Dream Screen: Film and Psychoanalysis

Subject 107-463 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbookSearch for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour seminar and a 2.5-hour screening per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: Admission to the postgraduate certificate, diploma or fourth year honours in cinema studies, gender studies or the Bachelor of Creative Arts (Honours).
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Dr Mark Nicholls
Subject Overview:

This subject evaluates the central place of Freudian psychoanalysis in Hollywood and international art house cinema. It considers the way psychoanalysis has been employed by filmmakers, film theorists and critics as both a creative and a critical or analytical tool. Through a detailed analysis of films by directors such as Martin Scorsese, Federico Fellini, David Cronenberg, Woody Allen, Ang Lee, Whit Stillman, Bernardo Bertolucci and Tobe Hooper this subject assess the way film and the act of writing about film engage with the discourse of the unconscious. Through an analysis of key psychoanalytic texts such as The Interpretation of Dreams, Totem and Taboo and Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection, the subject considers the history of the psychoanalytic movement and the central ideas of Sigmund Freud, C. G. Jung, Jacques Lacan and Julia Kristeva. From the basis of a growing fluency with psychoanalysis, students will then examine noted examples of cine-psychoanalytic writing to assess its impact on the development of film theory and film culture generally. Students who complete this subject should demonstrate an understanding of a range of psychoanalytic theories and an ability to draw on these theories to interpret film.

Assessment: A 5000 word research essay 100% (due in the examination period).Assessment submitted late without an approved formal extension will be penalised at 2% per day. Students who fail to submit up to 2-weeks after the final due date without a formal extension and/or special consideration will receive a fail grade for the piece of assessment.
Prescribed Texts: Prescribed Texts:A subject reader will be available.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • be skilled in research;

  • possess advanced skills of critical thinking and analysis;

  • possess an ability to communicate knowledge intelligibly, economically and effectively;

  • have an understanding of social, ethical and cultural context.


Formerly available as 107-093. Students who have completed 107-093 are not eligible to enrol in this subject.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Creative Arts(Honours)
Bachelor of Creative Arts(Honours)
Master of Cinema Management
Postgraduate Certificate in Arts (Cinema Studies)
Postgraduate Certificate in Arts (Gender Studies)
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Cinema Studies)
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Gender Studies)
Postgraduate Diploma in Creative Arts

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