This adult education film course will take place every Tuesday, from 1 Mar - 5 Apr 2022, at 7pm at the Community Room in Crouch End Picturehouse.

Tickets purchased are valid for the whole 6-week course. 

Lecturer: Alfie Bown

From the Marx Brothers and Chaplin, who emerged in the same era as Freud himself, through Woody Allen and Peter Sellars to American Pie and the peak arthouse cinema of the 2010s, comedy has always been about desires, love, anxiety and mistakes. It has also been influenced and inspired, at every turn, by psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis - at its root - is the study of feelings, mistakes and impulses - the very material of comedy. What happens when things go wrong (when they 'slip')? This course looks at the history of comedy (of errors) on film, and explores what our hilarious mistakes show us about our desires, identities and ourselves.

Please note that the full films will NOT be shown in these sessions, just extracts. We recommend you watch the films in advance if you can, although it is not a requirement to attend the course.

Course Structure

Week One, 1 Mar:

Film: The Marx Brothers, Duck Soup (1943)


Week Two, 8 Mar:

Film: Clive Donner, What's New Pussycat? (1965)


Week Three, 15 Mar:

Film: Mel Brooks, High Anxiety (1977)


Week Four, 22 Mar:

Film: Joel and Ethan Coen, Raising Arizona (1987)


Week Five, 29 Mar:

Film: Frank Oz, What About Bob? (1991)


Week Six, 5 Apr:

Film: Paul Thomas Anderson, Punch-Drunk Love (2002)


Dr Alfie Bown is a Lecturer at the Royal Holloway University of London. His journalism has appeared in the Guardian, The Independent, Paris Review and other places. He teaches digital media and film and has written several books on psychoanalysis.


For any questions regarding this course, please email [email protected].

  • Release Date :
  • 01 Mar 2022
  • Certificate :
  • TBC
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