A psychological re-reading of Giuseppe Tornatore’s movie “The Star Maker” (“L’uomo delle stelle”) shows how it reflects intra-psychic, interpersonal and cultural synchronous dimensions and how it can be an immediate and archetypal key into our contemporary culture, one which is intensely self-absorbed. The movie tells the story of the merchant of dreams, Joe Morelli, manager of the world of cinema and in search of personal redemption. Joe leaves the eternal city to enter, with a promising minivan, the countryside and villages of a poor and illiterate Sicily, which tries to resurge after World War II.
The director facilitates the viewer through a dynamic transition between the real camera eye and the fictional, that is Morelli’s: where there is a film that collects the fragility of the characters, their destinies and their hopes, and with intense and refined profiles, and a raw background scenery, burned by the sun, in which the amber colours dominate.
“L’uomo delle stelle” is a movie about the miseries of reality and narcissism: it is a story of enchantment, of blunders, deceptions. A scam of celluloid, costs 1,500 lire, and allows you to bring out thoughts that had never been expressed, hopes that have been inaccessible, discolored feelings and nostalgia. This series of meetings reflect the itinerant dimension that permeates the narcissistic mode of operation which, by its nature, has no roots: Joe Morelli, in fact, receives in his living space, a tent closed to curious eyes, people willing to pay for minutes of sincere expression. Morelli welcomes but does not record.
The growth of the individual takes place through winding paths of research and discovery that could be condensed in the image of the hero wayfarer; Joe Morelli in his pilgrimage appears driven by a surge of selfish careerism, he reaches the bottom of hid shadow, acting in an ever more outrageous and dangerous manner. Unaware of the danger, boldly and with nothing to lose, wanders between the villages of land exploited and offended by the war, makes a mockery of those he meets, although, in the end, they envy the authenticity and the ability to dream a different day.
A sort of angry depression defines the structure of the narcissistic character, however masked by external attitudes of ostentatious affective autonomy, welfare, availability relations often lived with a sense of superiority, the trend statement and successful research. The success of the process of differentiation from the Great Mother and the identification of the Self involves tidying the mess, and this becomes possible only after a sacrifice. The sum of this work can be seen as the vas hermeticum alchemists, namely the sealed jar in which processing takes place. It contains the chaos of undifferentiated exhibitionistic-great energy of Joe Morelli that now shows its transformative potential. The return to chaos is in fact considered by the alchemists as a key part of the opus: the fake homogeneity, the monolithic nature of the narcissist saturnine breaks and gives way to a new dimension of being and not just doing.
He allows them luck and wealth, deceiving them with words full of enthusiasm and passion, he draws them into his trap and feeds illusory success of his script. Meanwhile, thin, makes its way into his transformative path: those he meets, in fact, give it a little piece of themselves, they tell and, together, weave a story that also gently touches the skin of the character, starting the rewriting of his life in front of a film.
The meeting with Beata represents in Joe Morelli’s life a chance to get out of the domain of the Great Mother; presenting herself as the Sibyl voice, it is the other female archetype, different from the more familiar maternal archetype.
The detention could be compared to the descent into hell that, according to Greek mythology, represents the ultimate test which the hero has to face, meeting the demons and the ghosts of the inner world and then, once made aware, integrated back.
The new dimension of depression is an area in which Narcissus mirroring, in the act of disappearing, he sees himself as he is. The discovery of the reality of the Self involves the consideration of the totality, as the coming together of opposites and therefore, for Narcissus, is the inevitable acceptance of conflict and suffering that is connected to it: only in the tension of opposites can come transformation.
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