The Society for Analytical Psychology Announces a New Film Series: “DOOMED!” What Films Tell Us About Existential Fear
Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 Film “Dr Strangelove or how I learned to stop worrying and love the Bomb”
Predictions of the end of the world have been with us since time immemorial. For the first time in history, however, global extinction is staring us in the face. Plagues, climate emergency and nuclear threats challenge our survival on a daily basis. But ultimately our species and our planet, like each of us as individuals, is doomed to die – no matter how distant it may appear to be.
Through a series of films, two Jungian analysts Rupert Tower and Coline Covington, will explore how our existential fears affect our judgment, our sense of identity, and our group behavior – sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse.
The series starts with the threat of nuclear war, satirized in the 1964 film “Dr. Strangelove or how I learned to stop worrying and love the Bomb”, and uncannily prescient today as a dark cloud overshadowing Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Released two years after the Cuban Missile Crisis, Stanley Kubrick’s dark comedy, a transformation of Peter George’s book “Red Alert”, expresses the mentality of war, and the tension of opposites between the absurd and the frighteningly real and makes the unthinkable thinkable. A satire about literal and figurative impotence, the Cold War is depicted with its phallic imagery as one big dick-measuring contest. Arguably featuring Peter Seller’s finest hour on screen with a bravura multi-personality performance, and George C. Scott as a firebrand general portraying the awkwardness and folly of the military, the film’s humour devastatingly reveals its serious message. Everyone, one realises by the end, is mad.
These aspects and more will be discussed by Rupert Tower and Dr Coline Covington in dialogue followed by a Q&A. Participants are requested to watch the film prior to the event.
In 2023 these themes will continue to be examined in our proposed second film, Christopher Nolan’s biographical film “Oppenheimer” (to be released in July 2023). More will follow.