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June 14, 2007|Susan King

Go ahead. Lie down on the couch and vent about your problems to the doctor -- even if he is just a character on screen.

"Movies on the Mind: Psychology and Film Since Sigmund Freud," opening Friday at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, lets visitors to do just that.

The traveling exhibition, organized last year in celebration of Freud's 150th birthday by the Deutsche Kinemathek museum, not only explores the relationships between film and psychology but also surveys the history of movies from a psychological point of view. It features posters, photographs and clips from such films as "Annie Hall," "Psycho," "Silence of the Lambs" and "Being John Malkovich."

The multimedia exhibition is divided into theme areas that allow visitors to experience a series of psychological states.

"For example, when you go into the narcissism area, there are film clips that relate to identity and people who are self-obsessed," says Ellen Harrington, the academy's director of special events and exhibitions. "And you stand between a mirror and a real projection screen so you are actually in the scene."

In another display, clips from movies dealing with dreams are projected on a ceiling; to watch, visitors can climb into a hospital bed. And in an area featuring clips about analysts and patients, there is an embroidered Victorian armchair "like one that was in Freud's office and a therapy coach of old leather, so people can either lie down or sit and watch the clips."

Finally, a "crying room" is dedicated to clips that elicit sadness. "You enter through a red curtain and it's very dark," Harrington says. "The curators from Berlin said that people sat in there crying during the run of the exhibition."

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"Movies on the Mind," Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science's Fourth Floor Gallery, 8949 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. Opens Friday. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Fridays, noon to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Ends Sept. 16. Free. (310) 247-3600, www.oscars.org/events

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