Conference: Eternal Recurrence and the Unconscious: The Question of Fate in Psychoanalysis
Cinematic repetition in The Duke of Burgundy and Paterson
Mary Wild’s contribution to the Symposium will be to locate and analyse repetition compulsion, uncanny excess of life, and the Nietzschean eternal return in two recent cinema releases: Peter Strickland's The Duke of Burgundy (2014), about a woman who tests the limits of her relationship with her lesbian lover, and Jim Jarmusch's Paterson (2016), a quiet observation of the triumphs and defeats of daily life along with the poetry evident in its smallest details. The Freudian death drive will be shown to have very little to do with the desire for self-destruction, or for the return to an inorganic state; it is rather, as Slavoj Zizek says in The Parallax View, “the very opposite of dying – a name for the ‘undead’ eternal life itself, for the horrible fate of being caught in the endless repetitive cycle of wandering around in guilt and pain.”
Mary Wild is the creator of the popular PROJECTIONS lecture series (psychoanalysis for film interpretation), which has been running regularly at Freud Museum London since 2012. She teaches in the Humanities department at City Lit and is featured in the Shoreditch House cinema events programme. She has produced similar events at ICA, BFI, NYU and Central Saint Martins. Her interests include cinematic representations of identity, the unconscious, hysteria, neoliberal economics, mental illness and love.
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