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Pipolo, T. (2007). Special Issue on Film: Introduction. Psychoanal. Rev., 94(6):857-864.

(2007). Psychoanalytic Review, 94(6):857-864

Special Issue on Film: Introduction

Tony Pipolo

There is no psychological truth unless it be particular; but on the other hand there is no art unless it be general.

—Andre Gide, The Counterfeiters

In 1895, midway through his fifteen-year correspondence with Dr. Wilhelm Fliess, Freud published Project for a Scientific Psychology, the product of his thinking about the relationship between the brain and the mind stimulated by that epistolary friendship, and a work that presaged The Interpretation of Dreams (1900), generally considered the founding text of the new “field” of psychoanalysis. In that same year Auguste and Louis Lumiere screened a program of one-minute motion pictures—images of the contemporary world they had filmed with their pioneering hand-cranked camera/projector—to an astonished audience at the Grand Cafe in Paris. The fortuitous emergence of these two moments on the world's stage—both of which would have monumental cultural consequences on a global scale over the next hundred years—has been noted by more than one film scholar with undisguised fervor. Of course, both psychoanalysis and the invention of “movies” had been in gestation throughout the nineteenth century, but the historical conjunction of their virtually simultaneous blossoming has assumed, for many, the power of myth: as if twins at birth who had been unnaturally separated, like Alexander Dumas's Corsican Brothers, remained spiritually bound, each yearning across vast distances for reunion with his other self.


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