Psychological Cinema

From Cuckoo's Nest to Babadook, uncover the complex dance between the art of film and the field of psychology.

October 17 - 31, 2018

How many fascinating and frightening films have taken us inside the struggle of characters confronting psychological challenges?  Actors relish roles that allow them to explore how beautiful and fragile our minds can be. The art of cinema and the field of psychology have arisen alongside each other in a complex dance.  Filmmaker and educator Craig Detweiler leads this exploration of the psyche on celluloid with weekly special guests.


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Psychological Cinema
Three Wednesdays: October 17 - 31
SIFF Film Center
$45 | $40 Members

Movies can simplify or dignify those wrestling with fear, grief, anxiety, and depression. This series will explore psychological cinema, from how we've treated mental illness (in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Lars and the Real Girl) to how obsessions can take a dangerous turn (in Vertigo and Safe).  We will conclude on Halloween Night with two imaginative cult classics that explore the monsters that bedevil us, Donnie Darko and The Babadook. Special guests will include local therapists and psychology professors who employ artful cinema within their practices.

Class Syllabus:
October 17: 
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Milos Forman, 1975) and Lars and the Real Girl (Craig Gillespie, 2007)
Special Guest: Stephanie Neill, PsyD

October 24:
Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958) and Safe (Todd Haynes, 1995)
Special Guest: J.L. Spohr, local novelist

October 31:
Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly, 2001) and The Babadook (Jennifer Kent, 2014)
Special Guest: Roy Barsness, PhD

Class Workload:
A familiarity, and preferably recent viewing, with these films will provide the best outcomes for students in this course. There are no required readings but suggested readings may be emailed in advance of specific classes.

About the Instructor:
Filmmaker, author, and educator Craig Detweiler is president of The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology in Belltown.  He has written comedies for the Disney Channel and directed documentaries featured on ABC.  Angela Bassett narrated his 2017 doc, Remand. Variety honored Craig as their 2016 "Mentor of the Year." Detweiler's cultural commentary has been featured on CNN, NPR, and in The Wall Street Journal.  His books include iGods: How Technology Shapes our Spiritual and Social Lives and Into the Dark: Seeing the Sacred in the Top-Ranked films of the 21st Century