Apr 28, 2019

Garrick Duckler – Presenting Problems

Garrick Duckler was born and raised in Portland, having recently moved back after a 20-year hiatus in San Francisco and Chicago.  He is currently a practicing psychoanalyst in NW Portland after having been an English literature professor (at Reed College, among other places).

Duckler received no formal training in filmmaking, animation, voice acting, writing, or editing but started to make short films (or stories with pictures) as a way to think about and describe some perplexing aspects of treatment (both from the perspective of the analyst and the patient).

He is currently working on a feature-length film, entitled “Threesomes,” an adventure-horror story about the analytic process, as well as developing a series of shorts on aspects of psychoanalysis from the practitioner’s point of view (On Listening, On Speaking, On Being, On Relating and On Thinking).

Presenting Problems
is a series of short films that portray psychological struggles in various forms —a children’s story, a moral fable, gothic horror, a “thought-story.”  Each film raises questions about what prevents or facilitates psychological change and each film posits different types of dilemmas for patients and psychotherapists.

The films use different visual idioms, literary forms, and types of media to convey the conditions upon which this particular world is felt operate — in other words, the shape and constraints of the fictional reality convey the seemingly immutable conditions of a psychic reality.  In this way, each film is simultaneously a case study, a philosophical inquiry, a description of primitive states and a portrayal of an internal “situation” (among other things).

Psychoanalysis has a history of drawing upon works of literature and then disavowing its literary origins (e.g., Oedipus, Narcissus, etc.).  The goal behind these films is to take the opposite stance — that literature (or story-telling in general) provides fertile ground for how psychoanalysis can think new thoughts outside of the particular theoretical home each clinician –and generation of clinicians — inevitably inhabit.

Dr. Sara Gardiner, a Portland-area psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, will be the discussant for the evening.