Presenting Problems is a series of narrative-based shorts that raise various psychological and philosophical "problems" encountered in the mind, between people, in the world and in the therapy office. The approach to presenting problems is not the typical one in representing psychological conflict. The films do not portray a person suffering from a problem such addiction or madness, they do not illustrate a theoretical concept (splitting, projection, etc.) or dramatize diagnostic categories (masochism, schizoid phenomenon, etc.). They attempt to get to these places through a different route. They tell of some strange characters in strange situations in order to invite thinking about internal forces that cannot be seen under a microscope or found in an autopsy but are real impact, real consequences and cause real pain. In this way the films combine the genres of case study, clinical vignette and fiction. Each film uses a different medium and visual idiom in order to find a way to talk about such dilemmas. Some are hand-drawn illustrations, others use montage, some mixed media and others use still images. The films all use plain language, humor and brevity so that in classroom settings there is time for discussion and associations (a two-hour film with a discussion is asking a lot for people to sit through). This helps the films reach different types of audiences and can help in very different types of settings. We have found that kids, adolescents, experienced clinicians as well as clinicians new to the field have all enjoyed the films and have found discussion stimulating about their own lives and struggles.

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The Eskimo (2015)

The Eskimo is the story about an “Eskimo” who discovered something he already knew but wasn’t able to want to know about. It is simultaneously a story about rapprochement and about the nature of the stereotype—a term for something we thought we knew but didn’t know we didn’t know.

The Safe (2012)

A safe faces stark questions about the nature of who he is (and what’s inside him) in this drama about creativity, emptiness, self-knowledge, impasse and change.

At The Movies (2015)

A stream of consciousness narrative about movies and the persecution of the ideal.

The Grudge (2012)

"The Grudge" is an animated short about a creature named the Grudge who throws a party for his problematic friends and reflects on his predicament as the only creature completely "free to hate."