THE UNCANNY AND THE DOUBLE IN FILM AND PSYCHOANALYSIS
Freud’s “The Uncanny” (1919) interprets a feeling that links anxiety with wonder, the strange with the familiar. The Uncanny is associated with phenomena that appear to demonstrate the power of magical thinking, the ubiquity of paranormal events, the realization of unconscious wishes, the uncertain distinction between the animate and the inanimate, and the determinism of fate. One example of the uncanny is the encounter with the double or alter-ego, linked to splitting of the ego but also to imminent death. Jacques Lacan considered developmental aspects of the double in “The Mirror Stage” (1949). Along with discussing Freud’s and Lacan’s papers, we will investigate the theme of the double in four narrative films: Persona, The Double Life of Veronique, Birdman, and The Clouds of Sils Maria. Among other aspects of the double, these films illustrate psychotic merger, the work of mourning, and the reintegration of split-off parts of the self.
- Participants will be able to discuss Freud’s concept of The Uncanny.
- Participants will be able to compare Lacan’s “Mirror Stage” with Winnicott’s maternal mirroring as applied to infant self-recognition and proto-integration.
- Participants will be able to describe instances of psychopathology and mature development using film and short-story narratives.
- Participants will be able to discuss cultural and transpersonal determinants of identity.
- Participants will be able to describe how film aesthetics and techniques illustrate psychodynamic processes.
Westen, Drew. The scientific legacy of Sigmund Freud: Toward a psychodynamically informed psychological science. Psychological Bulletin, Vol 124(3), Nov 1998, 333-371.
Diane Borden, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Film and Literature, former Director of Film Studies, and former Chair of English at the University of the Pacific. She has published books, chapters, and journal articles on cinema and psychoanalysis and given papers and workshops at professional conferences in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Dr. Borden conducts study groups on film and psychoanalysis in San Francisco and the South Bay and has been a guest faculty at SFCP.
Eric Essman, MA, is Co-Chair of the NCSPP Intensive Study Group Committee, a board member of PINC, and has frequently contributed film and book reviews to fort da.
This course is for licensed and unlicensed clinicians and others interested in the application of narrative film to psychoanalytic psychotherapy.
Enrollees who cancel at least SEVEN DAYS prior to the event date will receive a refund minus a $35 administrative charge. No refunds will be allowed after this time. Transfer of registrations are not allowed.