Psychopathia Sexualis

Psychopathia Sexualis

This looks damn cool, Psychopathia Sexualis – Tales of Deviance and Forbidden Desire From the Case Studies Of Krafft-Ebing. The film, written and directed by Bret Wood, it employs a multi-narrative structure, dramatizing the case histories of turn-of-the-century sexual deviance. Krafft-Ebing was the first scientist to undertake a major study of sexual perversity in its varied forms.

Psychopathia Sexualis was much more than a guidebook to perversity, it was an important part of the scientific community’s efforts to establish authority over matters of sexuality. At the time, sexual dysfunction was either ignored, dismissed as simple insanity, or dealt with as a religious issue. During the same period when science was claiming dominion over childbirth (previously the work of midwives) and death (ending the tradition of funeral wakes at home), it argued that sexual behavior was governed by the brain and the spine, and was a neurological issue, not a spiritual one Psychopathia Sexualis also proposed that heredity was a major factor, further establishing scientific dominion over mental illness.
Psychopathia Sexualis (and essays written at the time by Krafft-Ebing and others) introduced to our vocabulary such words as heterosexual, homosexual, sadism, masochism and fetishism. Psychopathia Sexualis quite literally defined sex.

For increase your interest, in the videoclips page you can watch the trailer and two excerpts from the films. The Sadist and the Masochist is a sequence where two men yield to their peculiar sexual appetites by enacting strange rituals. And “Case no. 23: Sadism” The Curious Passions of Sergeant Bertrand is a stand-alone short film adapted from the feature Psychopathia Sexualis a case of necrophilia is dramatized through Victorian-style shadow play, utilizing the actual confessions of the sexual criminal. Sick, very sick, but I want to see the film. BTW, the director, Bret Wood, has a blog. (via Suzanne G)

The Curious Passions of Sergeant Bertrand

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