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Balsam, R.H. (1996). Panel Report: Psychic Reality And Films: Chaired By Harriet Kimble Wrye. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 77:595-599.

(1996). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 77:595-599

Panel Report: Psychic Reality And Films: Chaired By Harriet Kimble Wrye

Rosemary H. Balsam

This panel on film and applied psychoanalysis was occasioned by the 100th anniversary of the invention of cinema and the founding of psychoanalysis. Panellists reported on Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958), Coppola's The Conversation (1974) and Citizen Kane (1941) by Orson Welles. Themes of gender and power were stressed. Analogies between the situation of the fictional protagonists and the role of the analyst were also elaborated. This event was a prelude to a Post-Congress weekend in Los Angeles, where analyst participants had a dialogue with movie-makers.

To mark the 100th anniversary of the emergence of both film and psychoanalysis, a three-part cultural and scientific programme, ‘Projections of Psychic Reality: Gender and Power on the American Screen’ took place in conjunction with the IPA 1995 Congress. This event-within-the-event was organised by the newly formed Coalition of Independent Societies of the United States in part to celebrate their new official connection to the IPA. The first part consisted of two films shown on evenings during the Congress, Vertigo, the 1958 Alfred Hitchcock classic and The Conversation made in 1974 by Francis Coppola. The second aspect of the programme was a panel discussion, reported below, about these movies plus Orson Welles's 1941 Citizen Kane (all three films being set in or near San Francisco). This panel was timed as the last one of the Congress, being a bridge to the third prong of the programme, a celebratory Post-Congress weekend in the American home of movie-making, Los Angeles.

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