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19 February 2017: Bion in Film Theory and Analysis Book Launch + Sea Cave Cinema


Bion in Film Theory and Analysis: The Retreat in Film
introduces the rich potential of the thinking of British psychoanalyst Wilfred Bion for film theory. It proposes to rethink the space of the cinema as a space of retreat, placing Bion’s insight into the importance of the epistemophilic instinct, or the wish to know, at the heart of a critique of the pleasure-centred theories of the cinema of Jean-Louis Baudry, Christian Metz and Gaylyn Studlar. The book also examines representations of retreat in four European films (directed by Ingmar Bergman, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Georges Perec & Bernard Queysanne, and Manoel de Oliveira), bringing out their articulation of the gesture of retreat as an emotionally turbulent stage in the development of the psyche – what Bion calls caesura. Through its investigation of retreat in the spectatorial experience of film and in representations in film, this book challenges common understandings of retreat as a regressive movement, by presenting it as a gesture and space that can also be future-oriented.

Garcia Ambrósio Garcia will introduce her film Sea Cave Cinema, and talk about how her film practice and film theory come together. The book will be sold at this event at a special discounted price.

Sea Cave Cinema
Carla Ambrósio Garcia
2017 | 16 min | Colour | 16mm
"Sea Cave Cinema is a form of thinking about the space of the cinema, the medium of film, and the practice of filmmaking. It was made near Sesimbra, in Portugal, in a sea cave where light is filtered through a hole in its ceiling, and then refracted and reflected by the moving surface of water. This light was focused through the lens of the camera, and then imprinted on a moving strip of film. The filtering or focusing of the light in this cave is connected with ideas on the importance of the moment of looking at an image – which in the process of working with analogue formats always occurs after the image was captured – and thus with an idea of cinema as retreat – a space and time that effects a diminution of extraneous light coming from the ‘outside world’." – Carla Ambrósio Garcia

Carla Ambrósio Garcia is a filmmaker and academic who completed her doctorate in Film Studies at King’s College London (funded by Fundação Ciência e Tecnologia in Portugal). Her articles on film and psychoanalysis have been published in academic journals and edited collections, and she currently teaches at King’s College and Royal Holloway, University of London.