Science in Context


Screening Wish Theories: Dream Psychologies and Early Cinema

Lydia Marinelli a1
a1 Sigmund Freud Foundation Vienna

Article author query
marinelli l   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 



The analogy between dream and film represents a central thread in the psychoanalytic discussion of cinema. Using examples taken from films created between 1900 and 1906, this paper develops a typology of dream scenes in early film. The basis for the proposed typology is provided by the dream knowledge in circulation toward the end of the nineteenth century. This knowledge was fed by a great variety of sources, some of them in the proximity of scientific research and some of them far from it, including wish-fulfilling prognostic models and those based on the reservoir of memory or on bodily stimuli. By setting cinema in a context of contemporary dream psychologies, it is possible to trace the specific conditions under which the analogy between dream and cinema could become effective.

(Published Online March 6 2006)