The Freud Museum

Events Archive

11 May 2015
Mondays 7-9pm

PROJECTIONS: Cinematic representations of the unconscious

Six-week evening course

At one time, conscious will alone was accepted as the mind’s primary motivating agency, but Sigmund Freud was a game changer: he developed and popularized the mysterious concept of the unconscious (a repository of repressed memories, obscure fears and forbidden desires) as the source of human behaviour, inspiring surrealist artists and intellectual rebels along the way.

Some critics doubt the existence of the unconscious; we can’t measure it or even see it – so how can we know what it is? Unconscious thoughts are not directly accessible to ordinary introspection, but can be deduced by special methods such as free association and parapraxes. Referring to dreams as the ‘royal road’ to the unconscious, Freud took pride in disturbing the sleep of humanity with his revolutionary psychoanalytic ideas.

‘PROJECTIONS: Cinematic representations of the unconscious’ is a 6-week course dedicated to the Freudian ‘archeologist’ tradition of digging away layers of the human mind in an attempt to translate the bizarre and beautiful language of the unconscious whilst imagining its shape and composition. Tracing the path of perplexing riddles that long to be deciphered, we will uncover the secrets of the soul from struggle to liberation, drawing symbolic connections with the cinematic experience.

Listed below are the topics and films to be analyzed (advance viewing is optional; short scenes and video montages will be screened during weekly sessions):

Week 1 – DREAMS: Spellbound, Rosemary’s Baby, Surviving Life, Inception, Paprika

Week 2 – TOPOGRAPHY: Open Water, The Spiral Staircase, Being John Malkovich, Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, Enter The Void

Week 3 – REPETITION: Groundhog Day, Last Year At Marienbad, Exterminating Angel, Synecdoche New York, Koyaanisqatsi

Week 4 – MEMORIES: Jacob’s Ladder, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Memento, Midnight In Paris, Waltz With Bashir

Week 5 – STRUGGLES: If..., Persepolis, Rebel Without A Cause, The Fifth Estate, Kill Bill Vol. 2

Week 6 – AWAKENINGS: Searching For Sugar Man, The Lovely Bones, V For Vendetta, The Dreamers, The Shawshank Redemption

PROJECTIONS is psychoanalysis for film interpretation. PROJECTIONS empowers film spectators to express subjective associations they consider to be meaningful. Expertise in Freudian 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.

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