since the conclusions drawn from the time traveling idea are so diverse, there is no point in inserting another surprise within. Only an increased attention can help to understand the story after one single visualization, otherwise one have to see it again, after having the conclusions and answers to dilemmas that appear along the way. I am concerned about the fact that more and more movies use this arrangement, like a rebus, manipulating the spectator to go and see them again, thus paying another ticket to understand the story. The result is that there are a lot of people who did not understand it. Around the minute 66 (hour 1:06) the realities are mixed up like a salad; the discussion reality between John and Jane agent interfered with the discussion reality between temporal agent and Robertson. These dialogues overlap on another reality images. Of course, since so many find other ways not to pay the ticket for to see the movie, the money invested in it must somehow be recovered. But this strategy looks very much with dubious websites that get views by misleading buttons for viewer. For such a theme there is no need for such a hoax. This film could have record earnings if would have invested more in it, and anyway, I'm sure it has covered the costs from the very first month.

2. Concerning to the story’s consistency, there are some things that do not make sense. One of them is the lack of lover’s face recognition in his own person after she turned into a man. Since this man is her child’s father, a man who decisively influenced her, how can it be explained that she does not recognize herself as him after transformation? We remember that the temporal agent recognizes John at the bar, and lure him to be teleported in the past. We notice that sometimes the previous level memory is active but some other times it is not active and there is no explanation for that.

For redressing somehow this inconsistency, the authors introduced the dementia issue (wrong called psychosis) that is meant to explain the partial loss of memory. John says, at one point, that can’t recall how looked like when was a woman, from were we can deduce that, in the same way, he forgot his own figure. But that remark fails to explain how such a thing would be possible. Here the producers should had been working some more to find better explanation for that memory loss. This fictitious "dementia", that would increasingly get worse after each teleportation, can not resolve this inconsistency mismatch. Firstly, because the dementia, as neurological disease, does not affect long-term memory but the short-term one only (excepting the terminal period, when all the memory is affected). Then, the young man (freshly converted), had not done any teleportation until conversion, so the memory lost cannot be explained this way.

Such situation shows how uninformed are the authors regarding psychology matters (like most science fiction writers, in fact). A psychologist would had in mind the Gestalt psychology theories, that sustain (like many other currents) that memories are kept somewhere in a kind of mind archive, and so, no matter what kind of amnesia he might had had, John would have recognized himself with seeing himself (once more) in the mirror.

In fact, such an inconsistency is placed in the film because the producers wanted to just surprise us, the audience. They did not show us from the start the Jane’s lover figure, in the moment when they first met in that rainy evening, for the same reason that they started the movie with the story’s end, namely the marketing. Here is the very weak side of the story: it would have been more consistent that John would have a strong anguish, in one of the moments of introspection himself in the mirror, once he realized that the man she loves so much is he himself. Besides the Lacanian tracks what the story could launch, such a moment could be a modern remake of the Oedipus’s shock towards the (ancient) Sphinx. Such a triad formed by he John, she Jane, and his mirror, the Sphinx, would have been a remarkable cinematic detail that, unfortunately, the authors have missed it due to both lack of psychological documentation and also due to the marketing’s greed.

Instead of a bizarre confession before an unknown bar guy, the movie would have been more natural to start with a simple narration, for spectator, that could subsequently be transformed into narrative for himself in the future, concerning the life from the orphanage and reaching the bar during a possible alcoholism crisis. However, the producers could not get rid of such a scene which they superficially and exteriorly treated it, with John unnecessarily threatening its own mature version, the temporal agent, willing just to stay in love with his feminine version and refusing to go and stop the terrorist and to fulfill his mission [at the 63 minute (hour 1:13)].

Instead of those bar sterile dialogues, the producers should insert a more natural moment of anguish experienced by the woman when observed she had transformed into her lover. In this way, the authors would avoid that strange amnesia or that fiction dementia, wrongly called psychosis. The story could very well cover the separation anguish, after the love loss, but also the love fulfillment failure through literal joining together with oneself (as androgynous is described), which is the destiny of any great love. Moreover, in this way there could be found a logical motivation for the temporal agent to convince John to quit alcohol and to return to the past to change it instead. Many ways of interpretation could have been opened including, of course, the Sleeping Beauty myth.

And so, despite the fact that it is a remarkable film, the authors’ lack of professionalism has missed the chance to be even more remarkable one. All these could have been done in less than 40 minutes of film, eliminating the superfluous dialogues at the bar. And more than that, which matters a lot to me, in this way there would open the way for a conspiratorial final that the Temporal Bureau would have proved itself to be the "Fizzle Bomber" initiator, as happens to the counter-terrorism institutions which actually generates it instead. I will latter return to this subject.

Also, the authors would have had the chance of a nonfatalist vision of the world, as presented in philosophy modern trends, if the actors that played the main characters would be changed after the past reliving. Unfortunately, the authors have shown their limited ancient fatalism philosophical vision. For example, if they would have been started in the first part of the film, with the Jane and John meeting, as Jane played by Sarah Snook, and then they would have continued with another actress to play Jane, after child sending back in 1945 event, then they would have proved to have modern philosophy good knowledge. It is true that fatalism-chaos dilemma has not been resolved yet in philosophy. The chaos theory has no lesser inconsistencies than the fatalistic one. But the nonfatalist vision should also be represented by this possible characters appearance changing, as someone’s physiognomy itself changes over time. After sending messages to the future and looking for addition solutions to stop the "Fizzle Bomber", not only for a past sterile repetition, there must be a change in the physiognomy after the reliving cycle. Or, at least, such change should be visible at the clothes just as happened with the hat and the raincoat in the closet. So this detail shows the authors lack of documentation in terms of philosophy too, not just in terms of psychology. However lacks of depth the Bruce Willis movies might be, “Looper” took this into account and changed the characters physiognomy throughout the movie action, as scars or marks suddenly appeared on their bodies due to the present-future-present retroactive influence on their actions. Of course, this was not due to some kind of philosophical research made by producers, but to a more realistic and more physicalistic imagining of this paradox.

3. Another inconsistency is that of bomb handling; the action happens unnaturally: first we see the agent, hidden under a raincoat and a hat like a professional private detective and firmly going to the place where the bomb was placed. We can see the explosion damper device, looking like a fancy suitcase, and designed to absorb the explosion shock. We notice his determination to reach the bomb place, so we deduce the previously detailed information made relative to this bomb place and type. These details show us that he as the department in charged in this case are true professionals.

And yet, when he arrives on that area, he behaves like an amateur. Instead of straight taking the bomb and putting it inside the damper device, he starts to shoot a ghostly figure (later we find out that the figure is he himself who came from another time) which has briefly shown his presence in the area. Due to the precious time lost with shootings, the bomb is late placed in the device and explodes before closing its lid. After this explosion John had his face burned. The scene could have kept its consistency if the agent would have first defused the bomb, and only then, eventually in a shootout with that ghost, his face would have been ended up disfigured, and so the transformation mystery would remain.

Of course, the facial disfigurement has an important role in terms of suspense; if the agent would have been played by Leonardo di Caprio instead of Ethan Hawke, then we could easily surmise that the two characters are one and the same in different stages of his life. Leonardo di Caprio looks more like Sarah Snook (who played John and Jane). This strange situation later discovery increases the story’s mystery. This requires more attention for the audience, and involves more willing to sink into the story and possibly pay another ticket for a second viewing...

4. On the other hand, the physiognomic differentiation of Ethan Hawke’s characters from those played by Sarah Snook (actually one and the same) seemed too unnatural to me. His facial conformation is so different than hers and it did not convince me that the two characters were one and the same. Hawke's skull is elongated but Sarah Snook’s one is rounded. If previously I was disappointed that the characters are "too" identical in every cycle, in this case it seems to me that they are too different from the John to the temporal agent. I think they should find the same type of skull to the actors who play these characters. "Looper" is also superior concerning this point of view, the main character resembles quite well with Bruce Willis and even ironically mimics his smile and attitude (min. 16).

5. Another inconsistency is that of the organization focusing attention around this terrorist only. This film seems too space theatrical, too claustrophilic towards to the wide description possibilities that cinematography allows. Although it gives the impression that its activities are multiple and rescue missions are very numerous and diverse, still nothing comes from outside. I remember the thriller "Cube", which takes place in small rooms of 10 square meters, but still being able to make us imagine an entire universe outside the space that we saw. Nothing like this can be found in this film. At the minute 54, the temporal agent says there are 11 other agents like him at the Temporal Bureau but we weren’t told what they do. We remember the humanoids cocoons from the “Matrix” (Matrix 1 course, actually the only Matrix) that were arranged in a sort of huge illusions making factory; in this way, the “Matrix” managed very well to explain what happened to humanity after robots taking control. "Looper" also successfully induces the feeling that the mafia organization they work for is very active and diversified, always present through machines, agents, helicopters etc., all sent from the future to solve the present issues.

On the contrary, at the minute 75 (hour 1:15), a discussion between Robertson and the temporal agent shows that this terrorist has strengthened and developed throughout the organization, and the number of lives saved was a record because of his capacity to change things whiting the past and of finding information about it. That is why, there should be developed such an end that would show the organization as the terrorist origin in the spirit of this action natural consequences. The teenager girl (that lately became a terrorist) was recruited and trained by them. In reality, the social institutions fight against a particular social evil are, in fact, its survival promoters too. They become somewhat dependent on the opponent so that eliminating this evil is equivalent with eliminating themselves, since no job to be done.

6. Technically, this film looks like a low budget one. Many times there came into my mind the music that Hans Zimmer made for “Inception”: it would fit like a glove in this film but it was not meant to be... On the other hand, compared to the sophisticated “Star Trek” teleportation booths, or to the spaceship connected telephones from “Matrix”, our character has just an old box violin with a mechanical code that can set the date and place of time destination. "Looper" also had not a revolutionary scenography, but the special effects like transformations or appearances / disappearances happens a lot in this film.

7. The action is reduced to a few shots and an explosion that burned the main character’s face, leaving us to imagine more complex explosions outside this particular time and space. It did not bother me, though, instead of going haywire and start the story from the middle, the producers better should have been introduced some martial arts scenes and make it a more popular film. A real or a 3D graphics bomb explosion and several months of training with a martial arts guru would not cost that much. By making it more successful, the film could be more profitable without killing the audience’s time. Of course, as a Bruce Willis movie, "Looper" had that show.

8. The film’s name “Predestination" is a sterile redundancy in relation to so many potential meanings it has. This original name is much weaker than its philosophy. It sounds better to me the translation in other languages like "Fighting with destiny". Personally I would have called it "The Renaissance" or "Endless life" or "I'm my own grandpa". On the contrary, the "Looper" had an ideal title.

9. The authors superficially imagine a bizarre dementia caused by temporal jumps, as previously mentioned in the text. On the one hand they suggest that "Fizzle Bomber"’s behavior changed and became a dangerous terrorist due to teleportation. Yet he has the ability to negotiate, to show the good sides of his actions, about how he managed to save lives and how, in fact, somehow he has such a self-control and a sense of justice and of fairness so that he would be strong enough mentally to rein his criminal acts. In fact, as the film presents it, the "Fizzle Bomber"’s behavior is rather an antisocial psychopath one than a psychotic or caused by some neurological disease one. Such obscurities are caused to the SF writers’ weak knowledge about psychopatology.

10. Jane’s sex change reasons are not enough convincing after the uterus removal caused by birth complications. There was no need for a “male urinary tract” excision after this uterus removal because the woman's urethra is not a uterus extension; it has a separate anatomical organ. Instead of hospital scene, were the physician explains to Jane how she will become a man, the authors should have had another way to explain this metamorphosis. I would have inserted a dialogue between her and the physician were he tells her that she will never have children again as a woman but she could have children as a man, because she has a latent male organ. It would have been more credible than the weak story of uterus removal that destroyed Jane’s urethra.

11. As previously mentioned, the long discussion from the bar is totally unnecessary in the story’s economy. There is no need for temporal agent to recruit John because he was willing to do anything to get to the Temporal Bureau and have a better life. As said before, those 40 minutes from the start can be easily reduced to 10-15.

12. The child reaction after the jump into 1945 is inconsistent. If the first jump causes convulsions to John, then it should rather have killed the child. At least the authors should have been used a really hard crying child. It is very unnatural for the temporal agent to dizzy shake after the jump and the child not to show any symptoms.

13. The objects that are transported in time have an unclear status. We do not know what would be the detail that attaches them to the temporal agent and travel in time with him. For example, at the minute 72 (hour 1:12) the temporal agent makes a jump in time but the hat remains in place (in the car). Why should the shoes or the raincoat not stay there too, for example? Such oddities make the story unauthentic. There is not such a discrepancy in "Looper", the objects travels in time just because they are attached to characters.

14. 1) I was angry on the film for its sudden cut at the end, without extracting the consequences that the story dynamics itself converges into; the temporal agent attempts to stop some crimes were actually causing other bigger crimes. I found it very unnatural that the film introduction into its true theme takes about 40 minutes and the end is so sudden. The film ends abruptly without telling us more about the role of the organization, and without linking any terrorist acts by it, in the spirit of situations twists that occur starting from the minute 40. Such a conclusion can simply be deduced from the very main story; the secret organization began by recruiting an innocent person, and ended up by turning it into a terrorist. The politological consequences that would have emerged from such a film development are critical both for somebody's personal development and for the evolution of the society as a whole in which that person lives: the terrorism is a direct consequence of those who "fight" against it. The terrorism is created by the very State: the sentence “we were born into this job” said by the agent time can be interpreted in this light.

If this film would have been just an action movie, then the end would not look so sudden. The "Fizzle Bomber" is killed, the main character fulfills his mission and the film, naturally, ends. After previous attempt, at the beginning of the film (when they were "so close" to stop him), the temporal agent became better than his becoming so he succeeded to prevent him (himself) to revenge on the 11 000 victims. The mission would be accomplished. From this point of view the end makes sense. But our movie theme is a psychological SF one. The consequences can not abruptly stop here. The scenario avoided to use the infinite future symmetry toward the past infinity. In the film we are shown and told that the main character has no beginning but we are not told with the same measure if he is endless, as expected, after the idea of God from the Judeo-Christian religions. I think this avoiding was specially made so that the end would not look too abrupt to the audience.

If this film would have been just an action movie, then the end would not look so sudden. The "Fizzle Bomber" is killed, the main character fulfills his mission and the film, naturally, ends. After previous attempt, at the beginning of the film (when they were "so close" to stop him), the temporal agent became better than his becoming so he succeeded to prevent him (himself) to revenge on the 11 000 victims. The mission would be accomplished. From this point of view the end makes sense. But our movie theme is a psychological SF one. The consequences can not abruptly stop here. The scenario avoided to use the infinite future symmetry toward the past infinity. In the film we are shown and told that the main character has no beginning but we are not told with the same measure if he is endless, as expected, after the idea of God from the Judeo-Christian religions. I think this avoiding was specially made so that the end would not look too abrupt to the audience.

Such an exteriorist solution to this problem is nothing but a police state manner; brute force will never bring peace. The main character anxieties can not stop with his latter's suicide, after learning, like ancient Oedipus, that "Fizzle Bomber" is none else but himself. This suicidal act is just the police state desperate moment of hiding its own identity towards the crime’s cause. We have to imagine that somehow, after this point, the temporal agent will ask himself how he had come to make such abominable things. Why nobody told him that the "Fizzle Bomber" is he himself when would have got old? Why was it him to be sent in this mission? Wouldn’t have been easier for him to commit suicide from the very beginning and prevent himself from making other victims before the New York’s attack?

If we take the exterior consequences of this police state repression act of the crime, then we will see that, in fact, as previously said, and as psychoanalysis itself showed, the brutal repression of instinct leads to its strengthen. Socially, the police repression of crime leads to its multiplication just like the military repression of terrorism actually strengthens it.

Trying to create a big picture to the character statute, as it had before the moments that the film shown us, there would be two explanations: 1. either the vicious of character cycle of life cycles is given by a drug, by a genetic mutation or by something that a normal person (no matter if Jane, John or the baby) is caught in this temporal trap; 2. or the character is just a mutant, entirely created by the Temporal Bureau with is a strange given impression that it is human. There is not possible a different way to enter into this vicious cycle of being born from oneself for a natural living being. It is not impossible for a woman to have latent genitalia male organs. It is not impossible for a woman to fertilize herself by chromosome manipulation, using genetics. It is SF, indeed, but it is not totally impossible. But it is totally impossible that, from yourself, to give birth to yourself. The only logical explanations for such an absurdity are these two versions. In both cases, the result is one and the same just like in reality. These simply converge to the idea that it is the very government organization the origin of these attacks, as it created the main character, without beginning and without end. The Temporal Bureau Institution is responsible for terrorist acts that the “Fizzle Bomber" did. And that is what the film should have had shown.

2) Even if the subject would have been strictly a SF-detective, as in "Looper", the (oppressive) State involvement in story could still not be avoided. "Looper" also wants to convince us that the State would be not involved in using this invention for achieving its own goals, but it is alson unconvincing. It is almost impossible to believe that such a mafia organization from "Looper" would not be countered by the State. There is no organization like mafia, terrorist or even empire that does not have such a rival social organisms. Therefore, the State should also have been represented in this confrontation. Moreover, such a mafia organization can not be anything other than the State itself. Time travel would have been one of the most important inventions made by humanity, if it were possible. The State would have monopolized it just like the atomic weapons were monopolized after being invented. The time travel outlawing, and not using it, would be similar with not using these weapons. We know quite well what the State is, and "Looper" can not fool us. I am sure that the State would have many things to change / correct / adjust in the past, if such a travel would be possible ...

3) From my experience with Corruption Story (, I can say that the "conspiracy themes” are not so used today like they were used in the time of Reagan, for example. Movies like "The Matrix" or "Wag the Dog" are very rare in these days. Although the conspiracy themes are still very popular in movies, they no longer appear as before, as if the producers would not want the popularity. That makes me suspect an intrusion of political factors in their story’s dynamics. That suspect that this happened in this case. The first thought that has popped into my mind was, of course, the censorship by payment intervention made by the authorities, as I have argued here:

si aici 

That means that, for the money, the "conspiratorial" end could have been replaced with some dialogues for 40 minutes at the beginning, which can be reduced to 10 minutes, as pointed before.

But after I researched some more, I saw that movie is made in Australia, although using American actors. However, the fact that the "Fizzle Bomber" existed only in film (and not in the Heinlein's original story) leaves enough loopholes for suspicion. With this world globalization there are no borders any more. In the original story, we find only at the end that there is indeed a bomb that exploded somewhere in 1972 or 1963, and that bomb is one among other things that should be fixed through traveling back in time. All these bomb issues are very briefly presented in one single paragraph, Heinlein leaving the reader to imagine scenarios for explaining this need for traveling back in time, with that volunteer recruitment office. Nothing is said in the original story about the 1975 New York attack that made 11 000 victims. But, in film, the explosions that cause victims and their prevention are central themes. And since the authorities insist on creating a devilish image to the amateur terrorism while painting in light colors their own terrorism, I think we can suppose their intervention firstly to emphasize the terrorist profile in the story, and secondly to suppress its logical conclusions.

But the reader who has covered this article’s psychological section also should remember the insertions made on the emigrants’ status, specific to the Spierig brothers, which could be involved in the film. It is possible that the role of such authorities’ positive censorship could have been taken by this cultural sublimation of the specific emigrant aggression on the world that the Spierig brothers probably have experienced. So the probability of such external influences on the story is somewhat lower than in other films of its kind.

Finally I post a song that this movie should have used:

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