Screen Time: Movies, Mind and the Experience of Time

(Or, how film makes the impossible real, and reality makes the unreal possible.)

This is an excerpt from one of the presentations featured in the Pari Center’s event Psyche and Time, in Pari from June 14 to 20, 2022.

with Christopher Hauke

Ever since Muybridge’s frame-by-frame breakdown of motion in humans and animals showing movement that time obscures from normal perception, the power of the moving image to represent and re-represent reality has been incorporated into what we know of ourselves and the world.

Movies and music are time-based art forms; but movies can appear to stop time and, when needed, speed it up, or slow it down. Film may even reverse time in a way that is not possible in the actual world, as with the film of an egg breaking.

For mathematical physicists Feynman and Wheeler at Princeton, reversibility became a central issue at the level of atomic processes. Unlike in the real world where time seems to run in one direction only, the equations describing the motions and collisions of objects ran equally well forward and backward—they seemed symmetrical with respect to time.

Using film clips and current research Christopher Hauke will discuss these anomalies and examples of time, narrative, and cinema films. This will lead us to consider experiences of time, with both the psychological implications and the philosophical challenges these present.Return to Full Psyche and Time Program

Christopher Hauke is a Jungian analyst in private practice and Senior Lecturer emeritus at Goldsmiths, University of London interested in the applications of depth psychology to a wide range of social and cultural phenomena including film. His books include Jung and the Postmodern: The Interpretation of Realities, (2000); Human Being Human. Culture and the Soul (2005) Visible Mind. Movies, Modernity and the Unconscious. (2013). He has co-edited two collections of Jungian film writing: Jung and Film. Post-Jungian Takes on the Moving Image (2001) and Jung and Film IIThe Return (2011).

His short films, documentaries One Colour Red and Green Ray, and the psychological drama Again premiered in London venues and at congresses in Barcelona, Zurich and Montreal.

In addition to new film projects he is now researching the limits of rationality, and the place of the irrational in our lives.