1st Edition

Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Virtual Intimacy and Communication in Film

Edited By Andrea Sabbadini, Ilany Kogan, Paola Golinelli Copyright 2019
    230 Pages
    by Routledge

    230 Pages
    by Routledge

    Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Virtual Intimacy and Communication in Film brings together a group of psychoanalysts to explore, through film, the new forms of communication, mainly the internet, that enter more and more frequently into the affective lives of people, their intimacy and even the analytic room. The contributors, all practising psychoanalysts, analyse the potential and surprising transformations that human relationships, including psychoanalysis, are undergoing.

    At present, it is difficult to value the future importance and predict the possible disquieting consequences of the use and abuse of the new technologies; we run the risk of finding ourselves unprepared to face this revolutionary transformation in human connections and affects. Will it be possible in a near future that human beings prefer to fall in love with a machine gifted with a persuasive voice instead of a psychoanalyst 'in person'? The contributors explore the idea that virtual intimacy could begin to replace real life, in sentimental and psychoanalytic relationships. Imagination and fantasy may be strengthened and may ultimately prevail over the body, excluding it entirely. Can the voice of the analyst, sometimes transmitted only by telephone or computer, produce a good enough analytic process as if it were in-person, or will it help to foster a process of idealisation and progressive alienation from real life and connections with other human beings?

    The film Her (2013), alongside others, offers a wonderful script for discussing this matter, because of the deep and thoughtful examination of love and relationships in the contemporary world that it provides. Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Virtual Intimacy and Communication in Film will be of great interest to all psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists interested in the ongoing impact of technology on human relationships.

    Series editor's foreword - Gabriela Legoreta

    Preface - Glen O. Gabbard

    Chapter 1 Intimacy in a virtual world - Andrea Sabbadini

    Chapter 2 Can your next analyst be a computer? Psychoanalysis in the digital era - Ilany Kogan

    Chapter 3 Love and analysis in a virtual world: the perverse side: a psychoanalytic perspective on Her by Spike Jonze - Paola Golinelli

    Chapter 4 Pornography as intimacy blocker - Robert Schonberger

    Chapter 5 Virtual objects, virtual grief: reflections on Black Mirror - Dana Amir

    Chapter 6 From illusion to creative act: a possible interpretation of Her - Donatella Lisciotto

    Chapter 7 The virtual dimension in love affairs and therapeutic relationships: love and death in Giuseppe Tornatore’s films - Nicolino Rossi

    Chapter 8 Customising the object: sine osychoanalytic reflections on Spike Jonze's Her - Alessandra Lemma

    Chapter 9 Her: The future of a desire - Simonetta Diena

    Chapter 10 Love your echo: virtual others and the modern Narcissus - Andreas Hamburger

    Chapter 11 I don' t know, what I feel. Is it love?’ - Jana Burgerova

    Chapter 12 Her: the object in the virtual world - Maria Z. Areu Crespo

    Chapter 13 The evaporated body: a dream, a limit, or a possibility? - Rossella Valdrè


    Andrea Sabbadini is a Fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society who works as a psychoanalyst in private practice in London. He is also a former Trustee of the Freud Museum, a Lecturer at UCL, a Consultant to the IPA Committee on Psychoanalysis and Culture, and the director of the European Psychoanalytic Film Festival. He has written many articles, is the editor of several books, and the author of Boundaries and Bridges: Perspectives on Time and Space in Psychoanalysis (Karnac, 2014) and Moving Images: Psychoanalytic Reflections on Film (Routledge, 2014).

    Ilany Kogan is a Training Analyst at the Israel Psychoanalytic Society. She works as a teacher and supervisor at the Generatia Center, Bucharest, Romania, and in Germany, including Munich and Aachen. For many years, she worked extensively with Holocaust survivors’ offspring, and has published papers and books on this topic. She was awarded the Elise M. Hayman Award for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide (2005). She received the Sigourney Award 2016.

    Paola Golinelli is a Training Analyst of the Italian Psychoanalytic Society. She works in private practice in Bologna. She was Consultant of the EPFF (European Psychoanalytic Film Festival) from 2000 to 2014, Chair of the Croatian Sponsoring Committee from 2003 to 2014 and is currently chair of the Liaison Committee of the Croatian Psychoanalytic Society. She was a Member of the IPA "Psychoanalysis and Culture Committee" from 2005 to 2009, now consultant of the same Committee.

    "This book is a timely, sophisticated exposition on the ways the digital world has changed interactions between individuals, and brought new challenges to the analytic relationship. In a non-polemical manner, it raises important questions that many of us have only been vaguely aware of. The editors have brought together an international group of scholars to elucidate the issues, using the movie Her and other films, as an entry into the deep pleasures and dangers of the seemingly ever present, empathic other."-Fred Busch, Ph.D., author of Creating a Psychoanalytic Mind

    "Andrea Sabbadini, Ilany Kogan and Paola Golinelli offer us this remarkable collection of essays on Virtual Intimacy, discussing, from a psychoanalytic perspective how movies like Her and others can help us to understand our "admirable new world". Instead of being involved in nostalgia for old times and values, or adopting a frenetic adherence to all that is new, the authors face the challenge of understanding how the inhabitants of today, all of us, can remain human even living in a new and ever changing virtual reality, one of the idioms of our time. This is a book that offer an attractive reading but can be also seen as a way of knowing better who and how we are today and will be tomorrow."-Claudio Laks Eizirik

    "The appearance of virtual reality is as revolutionary to understanding what it means to be a person at the start of the 21st century as was the uncovering of infantile sexuality at the start of the 20th. The outstanding contributors to this volume take the film Her and, like a case by Freud, explore what lies behind our shattered premises of just what is a person, what it is to connect with an other, indeed what even are the defining boundaries of humanity. This is a seminal work opening fresh analytic inquiry to our newly shaken everyday assumptions of philosophy."-Warren S. Poland, author of Intimacy and Separateness in Psychoanalysis