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Member Area
Venice Biennale

It would be nice to do something political (AIS 22)

The couch and the screen
We have met psychoanalyst Andrea Sabbadini in his consulting room for a brief analytic session on films and their… Unconscious 
Andrea Sabbadini is a practising psychoanalyst and a lecturer at UCL. He is the founding editor of Psychoanalysis and History and the editor of The Couch and the Silver Screen: Psychoanalytic Reflections on European Cinema (Brunner-Routledge, 2003). He chairs the European Psychoanalytic Film Festival and a series of film events at the ICA. 
Marco Zee-Jotti - How can psychoanalysis help audiences appreciate films?
Andrea Sabbadini – I can tell you what helps me to appreciate films, because I can perhaps read into films something that someone else without my background, without certain theoretical concepts and my clinical experience, without a particular way of looking at human beings, could not see in films.
I would add, though, that I am suspicious of any attempt to use ideas from one discipline to explain phenomena from another discipline. Psychoanalysis is a body of theories devised to explain primarily the experience of human beings in their relation to each other and to themselves, and if a psychoanalyst tries to apply those concepts to, say, large macro-social phenomena, like countries being envious of each other and therefore waging war at each other, one must be very cautious. Having said that I think there is a lot of room for some kind of dialogue between cinema and psychoanalysis, which is different than just applying psychoanalytic concepts to our understanding of film. I think that cinema is a privileged interlocutor. At the same time, psychoanalysis is a privileged field for those filmmakers who are open to consider that their work may have a dimension that goes beyond what they consciously intended to do.