46:e festivalen 27 jan - 5 feb, 2023

Mass Hypnosis in the cinema at Göteborg Film Festival

"With The Hypnotic Cinema we want to raise questions about submission, transgression, and control,” says Jonas Holmberg, Artistic Director at Göteborg Film Festival.

46:e festivalen
27 Jan -
5 Feb, 2023

Göteborg Film Festival launches The Hypnotic Cinema – a mind-bending experiment where visitors are challenged to lose control in the cinema by being hypnotized. The Hypnotic Cinema examines the possibility to intensify the film experience for those courageous visitors who dare to let loose in the cinema. 

“The rules and restrictions of the past year have illuminated how to maintain order in society and what really governs people’s thoughts and behaviors. Maybe we don’t make decisions as independently as we like to think? With The Hypnotic Cinema we want to raise questions about submission, transgression, and control,” says Jonas Holmberg, Artistic Director at Göteborg Film Festival. 

Before three chosen films, a hypnotist will perform a mass hypnosis from the mainstage at Stora Teatern in Gothenburg. The hypnotist will transform the audience’s state of mind in accordance with the mood and theme of the film. After the screening, the hypnotist will break the hypnosis. 

There are many common points of reference between the film medium and hypnosis. In early film history, the immersive experience of the movie theatre was often compared with hypnosis – a conscious mental submission, in the borderland between dream, sleep and wakefulness. 

“Watching a film in the cinema can be extremely hypnotic. At home, with a tablet, it is much harder to maintain the focus you need to get really absorbed by a film. Now, as Göteborg Film Festival returns to theaters, we add another hypnotic layer. The Hypnotic Cinema is both a tribute to and an extension of the experience of watching films at the movie theatre”, says Jonas Holmberg.

The Hypnotic Cinema is part of this year´s festival focus, Disorder, in which the festival explores the boundary between order and disorder, in our society and within ourselves. Read more about Focus: Disorder here

Three of the festival films will be screened as a part of The Hypnotic Cinema. All of which, in different ways, takes the audience on an emotional journey and thematize people’s relationship to different states of consciousness.

Read more about the films and apply to The Hypnotic Cinema here

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