Cinematic representations of mental illness: six-week evening course

Talks, conversations, events from the SITE for Contemporary Psychoanalysis

Draper Hall: Hampton Street junction with Newington Butts (next to the Santander bike stand) SE17 3AN

Mary Wild

12 January 2018–16 February 2018
Fridays 7:30-9:30pm

Cinematic representations of mental illness

six-week evening course £10 per evening; £50 for series of six

Guy de Maupassant once said, “A sick thought can devour the body’s flesh more than fever or consumption.” Mental illness is one of the leading causes of the overall disease burden worldwide. Depression, anxiety and substance abuse are reported to be among the main drivers of disability in Western countries. It is estimated that one in six adults has suffered from a common mental disorder.

The cinema is a chronicler of transformation; it supplies an alchemical lexicon to reveal the soul’s sublime dreams, as
well as a useful mode of expression for the pain endured by a fragmented mind. Compared to other art forms, the film medium possesses a unique capacity to showcase the complexity of human emotion and so occupies a privileged position in conveying the subjective experience of mental disturbance.
In this 6-part lecture series, a selection of films portraying psychiatric diagnoses will be explored, with information provided on the emergence and development of distinct clinical categories featuring anxiety, depression, psychosis, amnesia, addiction and sociopathy. In addition to in-depth content analysis of visual material, there will be a platform to discuss the role of moving image culture in shaping public perception and social attitudes in relation to psychological distress.

Advance viewing is optional:


Safe, Adaptation, The Invitation
Closed Curtain, Three Colours Blue, Melancholia Coherence, The Machinist, Black Swan
Paris Texas, Mysterious Skin, The Bourne Identity Shame, Requiem For A Dream, Factory Girl Maniac, The Dark Knight, Irrational Man

Mary Wild is the creator of the PROJECTIONS lecture series (psychoanalysis for film interpretation), which has been running regularly at Freud Museum London since 2012. She teaches in the Humanities department at City Lit and has produced similar events at ICA, BFI, NYU and Central Saint Martins. Her interests include cinematic representations of identity, the unconscious, neoliberal economics, horror and love.

How to book: Please pay by electronic transfer of funds to: Unity Trust Bank, The Site for Contemporary Psychoanalysis; Sort code: 60-83-01; Account No: 20099428. Please insert your name as reference and email siteenquiries2015@gmail. com to advise that payment has been made.