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Diamond, D. Wrye, H.K. (1998). Prologue. Psychoanal. Inq., 18(2):139-146.

(1998). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 18(2):139-146

Prologue

Diana Diamond, Ph.D. and Harriet Kimble Wrye, Ph.D.

One Hundred Years of Film and Psychoanalysis

This special centennial issue is dedicated to enhancing and sharpening the ongoing dialogue between psychoanalysis and cinema that began 100 years ago. Psychoanalysis emerged in Vienna in 1895 with the publication of Freud's Studies on Hysteria, and in an uncanny co-occurrence the same year, the world's first motion pictures were screened by the Lumiere brothers in Paris. Both mediums over their histories have been profoundly concerned with psychic reality—understanding it, reflecting it, and shaping it. During the last century of common history, psychoanalysis and cinema have both literally altered our awareness (Kaplan, 1990) and provided us with different ways of representing to ourselves the basic human dilemma of inside/outside, fantasy/reality, subject/object.

Almost from their inception, cinema and psychoanalysis developed a love/hate relationship, which was bisected, enlivened, and stimulated by a number of tensions revolving around the relationship between art and commerce, masculine and feminine, subject and object, and spectator and visual image. Their mutual fascination has been marked by episodes of idealization and synergy as well as disillusionment and denigration. Filmmakers were immediately intrigued by the compelling power of Freud's discoveries of the unconscious. In 1909, pioneer filmmaker D. W. Griffith arrived in Los Angeles, enticed to make movies by the promise of eternal sunshine and a cadre of like-minded film pioneers in Hollywood. In the same year, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Clarke University, G. Stanley Hall awarded the brilliant European maverick Sigmund Freud an honorary degree, inviting Freud to America to offer a series of lectures about psychoanalysis, the fledgling science he was pioneering.

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