Catherine Belsey (2005) describes the usefulness of psychoanalysis thus:
In each instance, I have suggested we address a question posed by the text. Where are its sympathies? What historical differences does it present? Are there any surprises? In other words, we start from a problem. This is a method of textual analysis I owe ultimately to psychoanalysis. It is only the caricatures of psychoanalysis that present it as claiming the key to all mythologies in the Oedipus complex, or answering all questions with the phallus before they are even posed.
In my view, the main value of psychoanalysis to cultural critics is not so much in its conclusions and explanations as in its way of reading. Freud listened attentively, and not only to the surface narrative. He worked on the assumption that a deeper or more subtle meaning was to be found in unlikely places: in incidental observations, denials, jokes, slips of the tongue. Freud concentrated on the detail that did not fit, that pulled against the coherence of the official, intentional story. And he treated these unexpected components of what was said as intellectual problems, which analysis would set out to solve. We do not have to agree with his solutions to admire the method. (Indeed, anyone with a rooted antipathy to psychoanalysis in its entirety might prefer to take as a role model the detective Freud most admired. Sherlock Holmes, like his descendant Miss Marple, and any number of television detectives, teases out the incoherence in the story, the puzzling detail that causes the obvious interpretation to unravel.)
Take a look at a film made by Sophie Fiennes with Slavoj Zizek in 2006, A Pervert's Guide to the Cinema. Zizek is not quite a Freudian and not especially concerned with sexual difference. He does, however, see cinema in psychoanalytic terms, and uses short clips to elaborate concepts such as desire. There are some clips on the film's website: