26 November, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
£35 – £40
All attendees will receive the recording 24 hours after the event has taken place.
The horror genre in film follows from the literary tradition established by Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley, eliciting fearful responses through suspense, gore, the macabre and the supernatural, consistently transfixing audiences via suspension of disbelief.
The status of female characters in horror cinema is often ambivalent, ranging from victims of violence to perpetrators of dread. In The Question of Lay Analysis (1926), Sigmund Freud claimed that “the sexual life of adult women is a dark continent for psychology.” Even at the end of his life, Freud maintained his long-standing preoccupation, asking: “What do women want?” The mystery of female desire has persisted with the advancement of psychoanalytic thought; a dimension of ‘the unknown’ frequently drives the depiction of women in dark tales.
In this online day-course, we will investigate the feminine discursive position in a variety of popular sub-genres (e.g., ghosts, zombies, sci-fi), relying on theoretical concepts including Julia Kristeva’s abjection, Sigmund Freud’s uncanny, Jacques Lacan’s mirror stage, and R.D. Laing’s ontological insecurity. It is sometimes claimed that the portrayal of women in horror films is misogynistic, but here the proposition is that the horror genre affords us an indispensable language for approaching the complex elements of feminine subjectivity.
This topic has been taught at Freud Museum London in previous years, but the current course presents an entirely new film selection (all titles listed below). Content warning: graphic scenes will be shown, viewer discretion is advised.
- 10.00am – first session
- 12.00pm – lunch
- 12.45pm – second session
- 2.45pm – break
- 3.00pm – third session
- 5.00pm – finish
Session 1 – GHOSTS AND ZOMBIES
Pulse (2001) dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Braindead (1992) dir. Peter Jackson
Session 2 – FOLK HORROR AND THE OCCULT
Midsommar (2019) dir. Ari Aster
The House of the Devil (2009) dir. Ti West
Session 3 – SCIENCE FICTION AND PSYCHOLOGICAL HORROR
Videodrome (1983) dir. David Cronenberg
Climax (2018) dir. Gaspar Noé
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.