My Psychoanalytic Notes

Fire ravages relentlessly through paper. Individual words, ragged sentences, loose thoughts have broken free of their contexts and flare up once again before melting away forever: “unfaithful,” father,” “on 17 October, K. complained of overwork,” “I also think about incest and wanting to save sister.” The clearly legible handwriting on white sheets of paper has given up its search for meaning and surrenders to the flames. Artist Friedl von Gröller hands over several-page-long psychoanalytical protocols from her professional practice as psychoanalyst to the funeral pyre flaring in the middle of a snow-covered landscape. The notes from hundreds of hours of “talking cure” extinguish silently, almost blithely. They abdicate their cognizance of the long therapy sessions between analyst and patient. But the burning paper is not the only storage medium that knows of Groller’s notes. The short film My Psychoanalytic Notes begins with close-ups of people’s faces—psychoanalysts—reading, intently studying Gröller’s protocols. Only then does the camera turn away from the faces—with an increasingly faster pan—toward a snowy forest landscape and the pile of burning books: As though the filmmaker wanted to once again call up her own profession as witness, which will remember her work even after the cold fire destroys all traces. The camera moves in an extreme close-up across the pages, leafs through once again. Yet it is just as fascinated by the bizarre ash formations that arise from the act of burning as it is by the notes and sentences dying on them. In the end, the camera digresses once more, wanders across the snow and wood, and ultimately turns to the backlight of the sky. The image fades, becomes white like snow—or white like a clean sheet of paper, on which a new stage of life can be recorded.

(Alexandra Seibel)

Translation: Lisa Rosenblatt

Orig. Title
Meine psychoanalytischen Notizen
3 min
Orig. Language
no sound
Friedl vom Gröller
Concept & Realization
Friedl vom Gröller
Available Formats
16 mm (Distribution Copy)
Aspect Ratio
Sound Format
Frame Rate
24 fps
Color Format
Festivals (Selection)
Mar del Plata - Int. Film Festival
Graz - Diagonale, Festival des österreichischen Films
Windsor - Media City
Paris - Rencontres International Paris/Berlin/Madrid