Lolita Complex

Lolita Complex

It is a complex seen in girls who have a negative emotional relationship with their father or lack a father figure. These women, who did not have fatherly love in their childhood, form relationships with men who are much older than them. They try to satisfy their emotional hunger from them.

It is especially seen in young girls and women between the ages of 20 and 30. These people want to be in the attention and focus of older men. They are absolutely not interested in men of their own age and do not feel happy with them. They also do not get along with women, and there are hardly any women around them.

I recommend Vladimir Nabokov’s novel “Lolita” and movies based on it, to get an idea. Also, those who listen to Lana Del Rey know that father figures have a special interest in men. For example, this clip:


Remake Notes: Lolita

Although the 1962 Stanley Kubrick interpretation of Vladimir Nabokov’s unforgettable novel Lolita and the 1997 version of Adrian Lyne are similar to each other in many respects, there are sharp differences between them and it is very useful to discuss these differences not only in artistic terms but also in ethical terms. .

When we look at Lolita from today, there are inevitably questions that come to our minds, and while answering these questions, we should not ignore a few discussions: pedophilia, electra complex and queer theory (on the axis of a part of the theory that is rarely discussed, on the subject of age hierarchy and incest in cases where it is based on consent. whether the borders will stretch or not) are the first ones that come to mind.

Kubrick, seeing the slippery ground, acted cautiously at a time when these questions did not move along such interesting axes, but when it was equally difficult to talk about. In this article, we will try to do that a little bit. Likewise, a significant part of these discussions causes stomachache, and the inner contradictions that Vladimir Nabokov makes the reader experience in the novel are once again embodied. Still, it’s better to have that stomach ache and not fall into hypocrisy by pretending that it’s possible to move forward in the movie Lolita without going through all these arguments, as if you can leave the ethical debates behind and appreciate art as an isolated thing.

Although this article is not the place to discuss the answers to these questions in detail, it is still important to think about them. When considering both adaptations and novels of Lolita, there should be discussions in the background of our brains about how to deal with the definition of pedophilia, incest and consent. There is a situation that allows us to love such a story, to attribute artistic value, and to consider Nabokov’s novel a fluid masterpiece and Kubrick’s adaptation a masterpiece, no matter how uncomfortable the relationship of a grown man and a girl may be under normal circumstances. The way this situation can gain a legitimate ground, because of its frightening nature, should be kept in the back of our minds while talking about Lolita.

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Infrastructure of Lolita: Elektra Complex
After this long, almost parenthesis-like explanation, let’s frame ourselves more clearly. In this article, we will try to deal with the Elektra complex by avoiding the axis of pedophilia and incest as much as possible (pedophilia is unfortunately not such an easy axis to escape), and as long as the films allow, we will try to put the two films side by side over an area where we feel safer, such as the unconscious.

The Electra complex is a phrase that Freud called the Oedipus complex, the state of boys being very passionately attached to their mothers and seeing their fathers as a rival, adapted by Jung to girls, describing the rivalry with the mother and the passionate love for the father. The Oedipus and Electra complexes correspond to the generally accepted theories that are thought to be experienced in the developmental stage of heterosexual individuals. When we look at Lolita from this point of view, the effect of the book and movies on us becomes impressive within the framework of a psychological phase, getting rid of the “pervert inside” discussion. Lolita’s passionate love for Humbert and her feelings for her mother, beyond her spoiledness or character disorder, gain a symbolic meaning for a stage that must pass between the ages of 3-6. Humbert’s passive position as an anti-hero gains even more meaning with his positioning as an object rather than a subject on the axis of the Electra complex.

Stanley Kubrick and Adrian Lyne are directors; When we look from afar, we can clearly see that Stanley Kubrick approaches the subjects that always trigger the mysterious aspects of violence and eroticism, with a very solid psychoanalytic background, while Adrian Lyne is more interested in the expression of the world within us, not itself. We think that when comparing the two films, one of the most decisive points is this difference between the attitudes of the two directors.

Although the claim that Kubrick’s film would have been censored frequently due to the conditions of the period came to the fore, the fact that the script was written by Nabokov, who is also the author of the novel, is the main proof that the story was adapted exactly as it should be. When we think that all the points that the two masters tried to emphasize are included in the Kubrick adaptation, our thesis on the Electra complex also becomes valid. What matters is not exactly what happened between Lolita and Humbert, who was to blame, who took advantage of whom, but rather the background of the story that captures everyone, based on the unconscious. A temporary phase of the parent-child relationship, which is a mixture of love and eroticism that exists at a certain stage, although it rarely carries itself into reality, is brought to the screen on a fictional ground. At this point, the Adrian Lyne adaptation deals with the manifestations of the story, as we have just generalized, thus bringing it into the real world. And this drags the subject into a dangerous area, exactly the pedophilia axis that we want to avoid during the discussion. As if that’s not enough, parts of the novel that emphasize that what Humbert does is abuse are invisible in the Lyne adaptation. It is true that the novel itself and the Kubrick adaptation also cause us to empathize with Humbert, but the Kubrick adaptation does not even include Humbert’s back story, in order not to create a more legitimate ground for this empathy, even by showing the end of the movie from the beginning, we can provide information about the person that the person we will empathize with will become. It also gives the audience the chance to choose, by giving it to us in advance. Adrian Lyne, on the other hand, is positioned as the devil’s advocate with his attitude from the very beginning of the movie.

Both adaptations make use of exactly the same elements in the use of many scenes and details. They are also very strong visually. Both films design Lolita, who is 12 years old in the novel, as a 14-year-old character. The main difference is that while we cannot take the story so seriously in Kubrick’s chosen dark humor style (which is also available in a similar humor novel, although not in the same dose), Lyne brings a drama to the screen in which the erotic elements are increased tremendously. Other differences are in the distribution of responsibility for the Humbert and Lolita characters we mentioned earlier. The most problematic part is that the erotic infrastructure that Kubrick set up just to make us nervous takes on a pornographic air in Lyne’s hands. The presentation of the young woman’s body and sexuality to the audience in problematic ways, the presentation of Lolita’s body, that is, Dominique Swain’s body, who was 17 when the film was completed, as a “forbidden apple” to the audience, in a way that required our focus, beyond Humbert’s squint. Adrian Lyne’s comment leads us to the point where we need to stay away: a 14-year-old young woman is responsible for her sexual power, uses it, loses its psychological infrastructure, and Humbert, on the contrary, has a psychological background that he can use as a justification. to the world.

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In the cinematic context, both directors leave a different taste in our palate. Having the chance to watch Lolita in black and white and in color is an experience we cannot refuse as a viewer. However, considering that the psychoanalytic background of the work is the main weapon of the film and the most important element that succeeds in carrying it to a legitimate ground, Kubrick captures this wonderfully (although Nabokov, who also wrote the script, did not like Freud much), Adrien Lyne expressed this spirit. he completely loses it and reinterprets the details of the story in an objectionable way. In this state, the film even creates the impression that it was re-shot just to make the erotic elements more visible. While both interpretations are OK for the average audience, it’s possible that men who are attracted to young women get a boost to their actions from the Adrien Lyne adaptation. At this point, it is not possible for us to ignore the social power of art while making a choice between the two films.




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