PROJECTIONS: The Uncanny in Cinema

Intensive one day course

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3 November, 2019, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

£48 – £65

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Catherine Deneuve in Repulsion film Roman Polanski, uncanny, woman's face is submerged in shadow

In his paper ‘Das Unheimliche’ (1919), Sigmund Freud discusses a phenomenon that is simultaneously familiar and foreign, resulting in a feeling of discomfort.

He qualifies the uncanny as belonging to “all that is terrible”, arousing dread and creeping horror. Situations that produce an eerie sensation (e.g., déjà-vu, animism, sorcery, omnipotence of thought, the Doppelgänger, instantaneous wish fulfilment, dolls) capture the paradox of being attracted to yet disturbed by an object.

In this intensive day course, we will explore the uncanny through the medium of film, locating the strangeness in the ordinary via the remarkable capacity of moving image to stage ambivalence and uneasiness. Freud said that the uncanny is the only feeling that is more powerfully experienced in art than in life, and so we shall examine cinematic representations of the concept within three essential categories (The Dream, The Home, The Self), all of which oddly give rise to a sense of reassurance whilst also provoking a suppressed primordial fear and unnerving confusion.

Please see below the full list of titles to be discussed. Advance viewing is optional; select scenes and bespoke montages will be shown on the day.



The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) Luis Buñuel

Jacob’s Ladder (1990) Adrian Lyne

Vertigo (1958) Alfred Hitchcock



Secret Beyond the Door (1947) Fritz Lang

Repulsion (1965) Roman Polanski

Dogtooth (2009) Yorgos Lanthimos



The Replacement (2017) Joe Ahearne

Unsane (2018) Steven Soderbergh

Get Out (2017) Jordan Peele


9.30am – open
10.00am – first session
12.00pm – lunch
12.45pm – second session
2.45pm – tea break
3.00pm – third session
5.00pm – finish


Tea and coffee will be provided during both breaks. Please note: there is no cafe on site, however, you are welcome to bring your own lunch, which can be consumed in the classroom, or the Museum garden if the weather is fine.

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.


The Uncanny: A Centenary

Join us this winter for a haunting program, as we mark the centenary of the publication of Sigmund Freud’s paper on ‘The Uncanny’. The exhibition The Uncanny: A Centenary runs from 30 October 2019 to 9 February 2020, alongside a programme of related events.


3 November, 2019
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
£48 – £65
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Freud Museum London
20 Maresfield Gardens
London, NW3 5SX United Kingdom
020 7435 2002

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