“Brain analysis” instead of “Psychoanalysis”
The Brain Is the Screen
by Dr. Abdolrahman Najlerahim

Gilles Deleuze, the French philosopher who has based his philosophical work on cinema experiences, describes Alfred Hitchcock’s cinema as a point at which modern cinema has started to sprout from classic cinema and notes that “The brain is the screen”.  If our brain acts like a screen, what are basic commonalities between the brain and the silver screen? We don’t see any of the constituents of a film on the screen because they are usually behind the camera. Most importantly, we usually do not see the director who creates the film. They remain hidden. We are not aware that some pictures that we see on the screen are virtual pictures. On the other hand, we usually ignore the fact that it is our brain which makes the world around us, including our perceptions, feelings, sentiments and emotions as well as actions, on the basis of our human needs and our social and cultural backdrop. In other words, our brain remains hidden to us. It remains hidden behind the screen of our cranium, just in the same way that production crew of a film, save for actors, cannot be seen on the screen. What a neurologist does is to establish a connection between what is behind the screen (that is, our brain activity) with what is in front of it (the tangible world). They know that the world as we understand is made by our brains and tries to discover how this world is made. An auteur (that is, an unconventional and artistic filmmaker) is constantly trying to inform the viewers that a film’s adventures are hypothetical and have been produced from the viewpoint of a man who is standing behind the camera. Of course, since realism was introduced to cinema it has tried to make virtual scenes that are displayed on the screen look more real and convince viewers that what they see on the screen is reality and nothing but reality. At the same time, neorealistic cinema comes closer to everyday life of lay people and tries to help the audience understand how fragile is the border between reality and imagination as well as objectivity and subjectivity. This does not mean that a modern filmmaker who is looking for a single truth behind this apparent dissociation between reality and imagination is knowingly trying to put the camera in place of the brain (a body part which is hidden within the cranium while organizing our life). All I want to say is that this kind of cinema assumes the role of the brain quite spontaneously and unconsciously because this is the true position of brain in the real life, which as a material organ, can give shape to both reality and imagination and draw a fence around every one of them. While being the source of reality and imagination, the brain hides that fact and scholars have discovered that relationship through historical and cultural experiences. However, experimental method used by a filmmaker, who may not be aware of the existence of brain function from a scientific angle, may conform to the method used by a neurologist (who is aware of brain function). This fact has been construed by Gilles Deleuze as “brain is the screen”. Brain is the sole place from which reality, imagination, dreams, memory, remembrance, as well as oral and visual narrations originate. Therefore, it is where the truth of our own being comes from. By removing the border between reality and imagination and between subjectivity and objectivity, we knowingly or unknowingly enter the world of brain.


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