The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema
Wednesday 8 August from 5-6.30pm in ib3.307 on the Waurn Ponds campus
This Wednesday (8 Aug) will be the second of three weeks that the Deakin Philosophical Society spends watching and discussing Sophie Fiennes’ and Slavoj Žižek’s The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema.
Last week we gleaned three distinct contentions from Part One of the film. Firstly, that some films artistically represent Freud's structural model of the human psyche. (We also wondered what this proved other than that the directors may have read Freud.) Secondly, that films, as fiction, have the ability to satisfy those parts of our psyches that go unsatisfied in our everyday, conscious lives. And, thirdly, that the popularity of film, and particularly certain fantasy-satisfying genres of film, indicate that the artistic form may indeed provide a means by which to satisfy repressed aspects of our psyches and, in turn, provide some support for Freud's theories. (Popperians, speak now or forever hold your peace.)
To prime those of you who are unfamiliar with Freud's model of the human psyche for this week's discussion, here are brief definitions of ‘id’, ‘ego’ and ‘superego’ taken from Jonathan Lear's (2005) Freud:
- The term comes from the German Es (it), not Latin; and it is used by Freud in his structural theory to designate that part of the psyche which contains repressed wishful and aggressive impulses. The ego and superego will typically inhibit id impulses. Freud takes the id to be an important source of psychic energy. Thus a person’s vitality will depend on how well or badly they can incorporate id-impulses into daily life.
- The term comes from the German Ich (I), not Latin, and is used by Freud both to mean the self — I as an agent in the world — and a particular agency within the psyche. The ego’s task is to mediate between the wishful demands of the id and the inhibiting criticisms of the superego. It is also to mediate between the conflicting internal demands of the self and the demands of the external social world. It is thus responsible for the public presentation of self.
- In Freud’s structural theory of the psyche, the superego functions as a voice of conscience, an image of ideals, and as a punishing judge and censor. It typically represses the wishes of the id and inhibits the desires of the ego. The superego is formed in childhood in response to the childhood fears of their own aggression, and thus, in the first instance, it is an infantile solution to an infant’s problem.
Again, the screening of Part Two commences at 5pm on Wednesday in ib3.307. Corrinna Waycott will introduce the week’s fare. And a preview of The Pervert’s Guide is available on YouTube.
I hope to see you there.
Treasurer, Deakin Philosophical Society
The Deakin Philosophical Society is funded by Deakin University Student Association (DUSA).