Structures of Depressive Experience in Lars von Trier’s Antichrist and Melancholia (Philosophy Seminar, 1 March 2012)

Structures of Depressive Experience in Lars von Trier’s Antichrist and Melancholia
Angela Woods
Philosophy Department Seminar – Thursday 1 March
Room 005, 48/49 Old Elvet, Durham.
Refreshments will be served from 11am with the talk commencing  at 11.30am.

Lars von Trier is variously regarded as one of Europe’s most provocative and most brilliant filmmakers. This paper offers a close comparative reading of his two most recent films, Antichrist (2009) and Melancholia (2011). Although von Trier has been open in discussing the films’ relationship to his own experiences of severe depression, I do not propose to read either text as psychobiography or catharsis, or to assess their fidelity to standard clinical accounts of psychic suffering. Instead, drawing on the work of contemporary phenomenological and psychoanalytic philosophers, I will discuss the exploration of grief, self-loathing, anxiety, erotic agitation, loss, extreme lethargy, despair and cruelty in Antichrist and Melancholia, arguing that that these films together constitute a highly sophisticated study in the lived experience of depression.

About Angela Woods

Centre for Medical Humanities, Durham University
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5 Responses to Structures of Depressive Experience in Lars von Trier’s Antichrist and Melancholia (Philosophy Seminar, 1 March 2012)

  1. Hello! Can you please e-mail this paper at fdbuchannon@gmail.com? I would greatly appreciate it. I’ve recently became a big Lars Von Trier fan, while also obtaining my bachelor degree in psychology now with the possibility of studying it in graduate school or philosophy. Your paper aligns with several of my personal research interests, so I should gain interesting information from it. Thanks in advance.

    • Angela Woods says:

      Hi Frank. Thanks so much for your interest in the paper, and my apologies it’s taken so long to get back to you! Unfortunately it’s still not really in a state to be circulated as it’s a series of notes for the presentation rather than a proper article. However, I’m working on this and will definitely be in touch when a full draft is ready. I hope your research and reading in the area is going well…

      all very best, Angela

  2. Pingback: ANTICHRIST « Written in Blood

  3. Pete says:

    Hi angela, is this paper available now? Thank you
    pquadro@gmail.com

    • Centre for Medical Humanities says:

      Hi Pete. Thanks for your interest, but unfortunately it’s still in development. Stay tuned for further updates!

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