Film buffs will have a rare opportunity to hear a film maker analyze his own work when director Fred Haines attends today's screening of his 1974 film "Steppenwolf," based on the Herman Hesse novel.
The film is part of the "Psychoanalytic Investigation of the Creative Process in Film, Art, Literature and Music" series sponsored by the UC Irvine Psychiatry Service at Capistrano by the Sea Hospital in Dana Point. The films are being screened at the Edwards University Cinema in Irvine.
Haines will discuss the movie with series moderator Jay Martin, a lecturer from the UCI department of psychiatry and human behavior. Martin also is a member of the Southern California Psychological Assn. and a Leo S. Bing Literature professor at USC. Martin chose "Steppenwolf" for the series as a study in the psychology of character because the novel was written while Hesse was undergoing psychoanalysis.
"This works out perfectly for our study of creativity," Martin said Tuesday. "Last time (at the Feb. 7 screening of Lewis John Carlino's 'The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea'), we were looking at biography. This time it will be almost autobiography in that we have the film maker with us."
As with previous screenings, Martin will give a brief introduction before the film is shown. But instead of his usual in-depth analysis following the movie, Martin said, he will speak for about 10 minutes then begin the discussion with Haines.
"We can get the author's intentions and learn what he was trying to do," Martin said. "We'll see how far he is able to describe what his conscious intentions were, how much he's learned in subsequent reflection about any intentions he might have had other than what he was conscious of at the time he was making it."
Of the film itself, which is shown only rarely in revival theaters, Martin said, "We will look at it, as we did with 'Tron,' and try to estimate why the movie didn't make a hit while the book did. Today it is hardly seen at all, and it is not even mentioned in a lot of film directories.
" 'Steppenwolf' was a novel that was tremendously famous in the '60s. Everybody read Hesse's 'Siddhartha' and 'Steppenwolf.' Hesse himself has somewhat fallen from sight, but the movie, in contrast, has practically fallen into oblivion."
Haines, who spent recent years living in Ireland and directing plays, recently returned to California, where he has been writing scripts for films and television.
"Steppenwolf" will be shown at 7 p.m. at the theater, 4245 Campus Drive, across from the UC Irvine campus. Cost is $7. For further information about the series, call 831-6631.