High Wall: Part 1 of Film Series Salon

  • 17 Jan 2018
  • 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Health Learning Building Auditorium at Dell Medical School, 1701 Trinity St., Austin, TX


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HIGH WALL: Part 1 of Film Series Salon

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Shades of Gray: Framing the Clinician-Patient Relationship in Film Noir

A Salon (Study Group) Facilitated by

Michael Uebel, PhD, LCSW

January 17, 2017        6:30 – 9:00 p.m.


Location: Health Learning Building Auditorium, Dell Medical School


1.0 CE/CME/CEU/Professional Development Credits in the topic of ETHICS


Division 39 is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Division 39 maintains responsibility for this program and its content. 


The Salon: This series of 5 films noirs by American, British, and Japanese directors will chart the post-war attitudes toward psychiatrists and doctors, with an attention to the shifting boundaries between patients and their treating clinicians. We will examine three general classes of relationship—the nurturing, the failed, and the malevolent—with the idea that any purity with respect to classification is doomed to contamination; in other words, our own attempts to establish boundaries—classificatory, moral, ethical, and methodological—collapse in the face of border-crossings and interpenetrations. Such a situation throws into question the very notion of what constitutes an ethical clinician-patient relationship, and these five films will offer us ample opportunity to plumb power relations within the treatment scenario. How, for example, is the acumen of the psychoanalyst or the healing power of the physician employed when patients are seen as victims or perpetrators of crime, as potential dupes for the crimes of the doctors, or as representatives of the dark side of humanity? For films noirs may be the best crucibles for examining the limits of human relatedness.


The Film: 

  • v  High Wall (1947):  Audrey Totter plays the heroic psychiatrist in her treatment of a case of amnesia (Robert Taylor). This is the third, and arguably the best, of director Curtis Bernhardt’s psycho-noirs. Discussant: Robert Abzug, PhD

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