by Rob Ager
|1st Dec 2013 - Special offer on DVDs: Order 6 or more items and receive a 35% discount (offer ends 12th Dec 2013)|
This section is dedicated to films that have especially well-written scripts and which use
complex and advanced psychology to communicate hidden narratives. If you would like to submit
a request for a particular film to be reviewed feel free to contact me., but check the FAQ section
of the site first as several popular requests are already listed there.
These reviews are occasionally updated to include additional information, researched
either by myself or brought to my attention through visitor feedback. Where
applicable, the dates of the last updates will appear at the start of the text.
Legal Disclaimer - According to the "fair use" provisions outlined in
Title 17, Chapter 1, Article 7 of the US Copyright Law reproduction for
purposes of criticism, comment or educational purposes is not a
copyright infringement. The "fair use" provisions under
English law can be found here.
Note: for DVD only items see Products page or go to the Ebay website and search for "Rob Ager".
A CLOCKWORK ORANGE
The power drug 22 chapter article with supporting still shots. Currently my most complete analysis of a Kubrick film.
The Ludovico Lie 24 min video Youtube
A Clockwork Orange and the Survival of Nazi Pathology 39 min video Youtube
Three more DVD only Clockwork Orange videos are on the DVD set Kubrick Decoded vol 4.
A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE analysis preview video. Youtube (NEW!!! Nov 2013)
Full length analysis will be available soon.
ALIEN updated analysis - 22 min free version. Youtube
Explores sexual fear and birth trauma themes.
Part one can be watched on Youtube at the above link. PART TWO can be DOWNLOADED HERE. Right click the link and select 'save' to dowload the file (size: 183mb)
Original 2007 analysis and full 38 min 2012 updated analysis are DVD only.
ALIENS "The Antidote Sequel" DVD only
Explores empowerment theme reversals in relation to the first Alien film.
AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON "A Tragedy in Disguise" DVD only (free sample of this video downloadable here)
Explores a variety of aspects of John Landis' classic horror film - including the symbology of the dream sequences, the role of music, guilt and trauma for the protagnist, and the competing themes of supernatural imagination vs physical and psychological reality.
THE BIG LEBOWSKI "Across the sands of time" DVD only
The Coen Bros broke a ton of Hollywood cliches with their epic comedy, while encoding social commentary on everything from the Iraq War to the decline of the masculine male and the artificiality of elitism, all combined with a wild west subtext and general metaphor of life as a game of bowling.
THE BIRDS "Henpecking with Hitchcock" Youtube
Hitchcock's bizarre film about flocks of birds declaring war on humans defies ornothological sense and denies its audience a rational explanation. However, the film takes on new meaning when the bird attacks are considers as manfistations of relationship anxiety bewteen the main characters.
BLADE RUNNER "Globalization and dehumanization" DVD only
Ridley Scott packed this film with anti-corporate themes and warnings about the possible future direction of humanity. This is already widely written of, but this analysis includes a variety of additional details and sub-themes not written of elsewhere, including Scott's use of photographs and recording media logos in relation to character memories.
Religious themes of Scorcese's CAPE FEAR DVD only
Although a financially successful film, Scorcese's transformational remake of Cape Fear has been largely forgotten about, partially because the deep religious subtext of the film was largely overlooked by critics.
DEMON FOR DETAIL (New!!! July 2013)
My most recent Youtube channel featuring very short film analysis videos.
DR STRANGELOVE "The essence of War"
Multi-chapter analysis of political themes and social messages in relation to cold war history. Includes overviews of Kubrick's research on the cold war, his motivations in making the film, the establishment response to the film and Kubrick's career-transforming transition from straight narrative to message encoding. (Final chapters to be added)
ELEPHANT AND THE VIDEO GAMES CONTROVERSY Youtube
Gus Van Sant's Columbine Massacre inspired film contains visually encoded messages asserting that violent video games can drive game-addict teenagers to murder. The video praises the artistry of the film, but also debunks the video game induced violence theory.
E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL "The Alienated Child" DVD only
Spielberg's classic children's film is laced with hidden themes related to his parent's divorce and childhood fantasies involving imaginary friends. The film is also an allegory of the Wizard Of Oz and includes visually encoded clues that the alien creature was actually an animal perceived as an alien by the children.
The even darker underbelly of THE EXORCIST DVD only
This film is packed with visual and dialogue clues related to sexual abuse of the Regan character, whose "demonic" transformation symbolically mirrors dysfunctional behaviour in abused children.
EYES WIDE SHUT
Unseen Reflections 30 min video DVD only
The film that prompted a wide reassesment of Kubrick's career and filmography is a complex puzzle of "conspiracy theories" and marijuana-induced dream sequences combined with a career-long subject of interest to the director - sexual motives of men who seek power. This half hour video also explores the cross symbolism of the two "party" scenes of the film at the Zeigler residence and Somerton mansion.
Eyes Wide Shut and the Bohemian Grove Youtube
Red cloak Unmasked Youtube
Behind the Charade DVD only (NEW !!! Oct 2013)
Explores conspiracy rumours in relation to the film's apparent depiction of secret societies and the mysterious death of Stanley Kubrick.
FLASH GORDON'S flash frame subliminals DVD only
A list of underrated and overlooked films recommended by Rob Ager
FRENZY "analysis of murder scene" DVD only
Analysis of directorial craftsmanship in this distrubing scene.
FULL METAL JACKET "The hidden hand" DVD only
One hour video breaking down the encoded messages of one of Kubrick's least studied films. The monolith of 2001 makes a symbolic appearance. There are cross-references with the Native American genocide themes of The Shining and much more.
John Carpenter's HALLOWEEN "Fear in the first" DVD only
What appears to be a basic slasher film is subtly directed according to some unusual themes. The psychopath character is a personification of the nightmare predator in the dark archetype and hence inhuman. The camera itself also becomes the stalker, forcing the audience to identify with him and giving the predator unusual abilities.
HELLRAISER "Secrets of the box" Youtube
Barker encoded a theme of the puzzle box as a metaphor for the television set itself - explored in this free video.
HELLRAISER "I hurt therefore I am" DVD only
Barker's gory horror classic is laced with visual metaphors and themes relating to hedonism and the spiritual void that drives people to seek sexual excess in the seedy "underworld". Full 45 min version.
HIDDEN CINEMA: A Journey in the Art of Subliminal Communication and Message Encoding Youtube version 2 hrs. Extended DVD only 4 hour version also available as of 3rd Aug 2013 - see store page)
A broad study of cinematic communication based on my experiences of writing and posting film analysis' and writing and directing fiction films.
HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER "The Avenging Conscience" DVD only
This author's favorite Clint Eastwood film is a broad metaphor of corruption and cowardice and the pathological repression of memories that inevitably haunt those who ignore their conscience.
MAD MAX 2: THE ROAD WARRIOR DVD only
One of this author's favourite films of all time. Analysis explores oil war themes and references to world wars, plus visual depictions of characters devolving back to animal states and a psychologically revealing comparison between the Mad Max character and his would be "partner" the Gyrocaptain.
THE MATRIX DVD only
While many studies of this classic film concentrate on religious interpretation and the nature of reality, this analysis explores the film's forewarning of police state measures disguised as part of the "war on terror".
MULHOLLAND DRIVE "City of nightmares" DVD only
David Lynch's brain-teaser film about the downside of Hollywood makes logical sense only after the viewer has identified which scenes are and aren't dream sequences. This video unravels the mystery by starting with an analysis of scenes involving the blue yale key.
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN "The blind hunters" CD ROM only (New!!! June 2013)
A 33 page article analyzing both the novel and film versions of NCFOM. Among other things, this article explores the themes of generational changes in American society and explores depictions of the Anton Chigurh character, which differ between the novel and film.
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN "Was Anton Chigurh a supernatural character? " Youtube (New!!! Sept 2013)
This video is based on an excerpt from my full analysis of the same film (see above) .
PSYCHO DVD only
Hitchcock's masterpiece wasn't just about insanity for the Norman Bates character. Marion Crane suffers her own guilt-driven experience of hearing voices and projection of personal demons into other characters of the story. The pathology of both characters are communicated through Freudian props, subtle innuendos in dialogue and the symbolic use of mirrors. The film also includes a conceptual precursor to Hitchcock's next film The Birds.
PULP FICTION "Carrying the torch" Youtube
The Gold Watch story segment of Tarantino's film is a subtle tale of family honour for the Butch character, who must experience his version of the war atrocities lived through by his forefathers to earn the right to carry and pass on a family heirloom.
RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK "The Guided Hero" DVD only (free sample of this video downloadable here)
The Indiana Jones character features some key deviations from the standard action movie hero that have given him an appeal surpassing his competitors. Among other things, the film also includes subtle clues of supernatural influence from the Ark of the Covenant that go much beyond its burning of Nazis in the finale.
RADIO SUBCITY GLASGOW GUEST APPEANCE To download full two hour show in MP3 format (106 mb) CLICK HERE
An in depth discussion with host Dave Gillies on the subject of classic movie music.
RESERVOIR DOGS "Significance of the deleted scenes" Youtube
RESERVOIR DOGS "The detailed story" DVD only
Tarnatino's superb heist flick includes surprising subtlety in dialogue relating to character motivation and personal histories. The film also includes an ongoing theme of characters telling rehearsed and artifical stories to each other, much like the undercover cop Mr Orange, whose own motivations include the seeking of an approving father figure.
ROOM 237 " Rob Ager's take on the Room 237 controversy"
SEX AND POWER in the films of STANLEY KUBRICK DVD only
Almost all of Kubrick's films, from his first feature through to the Spielberg-helmed A.I., include themes of sexual motivation in relation to military and political power-seeking.
Mazes, mirrors, deception and denial 21 chapter analysis of Kubrick's epic horror classic. Kubrick encoded unsettling spatially impossible set designs, messages about Native American genocide and America's abandonment of the gold standard and much more ... including a sinister revelation about the relationship between Jack and Danny. (Final chapters and updates to be added)
Spatial anomalies in the Overlook Hotel Youtube
Video exploring the physically impossible layout of the Overlook hotel
Kubrick's Gold Story DVD only
Overlooked in other analysis' of the film, this author discovered the film's monetary history themes in relation to the Gold Standard while exploring production materials at the Stanley Kubrick archives in London.
Mystery of the twins Youtube
Short video analyzing one of the film's scariest scenes.
Something in the river of blood Youtube
Short video with an interesting revelation about the famous river of blood.
Moving furniture (no longer available on Youtube, this video will be available on a future DVD set)
Video exploring the many instances of furniture moving about in the Overlook Hotel.
Jack Torrance the abusive Father Youtube (New!!! Nov 2013)
Long video exploring one of the film's most controversial themes.
STARSHIP TROOPERS "The war on bugs" - 43 min free version Youtube
With the sophistication of Kubrick and Lynch, Paul Verhoeven and Ed Neumeier created a masterpiece of reverse propaganda, satirising everything from globalization to military brainwashing to the inherent contradictions of "multiculturalism". (extended 72 min version is DVD only)
STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE "Vger's Mistake " Youtube (New!!! Aug 2013)
A visually encoded and highly significant plot detail relating to Nasa space research history.
TAXI DRIVER "Was Travis cured?" Youtube
The end scenes of Taxi Driver contain a variety of subtle clues about the ongoing violent pathology of the Travis Bickle character, including a sly reference to the Charles Bronson vigilante film Death Wish. Short video.
TAXI DRIVER "An explosion of contradictions" DVD only
Detailed video exploring everything in the film from vigilante pathology to sexual frustration and, in particular, the contradictions between Travis Bickle's behaviour and his objection to similar behavioural traits in the city arround him. (full 54 min video + extended PDF file)
THE THING (John Carpenter version)
Analysis of The Thing DVD only
A one year delay in production allowed Carpenter to plan his shoot in great detail, resulting in what is probably his most sophisticated film. Explores in detail the sophisticated tactics used by both the alien and Macready character in their symbolic chess game.
Was Childs infected? Youtube
This video explores the subtle use of clothing as indicators of which characters were assimilated at which points in the film and a revelation about the film's ending.
Fan synopsis for a sequel Youtube
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
Kubrick and beyond the cinema frame
14 chapter analysis exploring multiple aspects of Kubrick's sci-fi classic. (Final chapters to be added)
Meaning of the monolith revealed Youtube
(a 47 min DVD only extended version is also available on the DVD set Kubrick Decoded vol 2)
The eye of enlightenment DVD only
Kubrick's use of inner / third eye enlightenment themes
Ending interpretation (no longer available on Youtube, this video will be available on a future DVD set)
Kubrick's cover story DVD only
50 min video outlining the production history of the film and Kubrick's transition to dual narrative film maker
Kubrick's crazy continuity errors (New!!! Aug 2013) DVD only
Explores the multitude of extremely blatant continuity errors in Kubrick's sci-f classic. Were ther errors deliberate?
THE WARRIORS Youtube
Walter Hill's stylish "exploitation" flick about street gangs is a far more intricate and intelligent film than it has been given credit. Analysis includes detailed comparison with the novel and visual indications that the main characters are fighting themselves as personified in rival gangs. i
More film analysis currently on my 'to do' list (in no particular order - they'll probably take years to complete):
Eyes Wide Shut (Expanded analysis)
Matrix (expanded analysis)
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
Silence of the Lambs
Star Trek: The Motion Picture
There Will Be Blood
Star Wars original trilogy
Before leaving feedback or requests for particular films please
consult the General FAQ and Feedback Responses page.
Article - HOW TO DECONTRUCT A MOVIE - a step by step guide
More videos on psychology related subjects can be found in the
ARTICLES AND EDUCATIONAL VIDEOS section of this site.
A pdf version of my FILM-MAKING WORKBOOK can be purchased as part of a package on ebay,
which also includes a DVD set containing films produced and directed by the author.
To find the item on EBAY, just go to the ebay site and enter a search for "Rob Ager".