25th International Bremen Film Conference, May 6 – 9, 2020
Mind/Screens: Mental Illness and Film
We are terribly sorry to announce that the 25th International Bremen Film Conference must be cancelled due to the current unpredictable covid-19 lockdown. We will keep you informed about future possibilities of postponement of the conference.
On its 25th anniversary, the Symposium commits itself to one of the cinema’s longstanding companions: mental illness has accompanied the medium ever since, supplied it with motifs, helped shaping it, and contributed to the further development of its means of expressions and theories.
Determined by the clinical disciplines by means of delimitation, pathologization and external description, mental illness can be re-thought through film’s aesthetic perspectives, made tangible and considered within a variety of contexts.
Mental illness defies representation and is thus posing a fundamental challenge for films. In contrast to organic diseases, the importance of mental illness lies in the inversion of the typically inherent finity topos, given its often seemingly continuous ceaselessness. Instead of symptomatic descriptions, filmic portrayals of mental illness therefore deal with key experiences of the crisis which also reflect upon social problems.
As a result, there is a different, yet-to-fathom relation to time, space and also to the body—in the own experience as on screen. Thus, it is not only the head that can be considered the central place where mental illness occurs and develops its effectiveness, but also the cinema.
With international experts and filmmakers, the Symposium aims to explore how clinical and social discourses of mental illness are negotiated in film and how cinema can articulate the aesthetics of mental illness. Here the focus is on the means of cinema to generate its own, media-specific order of illness portrayals, further on the relationship between the sick and the therapists as a central medical setting, as well as on the multi-dimensionality of illness representations.
The Symposium addresses a film-interested general audience and professional guests, closely interlinking public talks, film screenings and q&a discussions. It is a long-term cooperation between the CITY 46 / Kommunalkino Bremen e.V., the AG Film Studies / FB 9 Cultural Studies and the AG Latin American History / FB 8 Social Sciences, two ZeMKI institutions, and is funded by nordmedia – Film- und Mediengesellschaft Niedersachsen/ Bremen mbH and the German Research Foundation DFG.