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Robert Rauschenberg
Port of Entry [Anagram (A Pun)]

Cinema Lacan

This discussion-based seminar is designed to open up the orations and writings of Jacques Lacan by inviting further immersion into referenced source materials – in particular, films. Lacan often noted how certain ideas he brought forth were related to films he had seen. As Lacan was well known to insist to his audience that they read the primary source text materials he used in his associations and arguments, it follows that it would benefit the audience to engage in the films he cited as well. In this seminar, participants will watch and converse about these films, and read and explore the contexts of Lacan’s citations of them.

Film is an expressly psychoanalytic medium in how it engages all three registers. One is reminded of the dream, a visceral experience, affecting senses and drives, overlain with the symbolic, which is different than saying, for example, constructed by the symbolic. We might follow Willy Apollon, who speaks of dreams, by saying that film too constitutes a fundamental negativity: “Its product is the very loss of experience.” Beginning with lack, then, one sees how exploring film and the potential for film to contribute to psychoanalytic theory – and to make a distinction, clinical theory – generates unique opportunities for play and creativity. Something can be constructed freely, beyond a loss, without blueprint, indeed beyond script. Can how Lacan used film help us continue to hollow out a lack rather than demand its particular construction? 


Partial Reading List

Lacan, J. “Guiding Remarks for a Congress of Feminine Sexuality,” in Feminine Sexuality: Jacques Lacan and the École Freudienne, (1985), Eds Juliet Mitchell and Jacqueline Rose. New York: Norton, (pp. 86-98).

Lacan, J. “From Love to Libido,” in The Seminar of Jacques Lacan. Book 11, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, (1998). Trans Alan Sheridan, Ed Jacques-Alan Miller. New York, Norton, (pp. 187-202).

Lacan, J. “From the a to the Names-of-The-Father,” in Book X: Anxiety, (2016). Trans. A.R. Price, Ed Jacques-Alain Miller. Polity Press, 2016, (pp. 324-338).

Lacan, J. “Desire and the Interpretation of Desire in Hamlet,” Yale French Studies, no. 55/56, 1977, (pp. 11–52).

Lacan, J. “The Paradoxes of Ethics or Have You Acted in Conformity with Your Desire?” in The Ethics of Psychoanalysis, Book VII, (1997), Trans Dennis Porter, Ed Jacques-Alain Miller. New York: Norton, (pp. 311-325).

Additional readings to be assigned.

Partial Film List

Belle De Jour (1967), Luis Buñuel

In the Realm of the Senses (1976), Nagisa Ōshima

Le Grand Illusion (1937), Jean Renoir

Psycho (1960), Alfred Hitchcock 

La Dolce Vita (1960), Federico Fellini 

Additional films to be assigned. 

Note: Participants are asked to access these films on their own.

Faculty: Garrett Tanner

Dates/Times: 1st Friday of the month at 11-1pm CT, September 2024 - May 2025
Location: Online

Fee: $100 (suggested, none turned away) or tuition

Garrett Tanner has a private practice in Austin, Texas where he provides psychoanalysis in person and online. He is a candidate analyst of the school. His research is on socioeconomic dynamics in psychotherapy, intersections in thought between Foucault and Lacan, and introducing Lacanian psychoanalysis to psychotherapists. 

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