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Film and Time

How Movies Make the Impossible Real, or, How Reality Makes the Unreal Possible

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 run equally well forward and backward – they seem 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.


Christopher Hauke

Christopher Hauke is a Jungian analyst in private practice, and a Senior Lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London interested in the applications of depth psychology to a wide range of social and cultural phenomena. 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 film writing: Jung and Film. Post-Jungian Takes on the Moving Image (2001) and Jung and Film II The Return.

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.

He is now researching and writing a new book on the limits of rationality, and the place of the irrational in our lives.