Saturday, September 20, 2014

TBIPS 2014-15 Film Series “Return of the Repressed” (horror films)

The 2014-15 Film Series “Return of the Repressed” (horror films) opens Sunday, September 21, with The Ring (2002), directed by Gore Verbinski, and discussed by USF Film Professor Scott Ferguson, PhD, and myself.  The Film Series is a collaboration between the Tampa Bay Institute for Psychoanalytic Studies and  the Tampa Bay Psychoanalytic Society.  I am no fan of horror films, but I will discuss at the film’s showing how The Ring, [as does Case 39, to be shown on Feb. 15, 2015] exemplifies our fear of our children.  Scott, I think, will be discussing our fear of technology.

Because an infant’s sense of self first comes in to being by the meaning attributed to its actions by its mother, a child is vulnerable to its mother’s negative attributions. If she sees his hunger as greedy, or his natural exuberance as evil, the infant senses her disapproval and rejection. [I once heard a mother attribute her infant son’s fists to his wish to assault her. The ‘fists’ of a baby are consequent of the grasp reflex, with which all healthy infants are born--perhaps left over from our more furry ancestors clinging to their mothers’ backs.] These negative attributions are internalized and are thought to become part of one’s sense of self (in the cortical and subcortical midline systems via connections to the insula.  Mirror neurons in the insula are triggered when one observes disgust on another’s face. )

When mothers are unable to regulate their own distress, the distress of their infants becomes unmanageable.  Depressed mothers ‘shut down,’ turn away, or ‘close’ their faces to their infants. [We are told in The Ring, that Anna was unable to carry her own biological child and was institutionalized.]
Mothers who eschew their children’s strivings convey that the child’s agency is unacceptable. Should a parent’s repressed or dissociated (disavowed) fears and impulses be unconsciously projected onto their children, the child becomes ashamed of himself, his impulses, and his agency. He sees himself as bad, destructive, unlovable.  [Perhaps Samara is living out what her adoptive parents saw in her, that which was disavowed in themselves.]

We hope that local readers will join us Sunday, Sept 21 at 2pm. Here is the entire series roster:

the 2014-2015 Film Series
Horror films: “Return of the Repressed”

Psychoanalysis is interested in art, such as film, because it assumes two levels of meaning, one manifest, the other hidden. It is the latter unconscious meaning which resonates with the viewer. Horror films, in particular, express the Freudian motivations (drives), and the fear of aggression and libido, which are often communicated in symbols. Some say it is these unconscious motivations, threatening to become manifest, which terrorize us, including the fear of the discovery of the unknown, whether it be the monster lurking in the shadows or in the unconscious. What contemporary analysts understand to be more horrific, though, is loss of connection and meaning, when one finds oneself utterly devoid of embeddedness and place.

DATE:             Sundays, monthly (see specific dates below)
TIME:              200pm-500pm
LOCATION:      Auditorium, 13919 Carrollwood Village Run, Tampa, Florida 33618
CHARGE:         $2 donation (includes popcorn and soda)
Informal and convivial afternoon viewing, then discussing, a film. Facilitators for each film discussion include an academician (film, humanities) and a psychoanalytic psychotherapy clinician.
Other films this year:       

September 21, 2014     The Ring         
Scott Ferguson                      Academic Discussant 
Lycia Alexander-Guerra      Clinical Discussant
October 19, 2014          The Orphanage    
Adriana Novoa             Academic Discussant        
Robert Porter                Clinical Discussant

November 16, 2014      Night of the Living Dead  
Amy Rust                        Academic Discussant
Kathryn Lamson            Clinical Discussant

January 25, 2015           The Sixth Sense    
Kersuze Simeon-Jones     Academic Discussant    
Michael Poff                      Clinical Discussant
February 15, 2015         Case 39                 
Silvio Gaggio                     Academic Discussant                  
David Baker                       Clinical Discussant

March 8, 2015                Cronocrimenes     
Heike Scharm                    Academic Discussant       
Horacio Arias                     Clinical Discussant

April 19, 2015                 Frankenstein        
Margit Grieb                     Academic Discussant         
Sheldon Wykell                  Clinical Discussant

May 17, 2015                 The Innocents       
Eve Hershberger             Academic Discussant      
Linda Berkowitz              Clinical Discussant

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