James Boswell, 'The Cinema' 1939

James Boswell
The Cinema 1939
Lithograph on paper
image: 200 x 179 mm
Presented by Ruth Boswell, the artist's widow 2000© The estate of James Boswell

Projecting Desire: Sex, Psychoanalysis and Cinema – Part 1

Projecting Desire: Sex, Psychoanalysis and Cinema – Part 2

Saturdays 5 June – 10 July 2010

Combining film, literary and psychoanalytic theory, this six-week course explores the fascinating theoretical connections within the work of Sigmund Freud, Arthur Schnitzler and Stanley Kubrick. Honing in on Kubrick’s controversial last film, Eyes Wide Shut (1999) – adapted from Schnitzler’s novella Dream Story (1926), which in turn can be traced back to Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams (1900) – we will consider how successfully cinema has depicted the dynamics of desire, dreams and fantasy.

Classes will begin with a short introductory lecture on the main themes of the week, with class discussion – in small break-out groups and as a whole – forming the majority of each session. Eyes Wide Shut will be screened as part of an extended first session, and the course will also include a session led by the film’s executive producer, Jan Harlan, as well as visits to Tate Modern’s Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera exhibition and to the Stanley Kubrick Archive at the University of the Arts London. No prior knowledge is needed.

In order to make the most of this innovative, multi-disciplinary exploration of some of the twentieth century’s most fascinating ideas, participants will be expected to read Schnitzler’s Dream Story and sections of Freudian theory. Additional material and suggested reading will be handed out in class in advance of each session. The class will also be encouraged to consider the course’s written and visual material alongside the artworks in Tate Modern’s collection.