Séance 5 : Savoirs scientifiques et esthétique filmique

Ressources relatives à la séance du séminaire du 09/04/2021

Thème : Savoirs scientifiques et médicaux en dialogue avec l’esthétique filmique (Scientific and medical knowledge in relation to filmic aesthetics)

— Résumés/Abstracts :

John MACKAY (University of Yale)
Dziga Vertov at the Psychoneurological Institute and beyond

In my presentation I would like to discuss Dziga Vertov’s time at the Petrograd Psychoneurological Institute (1914-16), and the possible impact of his studies there on his filmmaking practice. While Vertov was studying at the Institute, scientific filmmaking (in which he might have been involved) was being conducted there, and the application of film to scientific study was discussed publicly by some of the Institute’s most famous professors, including its founder, Vladimir Bekhterev (1857-1927). Beyond this, two scientific notions of importance at the Institute during these years – a materialist monism that took energy to be the basic stuff of all physical and mental phenomena, and a preoccupation with the communicative and economic significance of the rhythms of bodily movements – may have had a lasting effect on Vertov’s thinking about a “revolutionary” cinema’s true vocation.


Anna TOROPOVA (University of Nottingham)
Technology of the Unconscious: Cinema and Hypnosis in Early Soviet Russia

The 1930s in Soviet Russia witnessed a number of experiments in film psychotherapy—the attempt to deploy the cinematic medium in the hypnotherapeutic treatment of addictions, neuroses and mental disorders. This paper explores how such experiments sought to turn cinema’s ‘hypnotic and suggestive power’, which was a source of considerable anxiety in interwar Europe, into a positive therapeutic force. Tracing the fate of the Soviet psychotherapeutic film from its roots in the health enlightenment campaigns of the 1920s, I bring to light the medical and political hopes pinned on the project as well as the reasons why film psychotherapy’s considerable potential remained largely unrealised.

Discussion : Irina Tcherneva (CNRS, Eur’ORBEM)

Dziga Vertov, STRIDE, SOVIET (1926)

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