This book discusses the role of the trickster figure in
contemporary film against the cultural imperatives and social
issues of modernity and postmodernity, and argues that cinematic
tricksters always reflect psychological, economic and social change
in society. It covers a range of films, from Charlie Chaplin's
classics such as Modern Times (1936) and The Great
Dictator (1940) to contemporary comedies and dramas with
'trickster actors' such as Jim Carrey, Sacha Baron-Cohen, Andy
Kaufman and Jack Nicholson.
The Trickster in Contemporary Film offers a fresh
perspective on the trickster figure not only in cinema but in
Western culture in general. Alongside original film analyses, it
touches upon a number of psychosocial issues including sovereignty
of the individual, tricksterish qualities of the media, and human
relationships in the mercurial digital age.
Further topics of discussion include:
- common motifs in trickster narratives
- the trickster and personal relationships
- gonzo-trickster and the art of comic insurrection.
Employing a number of complementary approaches such as Jungian
psychology, film semiotics, narrative structure theories, Victor
Turner's concept of liminality and Mikhail Bakhtin's theory of the
carnivalesque, this book is essential reading for students and
scholars of film, as well as anyone with an interest in analytical
psychology and wider critical issues in contemporary culture.