Friday, October 15, 2010

Cinema and Psyche: The Enchantment of the Tale (a two day symposium)

Elokuva ja psyyke: Tarinan lumous. A two-day symposium arranged by Suomen Psykoanalyyttinen Yhdistys, Helsingin Psykoterapiaseura and KAVA. Board: Stig Hägglund, Christel Airas, Aune Raitasalo, Vesa Manninen, Antti Alanen. At Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 15-16 Oct, 2010

For the sixth time we arranged a Cinema and Psyche symposium at Cinema Orion. The programme consists predominantly of presentations of psychoanalysts and other specialists of psychology and psychiatry. The interest has been growing since the early 1990s when we started this, especially after the símultaneous centenaries of the cinema and psychoanalysis in 1995. The approaches have been varied and none has anything to do with the Lacanian or Screen approaches that were trendy in the 1970s. The Finnish tradition starts in the 1920s with the Tulenkantajat (Torchbearers) cultural movement, continues with Kulovesi and Vaaskivi in the 1930s, and is rebooted in the mid-1950s when the psychoanalyst Mikael Enckell started to write consistently on the cinema. The impetus of the cinema and psyche symposia has been the special interest of trainer analysts, those who give also clinical supervision to fellow analysts. Films can be a valuable medium in approaching difficult issues in many ways and discussing sensitive topics without breaching the professional secrecy of the doctor. As an outsider in the planning boards I have been impressed by the sense of urgency involved. Films are important for them in ways and for reasons that I can only vaguely guess. I have edited two books based on the Film and Psyche symposia, Minerva Publishing 2007 and 2010, the latter published 15 October 2010 at this symposium.

Riitta Tähkä: The Mirror - a profoundly Tarkovskoyan lecture on Tarkovsky's subjective film.
Maria Häkkinen: Harry Potter on the couch - a psychoanalytic reading of a boy's fantastic coming of age story which the professionals have had also to discuss on their consulting hours.
Susanna Välimäki: The Hours - Susanna Välimäki wrote her dissertation on music in war films, and focused now fascinatingly on the music of the film directed by Stephen Daldry based on Michael Cunningham's novel, inspired by Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway
A general discussion on Auf Wiedersehen Finnland (FI 2010) - the director Virpi Suutari had to cancel at the last moment, but there was a lively debate on the film about the Finnish women who left with the Germans in 1944. Vesa Manninen stated that no matter how embarrassing a past experience may be, the human being has a basic need to be seen as she or he is.
Juha Siltanen: 10 and 1 paths in Pasolini's garden. The playwright-director gave a brilliant overview of the bold re-examinator of the great myths and tales focusing on 1) realism, 2) poetry, 3) religion, 4) the spectator, 5) cinema, 6) politics, 7) eroticism, 8) the word, 9) time, 10) scandal) - and (11) "me".
Christel Airas: La Belle et la bête - a psychoanalytic reading of a girl's fairy-tale coming of age story as interpreted on film by Jean Cocteau.

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