Jung and Film 2019
John Gosling, Renee Ramsden, Grace Reid
C G Jung Centre, 87 Main Road, Rosebank, Cape Town 7700
Friday evenings at
18h00 for 18h30
Cinema is thus…an important agent for the stimulation of inward growth and the process of individuation. It has the capacity to provide viewers with a transformative intellectual and psychic experience in which self-discovery can occur. (Izod & Dovalis, p.2)
With the presentation of our film evenings, we endeavor to create a container or temenos in which shared images in the films can be digested. The large screen serves as a psychological mirror for the images and sounds in which we as a group simultaneously partake. In the process self-reflection may occur as our psyches interact with aspects of our own personal psyches mirrored to us on the screen. This experience that includes the opportunity for group discussion after the film, can facilitate growth and a better integration of the personality.
The theme for 2019 centers around an exploration of unexpected ways in which transformation can occur that leads to an expansion of the personality. It also explores the complexity of relationships and what it means to love another.
Izod, J., & Dovalis, J. (2015) Cinema as therapy. Grief and transformational film. London and New York, Routledge.
These evenings are open to all who are interested. A panel discussion based on each film/documentary will be offered to participants by the above 3 analysts.
Dates and topics
15 February: Maleficent (2014)
Run time: 97 minutes
The film's story is an example of what The Guardian's film critic Peter Bradshaw calls "that emerging post-'Wicked' genre, the revisionist-backstory fairytale," but it's affecting. It has a primordial edge that the clumsy filmmaking can't blunt. There are moments in "Maleficent" that are profoundly disturbing, in the way that ancient myths and Grimm fairy tales are disturbing. They strike to the heart of human experience and create the kinds of memories that young children—young girls particularly—will obsess over, because on some level they'll know, even without the benefit of adult experience, that the film is telling them a horrible sort of truth.
But it's also a film of resonant gestures and dream logic, in which ancient and contemporary predicaments jostle against each other: romantic betrayal or sexual assault, and their psychological aftermath; the fundamental differences between male and female minds; the way that patriarchal culture fuses women's sense of self-worth to their bodies; even the tangled maternal impulses that independent single women who never wanted kids might experience when they have to care for a child. The movie is a mess, but it's a rich mess. It has weight. It matters. (Matt Zolle Seitz)
5 April: Jane Eyre (2011)
Run Time: Two Hours
In the words of the film critic Roger Ebert, this latest version of Charlotte Bronte's classic gothic novel effectively captures the atmosphere of the genre, with "ungovernable eroticism squirming to escape" amid "gloomy shadows of crepuscular castles." Bronte's novel was first published in 1847. Its enduring popularity is explained by the romance, fine characterisations, and evocative atmosphere she created in her story. However, for those of a Jungian bent, the continued appeal of the story is also explained by the presence of archetypal themes and by the depiction of what happens when the tension of opposing energies is held to breaking--or exploding--point.
The film is directed by Cary Fukunaga, who creates the gothic atmosphere with "voluptuous visuals and ambitious art direction" (Ebert). It stars Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, and Judi Dench. "Jane Eyre" is a feast for the senses and for the mind, transporting the viewer into a nether world of mystery and suspense. It also provides a vivid example of how the psyche attempts to deal with shadow elements on all levels: personal, cultural and archetypal.
7 June: The Wife (2017)
Run time: 1 hour 40 minutes
As the apparently-perfect wife of a Nobel prize-winning writer (Jonathan Price), Glenn Close gives arguably her best ever performance in an adaptation of Meg Wolitzer’s novel. It is a fascinating and bravura performance, in this hugely enjoyable dark comedy from director Björn Runge.
Joan and Joe (Glenn Close and Jonathan Price) remain complements after nearly 40 years of marriage. Where Joe is casual, Joan is elegant. Where Joe is vain and profoundly narcissistic, Joan is self-effacing and graceful. And where Joe enjoys his very public role as the great American novelist, Joan pours her considerable intellect, poise, charm and diplomacy into the private role of “a great man's wife”.
As Joe is about to be awarded the Nobel Prize in literature for his acclaimed and prolific body of work, Joan starts to reflect on the shared compromises, secrets, and enormous betrayals. She gradually undergoes a process of self-reflection and individuation. Her devotion and tolerance of Joe, including his many infidelities, begins to erode as she confronts many difficult questions she has avoided for many years. The film raises challenging questions about the complexity of relationships – loyalty, love, devotion – at what price?
16 August: Damage (1992)
Run time: 1 hour 51 minutes
Dr. Stephen Fleming, a doctor turned politician living a charmed life as MP and government minister, locks eyes with an unusual young woman at a reception. She is Anna Barton, and she returns his gaze with such intensity and duration that we, as witnesses to the scene, hold our breath and become distinctly uneasy. We are correct in our sense of foreboding. As one reviewer put it, "they are careening toward disaster and we can't look away."
Anna is Stephen's son's fiancee, yet they begin and continue a liaison that might be seen as romantic but feels more like obsession. As an audience interested in Jung's ideas, we might ask: Has Stephen lived within his thinking function to the detriment of his feeling function, and when overwhelmed by passion he abandons his values? Has Stephen's shadow been so repressed that it finally bursts out with a vengeance? Are Anna and Stephen possessed by eerily matched, affect-laden complexes? Anna describes herself as "damaged;" in the novel by Josephine Hart (screenplay is by David Hare), the moment of locked eyes is described as the first "real" moment of Stephen's life. Stephen and Anna behave as if they are under a spell-- a feeling familiar to us all, to one degree or another, when a complex takes over our ego functioning.
Directed by Louis Malle and starring Jeremy Irons, Juliette Binoche, Miranda Richardson and Rupert Graves, "Damage" is a compelling story and a cautionary tale for all who allow an extreme lack of balance to characterise their personalities.
4 October: The Children Act (2018) (Ethics points applied for)
Running Time: 1 hour 46 minutes
Besides a spectacular performance by Emma Thompson who delivers what has to be one of the most nuanced and moving performances of her entire career, there are themes of relationships, ethics, morality, and the law. Written by Ian McEwan, it is based on his 2014 novel of the same name.
Fiona (Emma Thompson), a judge in the High Court of Justice, has to rule on a case of a Jehovah Witness 17-year-old, Adam (newcomer Fionn Whitehead), dying of leukaemia who needs a blood transfusion that is against he and his parents’ religious beliefs. Such cases thrust her into battles over religion as well as family, but the British Children Act of 1989, that gives the film its title, authorizes the court to act as the agent and protector of the child in such thorny cases.
Fiona visits the boy in hospital and a profound connection and communication at the psychoid level occurs between them. Her own relationship with her husband, Jack (Stanley Tucci), a university professor, is failing due to neglect of Jack and her zealousness related to her legal work and obligations.
She is very shut down emotionally with little access to and a limited ability to express her affects in a mature way. Her relationship with Adam becomes a transformative experience that eventually helps to melt her frozen heart. This allows her to be vulnerable and to dare to love.
22 November: Spirited Away (2001)
Runtime:2hrs 5 min
Hayao Miyazaki’s film, ‘Spirited Away’, enjoys a cult classic status all over the world and is perhaps the most well-known of the popular Studio Ghibli brand. However, there is much more to the film than meets the eye. ‘Spirited Away’ is the story of Chihiro, a young Japanese Girl who gets lost while exploring an old bath house with her parents, only to become trapped in a spirit world in which her name is taken from her. She embarks on a journey with the help of her newfound friend, Huku, to retrieve her name and return to her parents. During this time, she undergoes a ‘coming of age’ caused by the challenges that face her. In the conclusion of the film, Chihiro is reunited with her parents and is seen as having matured in love, kindness and sincerity.
“Spirited Away” draws heavily from Shinto traditions. Shinto is a religion that believes in the interconnected and creative life force of humans, animals and nature. This “generative, immanent force” (kami) exists within everything. In order to experience the presence of any one of these aspects of nature, an individual is required to have a pure and cheerful heart/mind (kokoro). To return to kokoro, a person must undergo an action of spiritual cleansing, with the intended result to once again act in sincerity towards others. (James W. Boyd, Tetsuya Nishimura (2004) ‘Shinto Perspectives in Miyaki’s Anime Film “Spirited Away” 8(2) Journal of Religion and Film.)
About the presenters
RENEE RAMSDEN: is a clinical psychologist and a Jungian analyst working in private practice in Wynberg, Cape Town, for 29 years. She is a founder member of the Southern African Association for Jungian Analysts (SAAJA) and a training analyst. She specializes in dream-analysis and has been studying alchemy and psychology as presented by C.G. Jung for 25 years. She has a longstanding interest in ancient goddess cultures and their relevance for the feminine in our current world.
JOHN GOSLING: is a psychiatrist and Jungian analyst. He trained at the C.G. Jung Institute of New York and returned to Cape Town in 2004. He is a past- president of SAAJA and is also a training analyst. He has a special interest in dreams, complexes, archetypes and how psychoneurobiology informs our work and approach to psyche. He is also interested in exploring how the principles of analytical psychology can be applied in helping children in traumatised communities and how these principles can be applied to help us better understand politics, films, literature, and the opera.
GRACE REID: is a psychologist and Jungian analyst who practices psychotherapy, psychoanalysis and supervision in Kenilworth. Her training and education took place mostly in the United States, where she was in private practice for five years before moving to Cape Town in 1990. She is currently the secretary of SAAJA’s Exco and is also a training analyst.
CPD points applied for: 1 point per evening
For 5 evenings: 5 points
Ethics points applied for: 2 points
Total CPD points applied for: 7 points
Fee: R200.00 per film evening
Light supper, drinks, coffee/tea, and sweets included
Numbers are limited to 25.
Bookings and payments need to be made 3 days before each event for catering purposes. Your proof of payment is your entrance ticket. No Refunds.
SAAJA banking details
STANDARD BANK RONDEBOSCH
ACCOUNT NAME: SAAJA
ACCOUNT NO.: 072975059
BANK CODE: 025009
Please note: PARKING
Please park at the Baxter Theatre or along Woolsack Drive. The parking at C G Jung Centre is reserved for presenters and caterers who have equipment and goods to unload/load.
Entrance to the Centre is via the gate on Main Road or via the gate on Linray Road
Thank you for your cooperation and we look forward to welcoming you at these film evenings.