A psychoanalytic lens on film: Narcissism and perversion in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread (2017)

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Organised by:

British Psychotherapy Foundation

22 October 2022

Time: 12:00 - 13:30

Price: bpf Wessex Public Event, all invited - £ 26.00. On the day tickets (if available) - £ 30.00


Pavilion Room, St Antony's College
62 Woodstock Road

United Kingdom

Map of address


In his talk Andrea Sabbadini will briefly introduce some aspects of the history of the relationship that psychoanalysis entertains with cinema. In the process, he will suggest which film categories best lend themselves to analytic interpretations, and also how cinema’s narratives and characters can enrich our understanding of our patients’ (and our own) internal worlds.

As illustration, he will discuss Paul Thomas Anderson’s film Phantom Thread (2017). He will comment on the narcissistic personality and often abusive object relationships of Reynolds (the head of a successful fashion establishment in 1950s London), with a focus on the sado-masochistic aspects of the ‘love story’ developing between him and Alma.

Chair: Toni Harvey

Registration, tea and coffee start from 11.30 am.

About the speaker

Andrea SABBADINI is a Chartered Psychologist and a Fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society, working in private practice in London. He is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at University College London (UCL), a Consultant to the IPA in Culture committee, and the founder and former Director of the European Psychoanalytic Film Festival (epff). He was the founder Editor of the journal Psychoanalysis and History and was for several years the Book Review Editor, and then the Film Review Editor, of The International Journal of Psychoanalysis.

His books include Boundaries and Bridges: Perspectives on Time and Space in Psychoanalysis (Karnac 2014) and Moving Images: Psychoanalytic Reflections on Film (Routledge 2014). His edited books include Il tempo in psicoanalisi [Time in psychoanalysis] (Feltrinelli 1979), Even Paranoids Have Enemies (1998), The Couch and the Silver Screen (2003), Projected Shadows (2007) and Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Virtual Intimacy and Communication in Film (2019), all published by Routledge.

This event qualifies for 1.5 hours cpd.

How to get there
By train: 22 -30 minutes’ walk or bus from Oxford Station.

By car: the nearest Park and Ride to St Antony’s is Peartree OX2 8JD, from where you can take the 300 bus to just outside the College entrance.

Accessibility: The venue has full wheelchair accessibility

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