21 January, 7:00 pm - 25 February, 9:00 pm
£75 - £100
Since the first kiss was documented on film in 1896, erotic cinema has titillated viewers and outraged repressed moralists.
The depiction of sexuality can have a pronounced effect on character development, shaping the direction of a film’s central themes. Sigmund Freud believed that “the behaviour of a human being in sexual matters is often a prototype for the whole of their other modes of reaction in life.” We respond to provocative content that ‘turns us on’; risqué scenes make the heart beat faster and ignite the imagination. Psychoanalysts regard sexuality as the key to understanding how the mind works; “no one who disdains the key will ever be able to unlock the door,” Freud warned.
Eros, the Ancient Greek word for romantic love, is tantamount to the life instinct in psychoanalysis, constituting the pleasures of the flesh, procreation, survival, productivity and the desire to unite with others. Early on, Freud defined erotic impulses as being opposed by the Ego. But later, in Beyond The Pleasure Principle (1920), he placed Eros in contrast to the so-called ‘death wish’: repetition, aggression, a masochistic need to sabotage what we love, and the compulsion to return to an inorganic state (i.e., Thanatos).
The simultaneously binding and clashing forces of sex and death together form an entwined dual system that is the source of all creation. PROJECTIONS: Erotic Cinema is a 6-week course exploring this paradoxical tension in eroticism, tracing its manifestation in moving image, from unbridled passions to destructive urges, via deviant practices, to a more diverse and inclusive representation of romance, culminating in a study of modern technology’s impact on the realm of the senses.
Advance viewing is optional, bespoke montages will be shown during weekly sessions (see filmography below):
Week 1: EROS
Sex and Lucía (2001), 9 Songs (2004), Love (2015)
Week 2: THANATOS
Damage (1992), Exotica (1994), Berlin Syndrome (2017)
Week 3: FETISH
The Night Porter (1974), Crash (1996), Secretary (2002)
Week 4: TABOO
9 1/2 Weeks (1986), Breaking The Waves (1996), L’Amant Double (2017)
Week 5: QUEER
Y Tu Mamá También (2001), Below Her Mouth (2016), Moonlight (2016)
Week 6: TECHNOLOGY
Sex Lies and Videotape (1989), Her (2014), Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
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.