What We Talk About When We Talk About Desire - unraveling contemporary cinema through Lacanian psychoanalysis

Magnus Sonne, Gabriella Muasya, Rasmus Harsbo, Sergejs Asilgarajevs, Katrine Mygind Bach & Mikkel Søren Falck-Jensen

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


This paper dives into Lacanian psychoanalysis with the aim of unraveling the nature of desire. Psychoanalysis will further enable us to understand the influence of contemporary cinema on its spectators. Starting by explaining a selected range of Lacanian concepts, this paper will analyze the movie Birdman (2015), with the structural focus on three chosen aspects of desire: authenticity, recognition and nothingness. From the analysis we have learned that due to the nature of desire, the three aspects all intertwine. When applying these aspects of desire on to the protagonist, the paper explores the processes that constructs and drives desire within the Lacanian subject. Subsequently, the paper continues into a discussion on how cinema influences its spectators, involving the technicalities and the narrative of cinema. To do this, the paper will draw on Jean-Louis Baudry and Slavoj Žižek. What the discussion examines, is how the cinematographic magic and fictional freedom, enables the spectator to derive narcissistic and voyeuristic enjoyment from gazing at the screen. The paper concludes that cinema's influence on spectators involves a complex process of mirrored identification and the forging of desire.

UddannelserBasis - International Humanistisk Bacheloruddannelse, (Bachelor uddannelse) Basis
Udgivelsesdato16 jun. 2015
VejlederePatrick Rowan Blackburn


  • Jacques Lacan
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Birdman
  • Cinema