“Searching the Psyche Through Cinema”


Our annual film series, “Searching the Psyche Through Cinema,” offers probing films followed by discussions featuring cinema and psychoanalytic experts for an examination of how celluloid gets under out skin and into our psyche. All screenings are free and continuing education credit is available. We would also like to invite you to a reception following the discussions.


Our 2017 Series, held in January and February, features psychological studies of films directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. The Coen brothers are considered two of the most visionary and idiosyncratic filmmakers of the late 20th century. Combining thoughtful eccentricity, wry humor, arch irony, and often brutal violence, the films of the Coen brothers have become synonymous with a style of filmmaking that pays tribute to classic American movie genres – especially film noir – while sustaining a firmly postmodern feel.


Presented in partnership with the Greater Kansas City and Topeka Psychoanalytic Center. Co-sponsored by the University of Missouri-Kansas City.


Sundays at 1:30 p.m.
Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.

January 15, 2017 — Miller's Crossing (1990; Rated R; 115 minutes)

January 29, 2017 — Barton Fink (1991; Rated R; 116 minutes)

February 12, 2017 — Fargo (1996; Rated R; 98 minutes)

February 26, 2017 — O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000; Rated PG-13; 103 minutes)



January 15 — Miller’s Crossing
When the Italian Mafia threatens to kill a crooked bookie (John Turturro), Irish mob boss Leo O'Bannon (Albert Finney) refuses to allow it, chiefly because he's dating the bookie's sister, crafty gun moll Verna Bernbaum (Marcia Gay Harden). Leo's right-hand man, Tom Reagan (Gabriel Byrne), is also seeing Verna on the sly, and when he's found out is obliged to switch sides, going to work for the Italian mob amidst a dramatically escalating gang war over liquor distribution.

Post-screening discussion led by Marilyn Metzl, PhD , and Trey Hock, MFA , assistant professor of filmmaking at the Kansas City Art Institute. This title is Rated R and is recommended for adult audiences only.


January 29 — Barton Fink
Set in 1941, an intellectual New York playwright Barton Fink (John Turturro) accepts an offer to write movie scripts in L.A. He finds himself with writer's block when required to do a B-movie script. His neighbor tries to help, but he continues to struggle as a bizarre sequence of events distracts him.
Discussants: Psychoanalyst David Donovan, PhD and UMKC Associate Professor of Film and Media Arts Caitlin Horsmon, MFA.

February 12 — Fargo
This dark comedy/crime thriller stars Frances McDormand as a pregnant Minnesota police chief investigating roadside homicides that ensue after a struggling car salesman (William H. Macy) hires two criminals to kidnap his wife in order to extort a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law.
Discussants: Psychoanalyst Teresa Rose, PhD and UMKC and KCAI Film Instructor Erin Hamer-Beck, MFA.

February 26 —O Brother, Where Art Thou? 
Ulysses Everett McGill (George Clooney) is having difficulty adjusting to his hard-labor sentence in Mississippi. He scams his way off the chain gang with simple Delmar (Tim Blake Nelson) and maladjusted Pete (John Turturro); then the trio sets out to pursue freedom and the promise of a fortune in buried treasure. With nothing to lose and still in shackles, their hasty run takes them on an incredible journey of awesome experiences and colorful characters.

Discussant: Psychoanalyst Bonnie Buchele, PhD.; Fine Arts Discussant TBD

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the Greater Kansas City-Topeka Psychoanalytic Center. The American Psychoanalytic Association is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.”


The American Psychoanalytic Association designates this Live Activity for a maximum of 2 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION FOR ALL LEARNERS: None of the planners and presenters of this CME program have any relevant financial relationships to disclose.