by Rob Ager
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
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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. Includes two supplementary video The Ludovico Lie and A Clockwork Orange and the Survival of Nazi Pathology.
Three more DVD only supplementary videos for this analysis are on the DVD set Kubrick Decoded vol 4.
ALIEN updated analysis - 22 min free version.
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 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 "Horror Without Music" (New!!! April 2013)
A short video exploring John Landis' interesting choice of not having music play over key horror scenes. Full analysis of this film will soon be available on the Rob Ager films Volume 6 DVD.
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" DVD only
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.
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
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"
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" 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.
FLASH GORDON'S flash frame subliminals (New!!! April 2013)
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 and the Kennedy Assasination
Excerpt taken from the full 55 min video analysis of FMJ, which is on the Kubrick Decoded vol 2 DVD set.
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.
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 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 (New!!! Feb 2013)
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"
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.
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"
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
The Indiana Jones character features some key deviations from the standard action movie hero that have given him an appeal surpassing his competitors. 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.
RESERVOIR DOGS "Significance of the deleted scenes"
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.
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.
THE SHINING "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)
THE SHINING "Spatial anomalies in the Overlook Hotel"
Video exploring the physically impossible layout of the Overlook hotel
THE SHINING "Kubrick's Gold Story" (short version 45 min)
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. (extended 72 min version is DVD only)
THE SHINING - "Mystery of the twins."
Short video analyzing one of the film's scariest scenes.
THE SHINING "Something in the river of blood"
Short video with an interesting revelation about the famous river of blood.
THE SHINING "Moving furniture"
Video exploring the many instances of furniture moving about in the Overlook Hotel.
STARSHIP TROOPERS "The war on bugs" - 43 min free version
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)
TAXI DRIVER "Was Travis cured?"
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)
John Carpenter's 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.
THE THING (analysis update) *Was Childs infected?*
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.
THE THING "Fan synopsis for a sequel" (New!!! Feb 2013)
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)
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY "Meaning of the monolith revealed"
(a 47 min DVD only extended version is also available on the DVD set Kubrick Decoded vol 2)
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY "The eye of enlightenment" DVD only
Kubrick's use of inner / third eye enlightenment themes
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY "Ending interpretation"
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY "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
Walter Hill's stylish "expolitation" 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):
An American Werewolf in london (currently editing)
Eyes Wide Shut (Expanded analysis)
Matrix (expanded analysis)
No Country For Old Men (currently writing)
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".