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March 25, 2011, 7:00 PM

Synecdoche, New York

Film Screening
Directed by Charlie Kaufman

"From Charlie Kaufman comes the visual and philosophic adventure, Synecdoche, New York. As he did with his groundbreaking scripts for Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Kaufman twists and subverts form and language as he delves into the mind of a man who, obsessed with his own mortality, sets out to construct a massive artistic enterprise that could give some meaning to his life. Theater director Caden Cotard (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is mounting a new play. His life catering to suburban blue-hairs at the local regional theater in Schenectady, New York is looking bleak. His wife Adele (Catherine Keener) has left him to pursue her painting in Berlin, taking their young daughter Olive with her. His therapist, Madeleine Gravis (Hope Davis), is better at plugging her best-seller than she is at counseling him. A new relationship with the alluringly candid Hazel (Samantha Morton) has prematurely run aground. And a mysterious condition is systematically shutting down each of his autonomic functions, one by one."
-Sony Pictures

This screening is part of a series on psychoanalysis and cinema produced in honor of the centenary anniversary of The New York Psychoanalytic Society & Institute. The Centenary Film Series is being produced in collaboration with The New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and the Friends of the Brill Library. A discussion with psychoanalyst Arthur Heiserman, Columbia professor Maura Spiegel and Philoctetes film coordinator Matthew von Unwerth will follow the screening.

Arthur Heiserman, PhD, is an adjunct assistant professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and a clinical supervisor at the National Institute for the Psychotherapies. He recently co-authored a paper on narrative and elicitation of viewer affect in film. He is in private practice in New York City.

Maura Spiegel teaches literature and film at Columbia University and Barnard College, and at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. She is also a member of the Core Faculty of the Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University. She co-authored The Grim Reader: Writings on Death, Dying and Living on, The Breast Book: An Intimate and Curious History, which was a Book-of-the-Month Club Quality Paperbacks selection; she has recently edited new editions of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle and Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan of the Apes for the Barnes & Noble Classics Series. She co-edited the journal Literature and Medicine for seven years, has written for The New York Times, and has published essays on many topics. She is currently writing a book about the films of Sidney Lumet.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.


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