Film Studies Workshop: The Double in Cinema

deadline for submissions: 
February 8, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research
contact email: 

How do we specify the parameters of our identity? How do we differentiate ourselves from others? Is it functional to emotionally invest in social masks, compartmentalising various dimensions of ourselves? Is the ‘double’ a useful symbol for communicating division in the self and emotional conflict?

Identity formation is a psychological process by which a person assimilates an aspect of someone else and is transformed, wholly or partially, by the model that the other provides. It is by means of a series of identifications that the conscious personality is formed. Whilst a simple concept on the surface, identity is one of the most perplexing areas of clinical and theoretical research in psychoanalysis.

The cinematic field engages with the notion of the identity in ways that are instinctual, playful, and meaningful. In this session we will explore doppelgängers as a cinematic representation of identity, with reference to psychoanalytic concepts including Sigmund Freud's 'Uncanny', Jacques Lacan’s ‘Mirror Stage’, Carl Jung's ‘Persona’ and Otto Rank's 'Double'.

The following films will be discussed (advanced viewing is optional; brief bespoke video montages will be screened): 

  • The Double Life of Veronique (1991) Krzysztof Kieslowski 
  • Triangle (2009) Christopher Smith
  • American Psycho (2000) Mary Harron
  • Black Swan (2010) Darren Aronofsky
  • Confessions of a Superhero (2007) Matthew Ogens
  • Zelig (1983) Woody Allen
  • Blade Runner 2049 (2017) Denis Villeneuve
  • S1m0ne (2002) Andrew Niccol

The workshop will start at 9am and finish at 1pm. In order to book a place, please register on

Registration fee is 65 GBP. Organisers can be contacted on

Venue: Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7HX