G.W. Pabst's 1926 film, Secrets of a Soul (Geheimnisse einer Seele), is one such
encounter, a chapter in the still unwritten and untheorized metahistory of
psychoanalysis and cinema.2 This paper aims to make a contribution to that ...
Author: Irene Fowlkes
Publisher: GRIN Verlag
Essay from the year 2005 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Comparative Literature, grade: A, University of Paderborn, language: English, abstract: application of the science of psychology to the study of culture. The screening of the movie Secrets of a Soul on the birthday of the founding father of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud in Berlin demonstrated the initial point of convergence between one of the most important and influential psychological theories of the 20th century and film production. Although Freud did not consider the cinematic medium as appropriate to fully explain the abstract concepts of psychoanalysis, which the film attempts by means of a case study concerning a patient's treatment, there apparently occurred some sort of transference process between the analyst and the artists. Thus, by mutually reinforcing each other, both discourses gained legitimacy making it worthwhile to further examine this relationship. G.W. Pabst's 1926 film, Secrets of a Soul (Geheimnisse einer Seele), is one such encounter, a chapter in the still unwritten and untheorized metahistory of psychoanalysis and cinema. This paper aims to make a contribution to that metahistorical text, proposing a combination of abstract analytical thought and popular entertainment during the Weimar Cinema period. In agreement with the notion, that "the ready appeal of cinema as an analogy for mental processes brings about the danger of the loss of the specificity of psychoanalytic understanding"3, I will not try to equate the two discourses, but rather follow two objectives: First, utilize psychoanalytic theory as an instrument for strategic interpretation of the story / plot of a particular film and second, attempt to crystallize out the way it corresponds with cinematic representation. In regards to the latter aspect I operate under the assumption, that the creative process of film making entails a big part of the unconscious and thus lends itself to psychoanalytic inter