Secrets of A Soul

Thursday, June 13, 2003 – 7:30pm
GERMANY, 1926. Director: G.W. Pabst
Cast: Werner Krauss, Jack Trevor, Ruth Weyher, Pawel Pawlow.

A remarkable Expressionist feature in which a professor (Werner Krauss) is driven into a state of terror by strange intense nightmares accompanied by compulsive thoughts of murdering his wife. Based on an actual patient treated (and cured) by Sigmund Freud, and made with the collaboration of Freud’s colleagues Karl Abraham and Hanns Sachs, “Secrets of a Soul” is the first time in film that psychoanalysis was represented as a treatment for mental illness. The film is an exploration of the encounter between psychoanalysis and cinema, in which Freud’s theories are used to illustrate the professor’s dreams. Superimpositions, symbolic images of razors and knives and menacing shadows create a frightening world. In the film, the tortured professor’s chance meeting with a kindly psychoanalyst (Pawel Pawloff ) leads to a long period of therapy, through which he eventually gains insight into the unconscious thoughts and motives that were causing his neurosis. Eventually, he is cured, happily returning to the security of a loving marriage.

B&W, video, 97 mins. silent with English intertitles and a live musical score provided by the Eye of Newt Collective, a improvisational ensemble who have performed for live dance, film and a host of other cross-over collaboration with their trademark jazz experimentation-fused ambience.

The program will include:

A post-screening discussion with:

Dr. Endre Koritar, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst affiliated with the Canadian Psychoanalytic Society (CPS) and a Clinical Assistant Professor, Dept of Psychiatry, UBC. He has an active practice in the treatment of both “brain” and “mind” disorders. Dr. Koritar is interested in images and imagination and believes that cinema, the new art form of the 20th century, is particularly well suited to the study of the human condition.

Evening moderated by:
Dr. Harry Karlinsky
Director of Continuing Medical Education and Professional Development, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.

Frames of Mind Series programmed by Ms. Caroline Coutts

This evening is co-sponsored by UBC Dept of Psychiatry Annual Clinical Day