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Sklarew, B. (1999). Freud and Film: Encounters in the Weltgeist. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 47(4):1239-1247.

(1999). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 47(4):1239-1247

Freud and Film: Encounters in the Weltgeist

Bruce Sklarew

Freud's antipathy towards film is striking, since film and dreams are formed by similar mechanisms. Nevertheless, Freud occasionally and unavoidably encountered film. This paper details some of these encounters. Ten years after viewing time-lapse photography, a fore-runner of moving pictures, at the Salpêtrière, he was conceptualizing a model of the mind and of the formation of dreams that in some ways parallels the film apparatus invented by the Lumière brothers in December 1895. On his visit to America in 1905, Freud saw movies in New York City. In 1925, he refused a lucrative offer to consult on a film, and he discouraged Karl Abraham and Hanns Sachs from consulting on the first psychoanalytic film, Pabst's Secrets of a Soul (1926). He was, however, once sighted viewing an American double feature in Vienna. The paper closes with a critique of his acting in home movies.

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