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COURSE THIRTEEN – What did we miss in Cinema while we were fighting COVID? A Return to “Togetherness” in Cinema

COURSE THIRTEEN - A Return to Togetherness in Cinema

Course Coordinator: Julio Szmuilowicz, MD, FRCPC, DABPN

Fridays, 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm: October 27, November 24, 2023; January 26, February 23, March 22, April 26, May 31, 2024. (7 sessions)

Fee: $420

Deadline for registration is October 17, 2023.
Preregistration is required.

Registration is limited to 50 participants.
Classes will be held at the Toronto Psychoanalytic Society – 40 St. Clair Avenue East, Suite 203 – Toronto, ON M4T 1M9

As we prepare the first Cinema and Psychoanalysis course for 2023-2024, the first since 2020, I ponder what we missed while we were frightened by the prospect of illness and infection, the close presence of the “other”, wishing for the comfort of old familiar closeness to one another.

The TPS has not had an in-person extension programme since the Society shuttered its doors as the Pandemic was declared. This includes even this (2023) year.  The first time we will welcome students in the flesh will be for this, the 2023 – 2024 Cinema and Psychoanalysis Course.

Variety published a small piece in 2021 entitled “How Movie Theaters Fought to Survive (Another) Year of Turbulence and Change” in which Jane Campion reminisces about how it was when we sat at theatres to watch films: “When I look back on my life or I look at life, I remember moments, peaks of waves, that have cemented themselves in my brain,” she said. “And some of those are in cinemas. And when I remember these moments that were, for me, extremely powerful, I remember where I was sitting in the cinema. I remember even what I had on. And it’s all a part of how the memory works to encase that moment for me. And I’m afraid that if we watch everything at home on our TVs, they don’t have any particularity. They just melt into each other.” This is something she offered apropos her movie “The power of the dog” which was only made possible because Netflix agreed to finance the risky project to be shown exclusively on our devices, computers or even our mobile phones.

It was the time when COVID first felled hundreds of thousands of people across the globe and movie theaters had no choice but to dim marquees, shut their doors and layoff and furlough thousands of employees. The article goes on to say: “…Spielberg’s West Side Story,” was a massive write-off, grossing an anemic $37 million globally on a $100 million budget”.

John Fithian, chairman of the National Association of Theatre Owners, goes on, to say: “We were able to survive because {people} love the communal experience of the movies…”  So it is that we can meet again to SIT together while we watch films, hear each other’s reactions, and even laugh (or sob) out loud.

To study the effects of the “loss of particularity” in the Films we watched and welcome the delicious sense of freedom from fear of sitting close to others while enjoying a film, we will study 7 films chosen as favourites by the Faculty. Most of the films were streamed in private settings and small screens. The films will be screened on a Friday, commencing promptly at 7:30 pm at the Toronto Psychoanalytic Society, 40 St. Clair East, Suite 203. After a short break, the Film’s Discussant will present a formal paper that will lead the group into a general Discussion.


October 27, 2023 – Film Discussant: Rex Collins

The Quiet Girl (2022), Colm Bairead (Director) 95’

November 24, 2023 – Film Discussant: Arthur Caspary

The Power of the Dog (2021), Jane Campion (Director) 126’

January 26, 2024 – Film Discussant: Betty Kershner

Broker (2022), Hirokazu Koreeda (Director) 129’

February 23, 2024 – Film Discussant: Barrie Wilson

Tar (2022), Todd Field (Director) 158’

March 22, 2024 – Film Discussant: Peter Herschman

Better Days (2019), Derek Tsang (Director) 135′

April 26, 2024 – Film Discussant: Ken Dancyger

Portrait of a lady on Fire (2019), Celine Sciamma (Director) 122’

May 31, 2024 – Film Discussant: Robert Winer

The Third Man (1949), Carol Reed (Director) 93’
Register Now
Arthur Caspary, PhD, CPsych*

Arthur Caspary, PhD, CPsych, Psychoanalyst in Private Practice. Head, Psychology Department and Director of Internal Academic Training, Hincks Delcrest Centre. Faculty Toronto Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis

Rex Collins, PhD, CPsych

Rex Collins, PhD, CPsych, TPS Guest, Private Practice Child and Adolescent Therapy, Graduate of the Toronto Child Psychotherapy Programme

Kenneth Dancyger, PhD*

Kenneth Dancyger, PhD, Professor of Film and Television, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, New York, NY.

Peter Herschman, MD

Peter Herschman, MD, Psychoanalyst in Private Practice, Member and Faculty Toronto Psychoanalytic Society and Institute.

Betty Kershner, PhD*

Betty Kershner, PhD, Registered Psychologist in private practice, Assessment and treatment of children, adults, and families. For the courts, for schools, for insurance, and for personal growth and satisfaction. Member New Directions Programme, Washington Psychoanalytic Institute.

Julio Szmuilowicz, MD, FRCPC, DABPN

Julio Szmuilowicz, MD, FRCPC, DABPN, Psychoanalyst in Private Practice, Member and Faculty Toronto Psychoanalytic Society and Institute

Robert Winer, MD*

Robert Winer, MD, Teaching Analyst and Chair of the Faculty Committee, Washington Psychoanalytic Institute; Chair of New Directions and of the Modern Perspectives on Psychotherapy Programme, Washington Psychoanalytic Society; Psychoanalyst in Private practice, Bethesda, MD.

Barrie Wilson, PhD*

Barrie Wilson, PhD, Professor Emeritus & Senior Scholar, Humanities/Religious Studies, York University

*By invitation

This event is eligible for Section 1 CME credits (0.5 credits/hour). This event is an accredited group learning activity (section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certificate Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, approved by the Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA). The specific opinions and content of this event are not necessarily those of the CPA, and are the responsibility of the organizer(s) alone. As per the Royal College standard, each presentation provides a minimum of 25% interactive learning.

Full-time students in universities and colleges, and mental-health trainees are eligible for a 25% reduction in course fees. Proof of 2023/2024 status needs to be provided. Please contact the tps&i directly to register at a discount.

Refunds must be requested in writing two weeks prior to the beginning of a course. A handling fee of $30 will be retained. After these two weeks, fees cannot be returned.

For more information about and for registration in the tps&i Extension Programs, Scientific Meetings, Training Programs, Study and Supervision groups and Special Presentations, please visit our website: or email

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