The Film Benjamin Cook's The Imp Of The Perverse

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The Imp of the Perverse is a short film written and directed by filmmaker Benjamin Cook based on a short story written in 1845 by Edgar Allan Poe. The Imp of the Perverse refers to the desire to do what is wrong simply due to the fact that it is the wrong thing to do. Both the short story and the film use themes based around post-modernist theory and writings by Sigmund Freud. The film deals with the complexities of the human psyche and the motivations behind the actions of an individual. Using the Freud’s theory of the id, ego, and super ego, an analysis will be made regarding the construction of the characters within the short film. An extensive number of post-modernist theories can be applied to the short film in order to analyze the deeper…show more content…
These beings are essentially elements of human psyche, developing at differing stages of human life. First to develop is the id, which controls the primal desires of an individual without regard to morality. The id is the leading urge within young children thus leading them the act on impulse without regard to any consequence. The id drives to pleasure itself, and achieve the immediate gratification of desire. It possesses two main components, the sex (or life) instinct - Eros, and the death instinct – Thatanos. The second part of the psyche to develop in an individual is the ego. The ego serves to control the id by using real life experience in order to make reasonable decisions to achieve gratification. The ego operates on the reality principle, by establishing realistic methods the please the id. Freud states the ego is “like a man on horseback, who has to hold in check the superior strength of the horse”. The final aspect of the psyche is the super ego. The super ego is the deep-rooted sense of right and wrong, in other words, an individual’s morality. This is acquired through those that raise and influence the individual. The super ego seeks perfection through moral gratification rather than through realistic gratification. The super ego consists of two elements, the conscience and the ideal self. The conscience can act as a punishment to the id through feelings such as guilt and the ideal self serves to control ones actions based on the idea of a perfect self. The super ego is the most powerful and present element of the psyche, being able to maintain the desires of both the id and the ego. In Cook’s short film this developmental idea is present in two different fashions. The first and most prominent presentation in the film is the main character, Dan, the imp itself, and the wardrobe in which it is trapped. In this scenario the imp represents the id as it only seeks after primal satisfaction

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