Dream Screen: Film and Psychoanalysis

Subject 107-463 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2009.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour seminar and a 2.5-hour screening per week
Total Time Commitment: Total of 10 hours per week.
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

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.
  • demonstrate an understanding of various psychoanalytic theories;
  • demonstrate an ability to draw on psychoanalytic theories to interpret film texts;
  • demonstrate an understanding of various psychoanalytic theories specific to the cinema.
Assessment: A 5000 word research essay 100% (due in the examination period).
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.
Notes: 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)
Master of Cinema Management
Postgraduate Diploma in Creative Arts
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Cinema Studies
Cinema Studies
Cinema Studies
Gender Studies
Gender Studies
Gender Studies

Download PDF version.