Film festivals have gotten a bit more interesting, as the 2022 Göteborg Film Festival promises mass hypnosis on top of its film screenings. The festival likes teaching lessons in the films they show and outside of them. Dubbed The Hypnotic Cinema, the festival aims for the event to be a metaphor for consumption. The pre-selected film screens proceeding the hypnosis will be Memoria, Land of Dreams, and Speak No Evil. A trained hypnotist will perform the mass hypnosis from the main stage at the Stora Teatern in Göteborg. The goal is to alter the audience’s state of mind is based on the mood and theme of the film. The hypnotist will end the hypnosis after each screening. The promo trailer calls the event a “mind-bending film experiment.” Definitely not a traditional, run-of-the-mill festival experience. Then again, Göteborg Film Festival is not trying to be traditional.
Film Screenings Will Never Be the Same
The promo trailer for the mass hypnosis looks like it could be showing at the 2022 Göteborg Film Festival alone. When going to a movie, it takes focus and concentration to pay attention to the movie. Hypnosis overlaps with the movie-going experience in that way. The festival organizers hope to have the film screenings and the mass hypnosis in person. Many festivals have had to delay, cancel, or go online to continue. The three film screenings following the hypnosis each stimulate the psyche in different ways. There is a method to the madness according to Göteborg Festival artistic director Jonas Holmberg. could all go swimmingly or become like an episode of Black Mirror. Either way, it’s most definitely different than what any film festival has ever attempted.
Jonas Holmberg said regarding the event, “Cinema theaters and hypnosis both emerged in the late 19th century. If you look at early cinema – Méliès, Griffith – it’s totally full of hypnosis. I don’t think this is a coincidence. There are very, very big similarities between being hypnotized and watching a film, especially in a cinema theater.” Only time will tell if the audience agrees.