Film studies inspired by the theories of British psychoanalyst Donald W. Winnicott are scanty. Although this may be partly explained by Winnicott's own somewhat unenthusiastic attitude toward cinema, it should be fruitful to approach film, in both its form and content, by taking into consideration the relevance of some of his ideas. These include in particular the concepts of mirroring and transitional space, especially in relation to the idea of a bridge space connecting external reality to its filmed representation, as well as the latter to reality as perceived by the viewer's gaze. Winnicott's developmental model of mental processes could prove useful for an understanding of the structural and functional characteristics of cinema, as well as for providing original interpretations of individual films.
Mike Leigh and Andrea Sabbadini
Andrea Sabbadini, a London psychoanalyst who is head of the European Psychoanalytic Film Festival and also a member of our journal’s Editorial Board, interviewed the British film director Mike Leigh as part of the Connecting Conversations series* in London on 29 June 2008. We thought the conversation and the questions and answers that followed were especially effective in illuminating Mike Leigh’s unique improvisatory method of working with his actors—a method that has resulted in such dramatically immediate and psychologically convincing films as Secrets and Lies (1996) and Vera Drake (2004).—The Editors