The New Wounded: From Neurosis to Brain Damage (Forms of Living) [Hardcover]
In discussing trauma, Malabou introduces the plasticity of the brain. A new self emerges to assimilate the trauma and adapt to reality. This is Freddie Quell
To psychologize and interpret according to Freudian theory is not going to work. This damaged person has developed a strategy for living.
There is no way he can be cured. He is unfixable. His strategy for survival must be honored. To label him an alcoholic is a mistake, an easy way to explain him.
In the last scene where the woman is straddling him naked and he begins to process her, telling her "she is the bravest girl he has ever known" is saying what Lancaster Dodd said to him during his first processing. He is repeating, mimicking, perseverating. The endless walking back and forth in the final processing scene is emphasizing this repetition. Freddie's Inscription of the Body does not change during this scene, although his face lightens.
Perseveration is the symptom most noted in brain damage. We will see Freddie Quell perseverate again and again.
Explosive rage, the rictus grin, lopsided smile, the facial contortions, and the contortion of his shoulders, neck and arms, which we see in the beginning scenes where he masturbates facing the sea with this restricted, contorted posture and we can surmise he has repeated this act, in this posture for a lifetime.
His Rorschach Test when each ink blot is replied to with pussy and pussy and cock, in which every ink blot is seen as sexual. This is a primitive reply to the Rorschach which indicates brain damage.
It's a Pussy Not Batman
Joaquin Phoenix has correctly read the character of Freddie Quell.
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