PROJECTIONS: Darren Aronofsky – The Cinema of Obsession [Livestream]

Online course with Mary Wild

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22 October, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

£30 - £35

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Natalie Portman in Black Swan, Darren Aronofsky

Ticket grants access to livestream of the course and the recording, available to watch for 14 days. All attendees will receive the link to the webinar 24 hours before the event starts. The recording will be automatically sent to attendees 24 hours after the event has finished.

American film director Darren Aronofsky was once asked if he deliberately aims to make audiences feel uncomfortable. He replied, “I definitely want to make them feel something. I’m inspired by the Cyclone roller coaster in Coney Island, where I grew up. It is the greatest ride in the world. I’ve always tried to construct my films with the same structure: intense, on the edge of your seat.”

It is clear that Aronofsky seeks to represent extreme states: isolationists preoccupied with abstract concepts, addicts consumed with the desire to chase the next mind bending high, public performers pushing their bodies to the limit. Reactions to his films are mixed – spectators either love or loathe the controversial expressionist auteur; he certainly isn’t for the faint of heart!

In this online day-course, we will examine six Darren Aronofsky films in categories relating to Fixation, Performance and Cosmology, referencing psychoanalytic concepts to shed light on the supercharged theme of obsession in his body of work. We will engage with the director’s signature style (a combination of melodrama, psychological horror, and existential fantasy) as he portrays the devastating pitfalls and amplified pleasures of being driven by a singular passion.

Advanced viewing is optional; brief film scenes will be shown during the webinar.

  • 10.00am – first session
  • 12.00pm – lunch
  • 12.45pm – second session
  • 2.45pm – break
  • 3.00pm – third session
  • 5.00pm – finish

Session 1 – FIXATION

Pi (1998): A paranoid mathematician searches for a primer that will unlock the universal patterns found in nature.

Requiem For A Dream (2000): The drug-induced utopias of four Coney Island characters are shattered when their addictions spin out of control.


The Wrestler (2008): A faded professional wrestler must retire, but finds it difficult to lead a new life outside the ring.

Black Swan (2010): A ballerina wins the lead role in a production of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake only to find herself struggling to maintain her sanity.

Session 3 – COSMOLOGY

The Fountain (2006): A modern-day scientist desperately searches for the medical breakthrough that will save the life of his cancer-stricken wife.

Mother (2017): A couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.


PROJECTIONS is psychoanalysis for film interpretation. PROJECTIONS empowers film spectators to express subjective associations they consider to be meaningful. Expertise in psychoanalytic theory is not necessary – the only prerequisite is the desire to enter and inhabit the imaginary world of film, which is itself a psychoanalytic act. MARY WILD, a Freudian cinephile from Montreal, is the creator of PROJECTIONS.


22 October
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
£30 - £35
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