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March 29, 2001 Psychoanalysis, Cinema and Literature: Public Film/Book Series







by Barbara Black

The Canadian Psychoanalytic Society has been holding a public film and book series for a modest audience for about 20 years, but when they started holding it at Concordia, there was a leap in attendance.

“We were holding it at the Society’s venue on Côte-des-Neiges and getting about 20 people,” said organizer Brian Greenfield.

“Three years ago, I said, Let’s put ourselves in the community. I contacted Dr. Lowy, and he was extremely receptive to giving the series at the university. Now we are getting about 130 people at each event.” Concordia Rector Frederick Lowy is a psychiatrist and a member of the Society.

The biggest increase in the audience for the films and talks on aspects of psychoanalysis has been in the number of students. Dr. Greenfield has been supervising students in Concordia’s Creative Arts Therapies program, and many of these students join his crisis intervention team at the Montreal Children’s Hospital.

However, the students who make up about 30 per cent of the audience for this series come from all disciplines, including business, and from other Montreal universities and CEGEPs.

The organizers do their best to make psychoanalysis accessible. For example, last fall they sponsored a talk on the Harry Potter phenomenon.

“We want to familiarize people with the friendly language of psychoanalysis,” Greenfield said. “A lot of people have opinions about Freud, but have never read his work.

“Of course, there are any number of analytic schools, with a broad range of ideas, and in the series, we try to attach these ideas to clinical and real-life experience for the average person.”

The following films will be shown at 7 p.m. in the J.A. DeSève Cinema, 1400 de Maisonneuve W.:

April 20: Like Water for Chocolate
Film uses sophisticated and sensual Mexican cuisine as a metaphoric background to a story about mothers and daughters. Presenter: Gabriel a Legorreta, PhD.

April 27: The Cider House Rules
Complex themes of abandonment, caregiving, coming of age. Presenter: Stephen Rosenbloom.

May 4: The King of Masks
Chinese film about an old street magician searching for an heir. Presenter: Allannah Furlong, PhD.

Also, on May 11, at 7 p.m., in Room 937 of the Henry F. Hall Building, 1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. W., Dr. Harvey Giesbrecht will give a lecture and lead a discussion on dreams.