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Freud/Lynch: Behind the Curtain

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The brilliant contributors include directors, cinephiles, philosophers, art and cultural historians, as well as psychoanalysts. The papers cover themes such as dream logic, language, fantasy, identity, art, architecture, hysteria, perversion, and what the term “Lynchian” means culturally and clinically. Each paper is so rich in their handling of the Freud/Lynch dichotomy that we’re delighted Phoenix published a legacy of this project. This talk argues that the series Twin Peaks: The Return creates the expectation of Dale Cooper’s return as a fantasy figure capable of healing the wound of subjectivity itself only to show how he actually plays a crucial role in its perpetuation. The weekend finished with a panel discussing and finding sense in The Return, which included Richard Martin, Todd McGowan, Allistair McTaggart and Tamara Dellutri who took questions from the audience. A transcript of this gripping panel discussion finishes the book. Freud and Lynch are predestined to meet. Only through Freud can we discern in Lynch's films an authentic effort of thought, not just a postmodern confusion. And only through Lynch's films can we see how relevant Freud's theory remains for grasping the crazy predicament we live in. Freud/Lynch is thus a collection of essays which was predestined to be written."

Freud/Lynch book launch: A Twin Peaks Day event SOLD OUT Freud/Lynch book launch: A Twin Peaks Day event

We hope you’ll enjoy delving in and getting lost in the Freudian and Lynchian dreamscapes, but do make sure to have a MacGuffin to hand to help you wake up again … The book was derived from a conference of the same name held in May 2018 for the Freud Museum London. It was an exciting event held at the Rio Cinema, an independent movie theatre in Dalston, East London. In the cinema’s main auditorium hangs grand red velvet curtains on the stage where the speakers presented their papers. The curtains were the perfect motif that connected our two subjects: David Lynch uses red – and blue – velvet curtains that line otherworldly settings in Blue Velvet (1986), Twin Peaks (1990–1991), and Mulholland Drive (2001). Similarly, Sigmund Freud also has red velvet curtains which adorn his famous psychoanalytic study in his home, now the Freud Museum. This motif functions as a separation between reality and fantasy spaces, or spaces to explore the unconscious, which begs the question: what lies ‘behind the curtain’? Drawn from a major Freud Museum London conference, Freud/Lynch goes against the dubious cliché of finding Freudian solutions to Lynchian mysteries. Rather than presuming to fill in what Lynch leaves open by positing some forbidden psychosexual reality lurking behind his trademark red curtains, this book instead maintains a fidelity to the mysteries of his wonderful and strange filmic worlds, finding in them productive spaces where thought and imagination can be set to work.Lynch’s unwillingness – or inability – to openly discuss the meaning of his work has enticed and frustrated audiences and critical establishments alike since the emergence of ‘Eraserhead’ in 1977. Who or what exactly has Laura Palmer now become in ‘Twin Peaks’? Why won’t he tells us what’s really going on in ‘Lost Highway’? Why won’t he confirm or deny our own complex theories on the workings of ‘Mulholland Drive’? Why does he invite us into his own dreamscapes and then leave us to figure our own way out, with just a liberal scattering of clues to help? Does he even have the answers himself, or is he too just enjoying the mysteries contained in the dream? This session is about the gulf that exists between Lynch’s work and Lynch’s mouth – the sinkhole that can open up between intention and effect. This is about the man who brings new power to the phrase ‘tight-lipped’. Freud/Lynch: Behind the Curtain takes as its point of departure that Lynch’s work is not so much unintelligible as ‘ uncanny,’ revealing what Todd McGowan has termed “the bizarre nature of normality” – and the everydayness of what we take to be strange. Tracing Freud on the Acropolis opens on July 26, 2023, and will bring together archives, images and objects exploring Freud’s journey to Greece, and his encounter with the Acropolis.

Freud/Lynch: Behind the Curtain by Jamie Ruers - Karnac Books Freud/Lynch: Behind the Curtain by Jamie Ruers - Karnac Books

Todd McGowan teaches theory and film at the University of Vermont. He is the author of The Impossible David Lynch, Only a Joke Can Save Us: A Theory of Comedy, Capitalism and Desire: The Psychic Cost of Free Markets, and other works.David Lynch is known for creating luxurious cinematic dreamscapes – infuriatingly beautiful mind puzzles in his signature surrealistic style. Three films in particular ( Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive and Inland Empire) form his unofficial ‘blurred identity trilogy’, featuring characters who embark on bizarre inward journeys in search of lost selves. The central premise of this talk is that in each instalment of the trilogy, a psychogenic fugue follows the unconscious trauma of unrequited love. Psychoanalytic theory will be shown to illuminate Lynch’s iconic dream-logic, which is disturbing and beguiling in equal measure. Speakers’ Biographies Costume plays an important but under-recognised part in Lynch’s aesthetic. This talk will explore the distinctive contribution costume makes to Lynch’s oeuvre with a particular focus on Twin Peaks, showing how for Lynch, costume is more than just character and relates to his ongoing fascination with the curtain or veil. It will also playfully examine the influence Lynch’s work has had on fashion. 6. Jaice Sara Titus Lynch, who once told an interviewer “I love dream logic,” would surely agree with Sigmund Freud’s famous claim that “before the problem of the creative artist, psychoanalysis must lay down its arms.” But what else do the two agree on?

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