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Post by Admin on Sun Sep 04, 2011 1:50 am

http://myetvmedia.com/film-review/a-dangerous-method-press-conference-and-review/

Dangerous Method: Press Conference and Review
Posted 19 hours ago by myetvmedia
9/10

A Dangerous Method – A Freudian Glimpse Of His Personal World

Superb! Provocative! Sexually Charged!

Canadian Director David Cronenberg, best known as the King of Venereal Horror, has enjoyed a long career in the spotlight as a controversial director and ‘mass media guru’. Cronenberg found international celebrity with his remake of Stephen King’s ‘the Dead Zone’ and ‘The Fly’. ‘Dead Ringers’ and ‘Naked Lunch’ brought Cronenberg international critical acclaim. He has had a number of films at Cannes and Berlin including ‘A History of Violence’.

“A Dangerous Method” is a real departure from Cronenberg’s other movies, having the cinematic feel of a Merchant Ivory production. Cronenberg says this was a deliberate decision to create the feeling of the era. He presents a captivating and visually exquisite exploration of the more human contradictions and idiosyncrasies of our psyche. The biopic is based on the remarkable personal letters between Freud (Viggo Mortensen), Jung (Michael Fassbender) and Jung’s patient and lover Sabrina Spielrein (Kiera Knightly), letters written and sent it seems with the rapidity and frequency of email today.

Viggo Mortensen portrays Freud to perfection although Cronenberg deliberately chose not to have the handsome Mortensen made up to look more like Freud. Mortensen’s Freud is a distinguished, magnetic character who holds the screen completely.

Michael Fassbender captures the complex character of Jung with superb understatement. Jung’s character develops from a very timid, insecure but creative psychologist to the internationally recognized expert. We discover that his existence and prowess is totally dependent upon the physical, sexual and psychological support of his beautiful, wealthy wife, his deep friendship with Freud and Sabrina, his complicated, sexually powerful patient and lover. Cronenberg portrays Sabrina as Jung’s equal, if not more, in matters of psychoanalysis. Otto (Vincent Cassel), a patient sent to Jung by Freud, also becomes a catalyst in changing the course of Jung’s personal and professional journey.

The letters between Freud, Jung, Jung’s wife and Jung’s lover Sabrina Spielrein’s are key to the story. At the Venice Film Festival Mortnensen lamented, “There is so much in the letters. It would be wonderful if the Jung family would release the balance of the letter that passed between them”. Cronenberg’s speculations about the great men and the women in their lives provides for a provocative and yes, dangerous cinematic ride.
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Post by Admin on Sun Sep 04, 2011 1:59 am

http://www.halamovie.com/review-8220a-dangerous-method8221-12/

REVIEW “A Dangerous Method” (**1/2)

a9cdc dangerous e1314978549240 REVIEW “A Dangerous Method” (**1/2)
Venice Film Festival

“Do you think they know we’re on our way, bringing them the plague?” So asks Viggo Mortensen’s Sigmund Freud of his younger colleague Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender), as the two approach New York City to gift the untreated denizens of America with their equally grueling brands of psychoanalysis, in the closing stretch of “A Dangerous Method,” David Cronenberg’s thoughtfully embroidered account of their professional rivalry.

It’s the sharpest line in corset-prestige specialist Christopher Hampton’s script, adapted none-too-cinematically from his 2002 play “The Talking Cure.” It is also, as most Freudophiles will recognize, one he didn’t write himself — like so many of a writer’s best moments, it was gifted to him by legend. Freud, luckily enough, had a pretty dry line in irony; drier, perhaps, than that of Hampton, who tackles his historical subjects’ rich battle of wills and philosophies with the requisite scholarly enthusiasm, but is oddly cautious, even a little po-faced, about the way he fashions intellectual debate into drama.

Handled by Cronenberg with characteristic fastidiousness but a surprising lack of perversity, “A Dangerous Method” will delight lovers of highbrow adult cinema of discussion and mildly disappoint those hoping the subject matter augured a return to the deranged, physicality-obsessed kinkmeister of old. (One half-wishes Cronenberg and Pedro Almodóvar had traded their most recent scripts at the Kit Kat-style bar where they presumably hang out.)

The film lays out its substantial thoughts on desire, masochism and trauma with a dense even-handedness that sometimes stimulates, but doesn’t test the taste barrier by subjecting theory to allegory, as it were. Even the sexual content, involving Jung and his high-strung patient-turned-protégée Sabine Spielrein (Keira Knightley), is all but bracketed as literal case study, alternately enacting Jungian and Freudian principles without threatening to push things into unwritten psychological territory; that way lies madness, and Knightley’s bravely bug-eyed performance in the film’s opening third has already provided an elegant sufficiency of that for the tony audience Cronenberg appears to crave here.

d13f0 dangerous1 e1314978820834 REVIEW “A Dangerous Method” (**1/2)
If this is a circuitous way of saying the film is artful but also a little airless, distinguished but also a little dull, that’s because such blunt “go bigger” lines of criticism skate close to chiding a director for not making films he might not have in his system anymore: how long can one go on fighting tonal shifts in an artist’s ever-growing oeuvre?

This cleanly reserved quality isn’t a new development for the director: only their genre tropes make the restrained double-shot of “A History of Violence” and “Eastern Promises” seem wilder by comparison. And like those films, “A Dangerous Method” does feature fleeting stabs of old-Cronenberg baseness and curiosity: a rosy blotch of blood on Knightley’s bedsheet after her first sexual encounter with Jung is a typically nasty (if perhaps aptly faded) detail, while the camera’s loving caress of Jung’s inscrutable measuring equipment during a tautly written analysis scene recalls the dehumanized process fetishization of “Dead Ringers.”

“A Dangerous Method” certainly isn’t as leashed and neutered as Cronenberg’s last attempt to film a fine-bone-china theatrical piece, 1993′s far thinner and less articulate “M. Butterfly” — see, the evolution has been under way for some time now — but even within a more subtly transgressive realm, it misses some key opportunities to excite. Visually, it’s a markedly tame beast, with regular DP Peter Suschitzky’s evenly sunlit lensing and James McAteer’s tidy, unblemished production design lending the film an elevated, staged feel that may or may not be intentional — but even assuming the best, doesn’t seem the best visual platform for already word-bound material. (Whatever I said about Hampton’s writing at the outset of this review, “The Talking Cure” was a pretty self-ironic title.)

It’s left to the actors to breathe life, as well as ambiguity, into this highly textual material, and it’s a point of interest that they haven’t settled on a common approach between them.

Knightley seems most married to a stage-oriented conception of the material: a divisively mannered actress even in her strongest work, she enters the film in a heightened, twisting frenzy, shrieking abrasively in a Russian accent whose artifice even sounds studied and jutting out her lower lip to a degree to a contortive degree that has had more than one Lido wag joking that Cronenbergian body-horror is at least alive and well in her jaw.

dab3d dangerous3 e1314979418867 REVIEW “A Dangerous Method” (**1/2)
It’s an all-or-nothing thespian gambit that doesn’t pay off, but it leaves the actress with nowhere to go but down: the performance levels as the character approaches cure, though Knightley’s archness remains in place.

As if terrified into submission by his co-star’s entrance, Fassbender spends the rest of the film quizzically underplaying, his Jung permanently considering his words before releasing them so tightly he can suck them back in through his teeth if required; he gives the film a solid spine, but it’s the more relaxed, sardonic delivery of Mortensen — plus Vincent Cassel, in a relishable cameo as a sex-addicted patient offering Jung seductive arguments for polygamy — that provides the film with its most immediate pleasures.

In a role smaller than the film’s marketing would have you believe, Mortensen is so silkily persuasive an argumentative foil for Fassbender in the scenes they share that the narrative seems more a head-to-head than it structurally is. In once scene, the older man’s classically Freudian interpretation of one of Jung’s dreams oh-so-nearly tilts into an open invitation to take him to bed; that’s a film a younger , nervier Cronenberg might easily have been coaxed into making.
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Post by Admin on Sun Sep 04, 2011 3:14 am

http://thefilmexperience.net/blog/2011/9/2/a-dangerous-method-frozen-surface-dangerous-interior.html

A Dangerous Method: Frozen Surface, Dangerous Interior
DateFriday, September 2, 2011 at 7:59PM

[Editors Note: We have two correspondents from Venice this year. And I feel the need to remind everyone that these opinions do not reflect the opinion of management; Nathaniel is without opinion as he is not in Venice. But he is enjoying reading these reports. Here is Ferdi from Italy, critic for, offering us bite sized opinions again. Enjoy. - Nathaniel]

I love David Cronenberg unconditionally and I know from past experience that his movies are not what they seem at the very first. We have to recognize that they always need more viewings, they are so complex. A Dangerous Method is a beautifully shot period piece. It's wonderfully acted movie especially by Michael Fassbender (heartbreaking) and Viggo Mortensen (Brilliant and should be in the supporting actor race). It's about the relationship between Carl Jung, patient-psychotic Sabina Spielreinand Sigmund Freud. Cronenberg has directed period pieces before (M Butterfly, Spider, Naked Lunch) and he's not new to melodrama either (in many of his movies there's a deep melodramatic soul). The origin of psychoanalysis, which explores what is inside the body and invisible to the eye fits his radical cinematic world perfectly. Still, A Dangerous Method seems the least Cronenberg-esque of his movies. Although the score and the visuals are stunning -- lighting, sets, costumes, all gorgeous and perfect -- there's something missing here. If this frozen, crystallized surface is marvelous, maybe the inside world must be a dangerous place, crowded with demons: sexual repression, animal instinct, guilt, death, desire. And this is the place where Croneberg wants to go.

The first section is the best, powerful and alarming, with Keira Knightley sadistically used by Cronenberg as a shouting beast; she vomits out all her inner demons in a physical acting style that's sometimes difficult to watch. When the therapy and the love affair take root, everything begins to slow down. The narrative style normalizes and the movie changes into a beautiful restrained drama packed with visual elegance. There are still some moments blessed with the typical, disturbing Cronenberg-touch but my first impression is that the auteur could have gone further and deeper with this material.
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Post by Admin on Sun Sep 04, 2011 3:24 am

http://incontention.com/2011/09/02/review-a-dangerous-method-12/

REVIEW: “A Dangerous Method” (**1/2)
Posted by Guy Lodge · 8:50 am · September 2nd, 2011

Venice Film Festival

“Do you think they know we’re on our way, bringing them the plague?” So asks Viggo Mortensen’s Sigmund Freud of his younger colleague Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender), as the two approach New York City to gift the untreated denizens of America with their equally grueling brands of psychoanalysis, in the closing stretch of “A Dangerous Method,” David Cronenberg’s thoughtfully embroidered account of their professional rivalry.

It’s the sharpest line in corset-prestige specialist Christopher Hampton’s script, adapted none-too-cinematically from his 2002 play “The Talking Cure.” It is also, as most Freudophiles will recognize, one he didn’t write himself — like so many of a writer’s best moments, it was gifted to him by legend. Freud, luckily enough, had a pretty dry line in irony; drier, perhaps, than that of Hampton, who tackles his historical subjects’ rich battle of wills and philosophies with the requisite scholarly enthusiasm, but is oddly cautious, even a little po-faced, about the way he fashions intellectual debate into drama.

Handled by Cronenberg with characteristic fastidiousness but a surprising lack of perversity, “A Dangerous Method” will delight lovers of highbrow adult cinema of discussion and mildly disappoint those hoping the subject matter augured a return to the deranged, physicality-obsessed kinkmeister of old. (One half-wishes Cronenberg and Pedro Almodóvar had traded their most recent scripts at the Kit Kat-style bar where they presumably hang out.)

The film lays out its substantial thoughts on desire, masochism and trauma with a dense even-handedness that sometimes stimulates, but doesn’t test the taste barrier by subjecting theory to allegory, as it were. Even the sexual content, involving Jung and his high-strung patient-turned-protégée Sabine Spielrein (Keira Knightley), is all but bracketed as literal case study, alternately enacting Jungian and Freudian principles without threatening to push things into unwritten psychological territory; that way lies madness, and Knightley’s bravely bug-eyed performance in the film’s opening third has already provided an elegant sufficiency of that for the tony audience Cronenberg appears to crave here.

If this is a circuitous way of saying the film is artful but also a little airless, distinguished but also a little dull, that’s because such blunt “go bigger” lines of criticism skate close to chiding a director for not making films he might not have in his system anymore: how long can one go on fighting tonal shifts in an artist’s ever-growing oeuvre?

This cleanly reserved quality isn’t a new development for the director: only their genre tropes make the restrained double-shot of “A History of Violence” and “Eastern Promises” seem wilder by comparison. And like those films, “A Dangerous Method” does feature fleeting stabs of old-Cronenberg baseness and curiosity: a rosy blotch of blood on Knightley’s bedsheet after her first sexual encounter with Jung is a typically nasty (if perhaps aptly faded) detail, while the camera’s loving caress of Jung’s inscrutable measuring equipment during a tautly written analysis scene recalls the dehumanized process fetishization of “Dead Ringers.”

“A Dangerous Method” certainly isn’t as leashed and neutered as Cronenberg’s last attempt to film a fine-bone-china theatrical piece, 1993′s far thinner and less articulate “M. Butterfly” — see, the evolution has been under way for some time now — but even within a more subtly transgressive realm, it misses some key opportunities to excite. Visually, it’s a markedly tame beast, with regular DP Peter Suschitzky’s evenly sunlit lensing and James McAteer’s tidy, unblemished production design lending the film an elevated, staged feel that may or may not be intentional — but even assuming the best, doesn’t seem the best visual platform for already word-bound material. (Whatever I said about Hampton’s writing at the outset of this review, “The Talking Cure” was a pretty self-ironic title.)

It’s left to the actors to breathe life, as well as ambiguity, into this highly textual material, and it’s a point of interest that they haven’t settled on a common approach between them.

Knightley seems most married to a stage-oriented conception of the material: a divisively mannered actress even in her strongest work, she enters the film in a heightened, twisting frenzy, shrieking abrasively in a Russian accent whose artifice even sounds studied, and jutting out her lower lip to a contortive degree that has had more than one Lido wag joking that Cronenbergian body-horror is at least alive and well in her jaw.

It’s an all-or-nothing thespian gambit that doesn’t pay off, but it leaves the actress with nowhere to go but down: the performance levels as the character approaches cure, though Knightley’s archness remains in place.

As if terrified into submission by his co-star’s entrance, Fassbender spends the rest of the film quizzically underplaying, his Jung permanently considering his words before releasing them so tightly he can suck them back in through his teeth if required; he gives the film a solid spine, but it’s the more relaxed, sardonic delivery of Mortensen — plus Vincent Cassel, in a relishable cameo as a sex-addicted patient offering Jung seductive arguments for polygamy — that provides the film with its most immediate pleasures.

In a role smaller than the film’s marketing would have you believe, Mortensen is so silkily persuasive an argumentative foil for Fassbender in the scenes they share that the narrative seems more a head-to-head than it structurally is. In once scene, the older man’s classically Freudian interpretation of one of Jung’s dreams oh-so-nearly tilts into an open invitation to take him to bed; that’s a film a younger , nervier Cronenberg might easily have been coaxed into making.

[Images: Sony Pictures Classics]
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Post by Admin on Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:09 am

http://www.awardsdaily.com/2011/09/a-dangerous-method/

Knightley Unleashes Fury: A Dangerous Method
By Sasha Stone | September 5, 2011

Like many of the great David Cronenberg’s films, A Dangerous Method keeps you at an arm’s length as it dives into the world of the perverse and the key forces that shaped how we think about our own subconscious, our dreams, our sexual desires. The film is set at a time when no one really talked about fetishes or deranged sexual needs — or any sexual needs at all. The civilized world, polite society and all of its trappings, seemed to work counter to our animal nature, thus a subversive culture was born. Freud was perhaps the first to delve into this, seeing that there were clearly two conflicting worlds at play: the civilized realm of the conscious and the subversive realm of our inner thoughts, our subconscious. For better or worse, this madness. Living contrary to one’s nature will always produce madness, insanity even. That’s whether you’re Sabina, Keira Knightley’s character who is driven by a sadomasochistic fetish, or Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) who is trapped in a marriage that doesn’t give him the sexual satisfaction or intimacy he requires. They each seek freedom — but freedom is the one thing, at that time, that eludes them.

Since the film is about Freud and Jung, it must be told through their eyes, probing and warped though they are. Viggo is great as Freud, and Fassbender once again turns in another spot on portrayal, although he doesn’t have to really sink into it the way he does in Shame. The real acting standout is Knightley, though. It’s hard to say whether she goes too far over the top with her hysteria — she looks like she has to vomit half the time and her face contorts in ways you probably never thought was humanly possible. She nails the Russian accent and I found her performance growing in my mind as the day wore on. I still think it could have been ratcheted down a notch but I admire her for really going for it in full. I honestly never thought she had it in her to go that dark. The thing is, this character then becomes a rather prominent person in history in her own right — so it’s a little jarring to meld the two impressions together. Nonetheless, Cronenberg likes his audience uncomfortable. I look forward to seeing it again so I can really absorb more about the opposing approaches Freud and Jung are arguing.

In typical Cronenberg fashion, he seems to delight in watching the sweet Ms. Knightley totally flip out, jutting out her jaw, distorting her face and then ultimately releasing all of that inner fire once someone does what she so desperately desires them to do: to shame, humiliate and hurt her. A whole movie could be made just around their sexual relationship, and Cronenberg is absolutely the person to do this. Like most of his movies about sex, there is always one full remove there which forever keeps you at a distance. He does that here even more than usual.

Knightley, for all of her gnarling and spasms, never really conveys true sexuality in this, which makes it all the more bizarre. With her rigidly thin frame, the voluptuousness of out there eroticism is gone but it fits with Jung and Freud somehow. It’s as though the last thing you’d ever be thinking about when you look at her is sex. It isn’t that she isn’t sexy – hell, in Pride and Prejudice, Atonement and Love, Actually she’s sexy as hell. It’s that here, pinned underneath the era, the corsets, the manners it has subverted and become something else. When her character is at her most alluring, ironically enough, is not when she’s being spanked or kissing Fassbender, but rather when she discusses ideas and uses her fiery brain – herein lies the character’s true sexiness.

I kind of loved Knightley in this ultimately, even though she might be off-putting to some. That is precisely what makes it a Cronenberg-strange movie. Her facial expressions represent the grotesque.

The cinematography, score, art direction and costumes are enough to propel it into the Oscar race, though I suspect attention might be paid to Knightley too. It is not a touchy/feeling film, however. And despite the passionate love story between Knightley and Fassbender, it is a very cerebral, intellectual experience. Cronenberg, and screenwriter Christopher Hampton, are after the world of ideas and thought here. Big concepts about our inner worlds drive the story, mainly. The sex scenes are brief and never go as fully as you’d like them to. They are as repressed as those engaging in them.

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Post by Admin on Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:10 am

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/telluride-2011-a-dangerous-method-231146

Telluride 2011: 'A Dangerous Method,' Particularly Keira Knightley's Performance, Proves Divisive
David Cronenberg's latest film tells the story of a woman who came between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud.
September
5
8:46 AM PDT 9/5/2011 by Scott Feinberg

On Sunday evening, I caught the second Telluride Film Festival screening of David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method, one of Sony Pictures Classics' big awards hopefuls this year, which had its world premiere a few days ago in Venice Film Festival, then made its stateside debut here late on Saturday night, and will head across the border to the Toronto International Film Festival later this week. Reaction to the film in both Venice and Telluride, thus far, has been decidedly mixed, but its fate should be determined once and for all after it is shown to the much larger audiences of moviegoers and critics in Toronto.

PHOTOS: 12 Movies to Know at the Telluride Film Festival

The film revolves around the little-known but apparently true story of Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley), a troubled young Russian woman who came between two of the great early psychoanalysts, Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) and his older role model, friend, and "father-figure" Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen), potentially jeopardizing the movement for which they had both worked so hard just as it was beginning to take hold.

The story was first told in John Kerr's 1994 book A Most Dangerous Method, and then became a passion project of acclaimed playwright/screenwriter Christopher Hampton, who had previously won the best adapted screenplay Oscar for Dangerous Liaisons (1988) and would be nominated for it again for Atonement (2007). In the mid-nineties, Hampton was commissioned to adapt that book into a screenplay, but the project collapsed so he turned it into a play at London's National Theatre, after which Cronenberg approached him about a new movie version.

Like all Cronenberg films, it is gorgeously shot, strongly acted, and a bit twisted. It's slower-paced and less gripping than his two most recent films, A History of Violence (2005) and Eastern Promises (2007), but it's still interesting and engaging enough.

Reaction to Knightley's performance has been deeply divided -- she opens the film in a hysterical state that some have found to be a bit over-the-top, and her Russian accent has been dogged on, too -- but I was impressed by the fact that the A-list beauty and perennially underappreciated actress was willing to be so vulnerable on camera (she also has several scenes in which she is partially nude), and I think that she could connect with enough people to score an Oscar nod... that is, if SPC and she are willing to swallow their pride and push her in supporting (which looks wide-open this year) instead of lead (which is absolutely packed).

Fassbender, meanwhile, is certainly having a "moment," between this film and Shame, which is also stirring up buzz on the festival circuit. Even at this early stage of his career, it is clear that the 34-year-old is a chameleon of an actor who will be around for a long time. He has played everything from a skeletal hunger striker in Hunger (2008) to an iconic literary character in Jane Eyre (2011), and can now add 19th century thinker and 21st century sex addict to his list of credits.

Mortensen -- who has become Cronenberg's muse, of sorts, having also starred in his last two pictures -- is one of the most understated and magnetic actors working today. Apparently, he only joined this production as a favor to Cronenberg after another actor dropped out of the part and shot all of his scenes in just a few days, and without having the amount of time that he usually has to prepare. If true, that makes his performance all the more impressive. As SPC co-chief Michael Barker told me on Saturday night, "Who would have imagined that Freud was so charismatic? But the film makes you realize that he had to have been."

Vincent Cassel and Sarah Gadon are only in the film for a few minutes each, but also do a nice job in their respective parts.

At the end of the day, in a year in which only five best picture nominees are guaranteed, I have my doubts about the film's prospects in the top category. Cronenberg has never been Oscar-nominated for directing, even for more widely-accessible films than this one, so I think he may be out of luck, as well. Hampton is certainly highly-regarded and should have a shot at another best adapted screenplay nod. Fassbender's performance, despite being very good, is probably not showy enough to crack the best actor race. So, in my estimation, the film's best awards hopes rest with Mortensen for best supporting actor (I'd say he has a decent shot) and Knightley (that is, if she goes supporting instead of lead).
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Post by Admin on Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:56 pm

http://beta.torontoist.com/2011/09/a-dangerous-method/

A Dangerous Method

Cronenberg's Cronenberg movie proves thoroughly Cronenbergian

By John Semley
David Cronenberg (Germany/Canada, Gala Presentations)

SCREENINGS:
Saturday, September 10, 6:30 p.m.
Roy Thomson Hall (60 Simcoe Street)

Monday, September 12, 4:45 p.m.
TIFF Bell Lightbox 1 (350 King Street West)

Opening on the image of Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley) being carted off to a Carl Jung’s (Michael Fassbender) Swiss clinic, frothing and raving and jutting out her jaw, every bit the image of the Freudian female hysteric, A Dangerous Method sets itself up as a clinical love triangle. Cronenberg’s latest places Spielrein in the middle between the quietly warring methodologies of Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen, curt and excellent) and his sexual theory and Jung’s proto–New Age extensions of it.

Here, all the bubbling subtext (the performances of sex and violence, and the collapsing of psycho-physical barriers) that usually make Cronenberg’s films passably interesting becomes the text itself. Jung’s lite-S&M affair with Spielrein, shot (apart from some post-coital splatter) with a tastefulness that seems almost yoked, plays as meek (repressed?) adolescent handholding against the twisted metal of Crash or the gooey flesh-holes of Videodrome and Naked Lunch. Like a fantasy camp for the would-be Frasier and Niles Cranes fluent in the patois of psychoanalysis, A Dangerous Method‘s inquisitions into medical ethics and the limits of transference seem listless and quite literally by-the-book. And though pretty in that classy costume drama way, its flatness is further dulled by all the clean compositions and competent cuts that define Cronenberg’s stunted classicism. Sure, not every Cronenberg movie needs a slippery bathhouse brawl or some balls-deep chest-f#%@#&!. But it’s nicer when they do.
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Post by Admin on Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:00 pm

http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/motion-captured/posts/review-david-cronenbergs-oddly-restrained-a-dangerous-method-never-quite-connects

Review: David Cronenberg's oddly restrained 'A Dangerous Method' never quite connects

For a film about the men who defined kink, the film lacks heat

By Drew McWeeny Saturday, Sep 10, 2011 6:50 PM

Critic's Rating C+
Readers' Rating n/a

Review: David Cronenberg's oddly restrained 'A Dangerous Method' never quite connects

Michael Fassbender and Viggo Mortensen play dress-up in the oddly unsatisfying 'A Dangerous Method'

David Cronenberg is one of my favorite directors of all time. His body of work, and I use that word knowing full well it has a double meaning when you're referring to Cronenberg, is one of the most demanding and rigorously intellectual of anyone in any genre. He has long been fascinated by the relationship we have with the bodies we occupy, and he successfully made the jump from overt horror to adult-minded drama, something not every filmmaker is able to accomplish.

Yes, Wes Craven, we all still remember "Music Of The Heart."

When Cronenberg signed on for "A Dangerous Method," it sounded like a perfect match between filmmaker and material. After all, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung were two of the men who helped define the vocabulary we still use to discuss sexual psychology, and Cronenerg is, after all, the guy who made "Crash." Not the silly "racism is bad" one, but the "hey, I could always use that hole" version. This is a man who knows kink. This is a man who has pushed boundaries so hard they've crumbled. Who else would think to put a VHS-eating vagina in James Woods's chest? I walked into "A Dangerous Method" wide open and ready for anything.

What a drag, then, to report that the film is misconceived, dramatically turgid, and ultimately feels like a surface treatment of ideas that deserve better. Scripted by Christopher Hampton from his own play "The Talking Cure" and the John Kerr book "A Most Dangerous Method," this is a film that tap-dances around its subject to such a degree that it becomes almost infuriating. I don't understand how you make a movie about this subject matter that has no kink, no heat, no pulse. Viggo Mortensen, one of the most interesting collaborators that Cronenberg has ever had, is almost wasted here. He's used as punctuation at best, Freud showing up from time to time to deliver a few clever lines and tut-tut Michael Fassbender's Jung. It feels very stage-bound, but even seeing this in a theatrical setting, it would still be a bit of a thudding bore.

The film deals with Jung and his treatment of a particular patient, a Russian Jew named Sabina Spielrein. Kiera Knightley plays her, and while I'm not the biggest fan of Knightley's work in general, I'll give her this. She's 100% dedicated to playing this character, initially gripped by a crippling hysteria, and she makes some big choices. I'm not sure it all worked for me, and there are places where it feels very mannered, like you can see her making actor's choices. But she is alive in the role in a way that Fassbender and Mortensen are not, and that confounds me. Fassbender has proven himself to be one of the more interesting guys out there right now, and yet this role is a straightjacket for him, rigid and uninteresting. Jung's meant to be struggling with his intellectual and sexual sides in the film, but we don't really see that battle between the mental and the carnal. It's spoken of, but it's not shown. If a film can make a scene involving Fassbender spanking a mostly-naked Knightley boring, something has gone very wrong.


It's a handsomely made film, and it's easy to watch. Longtime Cronenberg collaborators like photographer Peter Suschitzky and composer Howard Shore both do solid work here, and I have no doubt this is exactly the film that Cronenberg set out to make. As always, it is controlled and carefully considered, and it feels like he got what he wanted from his cast. It just seems to be a case of a misfire at the conceptual level. There's one stretch in the film where things threaten to heat up, when Otto Gross (Vincent Cassel) shows up at Jung's clinic, and every time Cassel is onscreen, it's interesting. Watch him move around Jung's office during their first interview. It's impossible to take your eyes off of what Cassel is doing. But the rest of the film just doesn't have that same spark, that sense of something lived instead of designed. It feels antiseptic. It feels like a term paper that someone filmed.

I don't like writing a review like this. I have so much respect for Cronenberg as a thinker and as a filmmaker, but this feels to me like "M. Butterfly," the only other film where I feel like he was just dead wrong for the project, and like that film, there's a false quality that infects everything. I certainly don't need every David Cronenberg film to be the same, and perhaps he intentionally took every single thing out of this film that might be thought of his "typical" style, but in running from his own nature, Cronenberg has betrayed the subject matter, and the result is a movie that is in no way dangerous. It is too sterile, too safe for its own title, and I can't imagine ever needing to see it again.

"A Dangerous Method" will be released to theaters on November 23, 2011.
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Post by Admin on Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:03 am

http://insidemovies.ew.com/2011/09/10/a-dangerous-method-and-bad-werner-herzog/

Sep 10 2011 12:20 PM ET

Toronto: Viggo Mortensen and Michael Fassbender are sensational as Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung in 'A Dangerous Method.' Plus, Werner Herzog's bogus redneck murder message movie
by Owen Gleiberman

Image Credit: Liam Daniel

I’m not exactly a cultist for David Cronenberg — I didn’t think A History of Violence was very convincing, or even that The Fly was a great horror film — but I was primed, in Toronto, to see A Dangerous Method, in which Viggo Mortensen plays Sigmund Freud and Michael Fassbender plays Carl Jung. Keira Knightley — yes, Keira Knightley — plays the sexed-up, tormented Russian Jewish hysteria patient-turned-psychoanalyst prodigy who comes between the two of them. When you consider that Freud and Jung, along with Einstein, were arguably the most influential thinkers of the last hundred years, there have been precious few dramatic features that have attempted to deal with who they really were. (Montgomery Clift played Freud in a 1962 John Huston biopic, and that movie was every bit as repressed as it sounds.) I went into A Dangerous Method eager to see Freud and Jung come to life on screen as they might, perhaps, have really been. And Cronenberg, at his most restrained, delivers — the movie, though less overtly exciting than some of his others, gave me just what I wanted. It’s a play of sensuality and ideas rooted in the opposing spirits (rational vs. mystical, Jewish Austrian vs. Protestant Swiss) of these two infamous allies-turned-adversaries.

The movie is framed as Jung’s story, and Fassbender, courtly and polite, hidden behind a clockmaker’s mustache, makes the bourgeois but searching Jung a paradoxical explorer: He’s devoted to his wealthy wife (Sarah Gadon), and to the children she keeps bringing forth, yet Knightley’s Sabina, who becomes his patient and lover, represents more than temptation. She’s his chance to break on through to the other side — to the secret dark truth of pain, masochism, and sex as creative destruction. Knightley’s performance, with its gargantuan mood swings from jaw-gnashing psychosis to femme-fatale hunger, has already divided a lot of people at the festival, but I think she works just fine. The movie’s real, tragic love story is the increasingly frayed bond between Freud and Jung.

Freud, who Jung reveres as a mentor and father figure, accepts the erotic intensity of everyday life but has no real use for it. He’s the man who defined the pleasure principle, yet his holy mission is to figure out how to live within its boundaries. It was a stroke of inspiration to cast the virile, rock-solid confident Mortensen as the godfather of neurosis. Puffing on a cigar, he makes Freud a charismatic control freak, a man all too eager to engage in dream analysis yet too much of a self-designated authority figure to put his own dreams up for dissection. Jung, working in his own clinic in Switzerland, starts out as Freud’s disciple, but when Jung begins to advocate for the irrational, for the power of coincidence, for sex as magic, he’s really arguing for a different kind of psychoanalysis — for hope in place of determinism. Fassbender brings Jung the tormented angelic mind-bender to life. He and Mortensen turn Jung and Freud into X-men of the unconscious. They know they’re freaks, and that’s their liberation.

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The two get locked in a war that’s really a tango of egos and ideals. Yet for some of us, Freud and Jung are hardly opposed. I personally couldn’t imagine the philosophy of one without the other. In a funny way, A Dangerous Method is Cronenberg’s libido-driven Masterpiece Theatre movie. At times, it’s a little staid, yet it’s the first Cronenberg film in a while that feels justified in putting itself on the couch.

* * * *
into-the-abyss

Image Credit: Film Images

Werner Herzog is a god at this festival, where his brilliant documentaries, in recent years, have played to greater and greater acclaim. He had a special triumph last year with the anthro-mystical catacomb-painting meditation Cave of Forgotten Dreams, so you’d better believe that people were primed for his new film, Into the Abyss, a tale of bloody murder in Texas that is also the director’s statement against capital punishment. Before the first showing, Herzog, looking natty in a dark suit, and speaking in that inimitable sing-song Teutonic Yoda English of his, got up on stage and said, quite simply, that he had no real “argument” to make against capital punishment, just a story to tell — though he added that no German he knew of his generation, who came up under the shadow of the Nazi era, could tolerate the concept of state-sponsored executions.

The audience loved the movie. And when Herzog is working in his open-eyed, discursive, stranger-than-fiction mode, I tend to feel the same way. But I’m afraid that I’m going to have to dissent, big time, on Into the Abyss. I absolutely hated the movie; I thought it was rambling, dishonest, and — a rarity for Herzog — timid rather than exploratory. It wants to be Herzog’s Dead Man Walking, but it’s basically a bad episode of A Current Affair with gothic-redneck flourishes and a tacked-on liberal message it never earns.

In the small town of Conroe, Texas, Herzog visits a death-row inmate, Michael Perry (pictured, above), who is 28 years old and scheduled to die on July 1, 2010. A decade before, when he was a carousing teenager, he’d been convicted, along with his friend Jason Burkett, of a triple homicide. These two broke into a home inside a gated community, and before long they had slaughtered an acquaintance’s mother (while she was baking cookies) and, a short while later, murdered two teenagers. Herzog shows us hideous, gore-splattered crime-scene video, yet he doesn’t quite seem to grasp the nature of this crime. He buys completely into a policeman’s repeated statement that three people died so that the killers (who claimed to be innocent; each one of them blamed the other) could steal a red Camero from the garage. Oh, the irony of violent crime! But a murder as gruesome as this one doesn’t arise out of a desire to steal. It arises out of an appetite to commit gruesome murder.

Herzog spends a lot of time talking to the buck-toothed, ignorant, sociopathically detached Michael Perry, presenting him as a guy who knows that he caused a lot of pain and now regrets it. But the director never really tries to get inside the darkness of Perry’s mind. (The Herzog I love would have been dying to enter that cave.) He treats the murder as a distant, “bygone” fact and, in the process, defuses its horrific reality. He also interviews family members of the victims, and certainly, he allows them to express the depths of their agony and rage and loss. But I’d have been more comfortable if the film didn’t seem to be taking an almost lip-smacking delight in the trailer-trash garishness of a lot of the people it shows us. By the time Herzog interviews a man whose job it was to coordinate executions, and presided over 125 of them before he quit out of disgust, the film’s message couldn’t be clearer: Vicious young killers are human beings too. Well, yes, but if Herzog had been more unsparing about their viciousness, their evil, then perhaps his plea for their humanity would have given you chills and not just the creeps.
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Post by Admin on Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:04 am

http://www.toromagazine.com/features/tiff/tiff-11/a079c895-2581-a8c4-0902-4bff2ef3e02a/TIFF-11-Day-2/

More TIFF 11
TIFF '11: DAY 2

Jesse Skinner
POSTED BY: Jesse Skinner
September 9, 2011

A Dangerous Method (dir. David Cronenberg, eOne, 93 minutes)

A Dangerous Method takes a hard, cold look at the roots of psychoanalysis both in the way it has liberated truly repressed people like Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley) and excused immoral behaviour in others (pioneer Carl Jung himself, here played by Michael Fassbender.)

Apparently based on true events and brought halfway to life by David Cronenberg, the film dramatizes a few years in Jung’s career, wherein he was drawn into the young patient Spielrein’s bedroom and the inner circle of elder psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen.)

To call the film lifeless would be overstating it but there’s a dry, clinical feel throughout that is never relieved, even in the moments of intense intimacy between Knightley and Fassbender. True to a movie about people who are better prepared to sit around and talk about sex than to actually have any, A Dangerous Method is annoyingly well-mannered and not very dangerous.

But I can admire the way Cronenberg engages with the theories of Jung and Freud in his academic way. He is probably more interested in the esoteric details of these thinkers than his audience will be, and that trips him up more than once, but he knows the material and brings some honest drama out of Christopher Hampton’s script. 3/5
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Post by Admin on Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:12 am

http://moviecitynews.com/2011/09/tiff-11-review-a-dangerous-method/

By Kim Voynar Voynar@moviecitynews.com
Posted Saturday, September 10th, 2011

TIFF ’11 Review: A Dangerous Method

David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method stars Viggo Mortensen as Sigmund Freud and Michael Fassbender as Carl Jung in a stagey drama about the professional relationship between two men whose ideas shaped the field of psychoanalysis, and their relationship with Sabine Spielrein (Keira Knightley), Jung’s patient-turned-protegee, who went on to become a psychoanalyst in her own right.

A Dangerous Method is a good film, meticulous in everything from the production design to the gorgeous period costumes to the unobtrusive cinematography. If it’s occasionally hindered both by its own restraint, and by sometimes being so methodically staged that you can see where certain bits maybe played out better on stage than they do on screen, powerful lead performances, strong writing, and an interesting take on what could have been a more pedestrian tale ultimately pull the film through and keep it interesting and engaging.

Knightley’s deliberately histrionic performance in the film’s opening bits, when she’s screaming and writhing and jutting out her lower jaw so extensively that it almost looks like a Cronenberg special effects sequence, threw me off a bit at first. But later in the film, when the tables turn and we see Jung’s neuroses deepen while his patient becomes the doctor, this serves as an interesting contrast that augments both Jung’s own ideas on whether the purpose of psychoanalysis is merely to diagnose or also to cure — and Spielrein’s contributions to the field in her own right, particularly the idea of sexual fixations as a battle between ego and id, necessitating the surrender of the individual in order for a new person to be born.

The film’s marketing makes it seem to be more about the battle of wills between the aging Freud and his ambitious pupil Jung (or, perhaps more accurately, it makes it seem more like Fassbender and Mortensen’s film), whereas in actuality much of what happens is driven beneath the surface by Knightley as Spielrein. In other words, what we have here is a film with a female protagonist who, much like the real Spielrein, contributed much in her own right but was upstaged by the force of the personalities of men (and, perhaps, by the fact that she was a pioneering woman working in what was largely a man’s world). The marketing, for me, makes it feel like this is a movie about a fragile woman at the center of a battle between two strong men, and that’s not actually what this film itself is about at all.

I suppose, though, that it draws more interest about the film for men to be buzzing about Keira Knightley being tied up and spanked by Michael Fassbender than to discuss the film from the perspective of its views on sex and fidelity and, in particular, sexual drive as an innate natural force at war with the contrived restraint of religion and social mores. But hey, whatever it takes to get butts into seats and people talking about your film, I guess.

In all fairness, for all that there’s little nudity in the film, the spanking scenes are more erotic than full-on sex scenes in a lot of films — but I don’t expect we’ll hear nearly as much ballyhooing about the idea of a woman who wants to be tied up and beaten as we did about, say, Michelle Williams enjoying oral sex in last year’s Blue Valentine. It’s okay to show a man getting off on spanking a woman with a belt and the woman enjoying that, but not to show her reacting to a man’s tongue probing her nether regions? Not that there’s anything wrong with either sexual act, but so it goes in Hollywood that while I’ve heard a fair amount of buzz over the spanking scenes as titillating, I haven’t seen nearly the swirl of controversy over them as I might expect, having seen the film now. But whatever.

It would have been easier, and much more typical, for this story to unfold with Knightley taking a back seat to Mortensen and Faassbender — particularly given the aforesaid “spanking” scenes that unfold as Jung embarks on an affair with his patient, but both the writing and Knightley’s performance rescue the film from this end. Spielrein is played here as a strong-willed female character who, for all that she’s the most fragile and undone at the beginning of the film, ends up being the strongest and most resilient of the triad, and her growth as a person and a character serves to underscore the ideas around psychoanalytic theory that she proposes (and that, some say, helped form the basis for both Freud’s and Jung’s most well-explored ideas in the field).

Here, though, it’s Spielrein’s acceptance of her own masochistic streak and sexuality, her own battle with ego and id and the death of who she was as she accepts, at least to some extent, that her baser desires don’t render her vile and dirty, that pave the way for her own success both in her field and in her personal life once she moves on from her passion for Jung.

Meanwhile her former doctor, seen here as never fully able to reconcile his own sexual desires with his stronger desire for the financial stability of his marriage to his wealthy wife, seems unable to accept his own battle of id and ego, the societal convention of monogamy with his own experience that his relationship with his wife meets one need, while his affair with Spielrein (and later, with mistress Toni Wolff, not seen in this film) met other needs. This pull-and-tug is most clearly represented in the film by Vincent Cassel as Otto Gross, an early disciple of Freud’s who lived a bohemian lifestyle and advocated the idea of free love; here, he serves as a foil to Jung’s more uptight sexual sensibilities, persuasively arguing that Jung would be a happier man if he stopped fighting his sexual urges and embraced the idea of having sexual relationships with women other than his wife.

A Dangerous Method frequently plays as overly stagey and methodical in many respects, which will no doubt turn some critics cold on the film, but it’s also richly textured and smart, with layers of subtext related to the field in which Jung and Freud pioneered cleverly interwoven into the narrative. The film is bolstered by strong performances by all the lead players — but most especially by Knightley, who’s quite powerful here — and for me, it worked quite well as an exploration of these fascinating ideas and equally fascinating characters.
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Post by Admin on Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:52 pm

http://blogs.montrealgazette.com/2011/09/15/tiff-2011-a-dangerous-method/

TIFF 2011: A Dangerous Method

September 15, 2011. 11:55 pm • Section: The Cine Files

Viggo Mortenson and Michael Fassbender in David Cronenber's A Dangerous MethodViggo Mortenson and Michael Fassbender in David Cronenber's A Dangerous Method

Posted by:
Al Kratina
A Dangerous Method
2011, Germany/Canada
Directed by David Cronenberg
Written by Christopher Hampton, John Kerr (play)
Starring Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley, Sarah Gadon
93 minutes
English

As Canada’s most fascinating auteur, David Cronenberg has created an impressive body of work, one deep with meaning and, considering his obsession with disease and sickness, probably swimming with viruses, like a petri dish made out of an Olympic-sized pool. And A Dangerous Method is a worthy continuation of his familiar themes.

It is, however, somewhat of a change, in that its focus is mental illness rather than his standard parade of mutation and infection, which generally involves covering his cast in lesions instead of make-up. But the underlying motifs are the same.

Based on John Kerr’s play, A Dangerous Method focuses on the relationship between famed psychiatrists Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) and Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender). In between the two is Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley), first Jung’s patient, then his lover, and finally his collaborator.

As Jung, Fassbender would steal the show if her weren’t matched by Mortenson, creating a captivating dynamic whenever the two are on screen. Eager and energetic, Fassbender is a perfect foil for Mortenson’s stately Freud, who exudes the lethargic, majestic wisdom of a dying lion. Knightley’s Spielrien is also impressive, though when she’s called upon to throw her “fits,” she starts to look as if she learned to act from a Cirque de Soleil contortionist.

Unfortunately, Cronenberg’s film feels a little thin otherwise. There are some interesting ideas, but they’re often dealt with in broad, obvious strokes. Even the sets seem a bit precious, as if the film is taking place in a dollhouse filled with tiny mental patients. Still, it’s a worthy entry in Cronenberg’s ouevre, and proves that the filmmaker is still willing to evolve. Or at least mutate.

Here’s the trailer:

Image courtesy of TIFF.

- Al Kratina
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Post by Admin on Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:53 pm

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20110915/dangerous-film-probes-flaws-freud-jung-friendship-10915/20110915?s_name=tiff2011&no_ads=

'Dangerous' film probes flaws in Freud-Jung friendship
Michael Fassbender, left, and Viggo Mortensen in David Cronenberg's film 'A Dangerous Method.'

Constance Droganes, CTVNews.ca Staff

Date: Thu. Sep. 15 2011 4:03 PM ET

Sex, sensuality and the rocky relationship between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung take moviegoers on quite a trip in the new period drama, "A Dangerous Method."

Set in Vienna on the eve of the First World War, Cronenberg digs into the turbulent, six-year friendship between 29-year-old psychiatrist Jung (Michael Fassbender) and his famous mentor Freud (Viggo Mortensen).

"Freud and Jung are always talked about as the fathers of modern-day psychiatry. But they aren't rarefied giants here. They're men with flaws, just like the rest of us," says Cronenberg as we sit and chat by a sun-streamed window in the Intercontinental Toronto Centre.

In Cronenberg's film, the wry father-figure Freud (shown as a man of 50) is jealous of Jung's youth and money, while the earnest Jung dares to challenge Freud's ideas.

Jung also breaks the cardinal rule between doctor and patient. He sleeps with a troubled woman in his care and the sex scenes portrayed in "A Dangerous Method" are masochistic.

The woman is Sabina Spielrein, a real-life patient of Jung's, played in the film by Keira Knightley. When the movie opens, she's dragged screaming into a Zurich clinic and put into Jung's care.

"Keira and I talked a lot about what pitch we should take here, which some people may find extreme. Keira had to express the real horror of hysteria, something doctors back then called a female disease. But that diagnosis had a lot to do with the culture of the time and the repression of women and their sexuality," he says.

"We toned it down a lot. If people knew anything at all about Sabina's story and what transpired between her and Jung they'd see that the pitch here isn't extreme at all. It's actually quite restrained."

Adapted by Christopher Hampton from his stage play "The Talking Cure" (the term for the early development of psychoanalysis), the film takes a smart, dialogue-heavy route through complicated subject matter.

"You do a film and you hope for the best," Cronenberg says calmly.

Yet that calm seems remarkable given the obstacles the 68-year-old director faced on the project.

Christoph Waltz, Cronenberg's original casting choice for Freud, campaigned hard to win the part. When the bigger-budgeted film "Water for Elephants" came along, Waltz emailed Cronenberg to pull out.

Before that, scheduling conflicts forced Christian Bale to withdraw from the role of Jung -- a turn of events Bale personally conveyed to the director.

Cronenberg's hunt for financing also came at a time when the world markets crashed.

"It wasn't pretty. But it really didn't worry me," Cronenberg says, his blue eyes crinkling from the sunlight.

"If you've been in this business for as long as I have, you learn. Things go up. They go down. You just go on."
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Post by Admin on Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:59 pm

http://exclaim.ca/Reviews/TIFF/dangerous_method-directed_by_david_cronenberg

A Dangerous Method
Directed by David Cronenberg
TIFF breadcrumbsplit Sep 15 2011
A Dangerous Method - Directed by David Cronenberg
By Robert Bell

Despite not featuring any vaginal chest wounds, talking butt holes or fully nude fight sequences, Cronenberg's latest work of astounding exactitude shares a similar sense of dry humour, handling the profane academically and analytically, tossing out gags about the childhood anal stage and focusing on blood from a torn hymen without shame.

In fact, considering his directorial history of linking bodily mutilation and mutation to the psychological (typically related to sexuality), it's uniquely apropos that he tackles the nascent relationship between Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortenson) and Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) right when their speculation turned into the religion of the 20th century: psychoanalysis.

With jabs at Freud's obsession with relating all neuroses and conditions to the sexual, A Dangerous Method defines their main theses with clarity and necessary simplicity, positing Jung as the overzealous dreamer with a slight God complex and Freud as the pragmatist, using empirical evidence to diagnose and define, but not cure. The debate is one of ego and ideologue, with Jung believing in a psychological ideal each person should strive for and Freud leaning more towards intervention as a mode of arrogance.

Their conversations, and introduction, initially revolve around medical student Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley) – whose eventual theories would contradict Freud's, suggesting that sex was ostensibly the death of ego, comparable to annihilation anxiety – as they attempt to deconstruct her manic physical episodes of shame, wherein a hidden arousal stems from physical abuse.

And while these archetypes eventually play off each other, each proving and disproving current psychological practices and their own dogmas, there is a constant sense of humour amidst the cerebral exchanges, occasionally repeated to ensure that everyone is on board, keeping things in the realm of entertainment.

Even the fact that Freud analyzes Jung's phallocentric dreams, linking everything to sexual repression, or that there are remarks about the human need for monotheism, is handled with a tongue-in-cheek accuracy that's often hilarious. Beyond these clever observations and knowing theoretical jabs, Cronenberg's seemingly effortless approach to the material – pacing and lining every shot and sequence with eerie precision – makes it all breeze by accessibly.

While not as showy or obvious as some of the director's other works, this will likely go down as his masterpiece in years to come once a bit of perspective on the subject reveals just how astute and culturally critical it really is.
(eOne)
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Post by Admin on Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:04 pm

http://www.filmschoolrejects.com/film-festivals/tiff-2011-review-a-dangerous-method-isnt-nearly-dangerous-enough.php

TIFF 2011 Review: ‘A Dangerous Method’ Isn’t Nearly Dangerous Enough
Film Festivals By Marco Cerritos on September 15, 2011

There are many expectations fans of director David Cronenberg have embraced when he makes a new movie and his ability to surprise is definitely one of them. Not surprises in terms of jump scares but more in the vein of not knowing what you’re going to get. One thing is certain, his work is never boring and is willing to go to dark places whether it be psychological (Dead Ringers), sexual (Crash), or spiritual (A History of Violence). Having said that, it’s my sad duty to report that the only surprise in his latest work, A Dangerous Method, is his ability to take an intriguing subject (sexual analysis) and make such a tame, limp movie.

On paper, the thought of Viggo Mortensen as Sigmund Freud and Michael Fassbender as Carl Jung in a duel of wits and sexual psychosis sounds like a film lover’s dream. The actors are more than capable of going to extreme places in search of an authentic performance and are only matched in their dedication by their fearless director. So why is it that a movie about the raw and animalistic ways we perceive sex be so neutered and detached from itself?

Exhibit A points to screenwriter Christopher Hampton who is working from his own play The Talking Cure and the novel A Most Dangerous Method by John Kerr. It’s tricky enough adapting one piece of material to the screen, but juggling two works at the same time causes the obvious problem of over-stuffing your story with conflicting ideas and that’s a serious roadblock Cronenberg is forced to deal with. The story should be centered solely on Freud and Jung, impressive minds and colleagues taking their ideas and sexual experiments to the next level. Instead, Jung is the unofficial lead of the story and is saddled for most of the film with a sexually repressed Russian patient named Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley).

The idea of balancing Freud and Jung’s mental chess match with the story of a sexually challenged mental patient is an interesting one that could bear fruit with the right actress, but any thought of a decent payoff to that story is killed within the first minute of the movie by Knightley’s overacting and wretched attempt at a Russian accent. The peaks and valleys of A Dangerous Method are tolerable, but Knightley’s performance is a complete disaster that even a pairing with skilled thespian Fassbender can’t save.

Fassbender’s Carl Jung is supposed to develop an attachment for his patient Sabina, but the emotion is never there. Even scenes of them together acting on their sexual urges are flat and uninteresting. The only true vital signs come at just under the halfway mark when Vincent Cassel (another Cronenberg alum) deviously threatens to stir the pot with sexual psychology. The problem is that promise to shake things up is all too brief and never fully executed.

To say A Dangerous Method is a David Cronenberg misfire is an understatement but not the end of the world. I applaud him for trying something new even if the end result is dead on arrival.

The Upside: Vincent Cassel’s mischievous cameo

The Downside: The entirely of Keira Knightley’s performance

On the Side: If you want a better David Cronenberg/Viggo Mortensen pairing, check out A History of Violence and Eastern Promises

Grade: C-
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Post by Admin on Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:01 am

http://www.fangoria.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5632:a-dangerous-method-tiff-film-review&catid=50:movies-tv&Itemid=181

“A DANGEROUS METHOD” (TIFF Film Review)
Posted by Chris Alexander Sep 13, 2011

David Cronenberg’s latest psychodrama really is just that. A DANGEROUS METHOD, which had its world premiere at the current Toronto International Film Festival and opens theatrically November 23 from Sony Pictures Classics, may not be a horror film, but as it’s a character piece about sex and history, charting the period when Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud cross-pollinated each other’s lives and shared an interest in a most unusual patient, the subject matter puts it very much in line with Cronenberg’s previous body of work.

Michael Fassbender is excellent as Jung, a questing, determined intellectual doctor who adheres to the theories of his colleague Freud (played by recent Cronenberg regular Viggo Mortensen) and works to apply them to his patients, especially Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley), a deeply troubled, spastic Russian hurtbag of sexual dysfunction with a towering, untapped intellect. When the otherwise moral—and married—Jung becomes sexually involved with Spielrein, he enters a grey zone filled with sadomasochistic coupling, cerebral meanderings and self-loathing. Meanwhile, Freud questions Jung’s increasing interest in metaphysics, and Spielrein begins adapting Freud’s theories to suit her own agenda.

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Sounds dull, but it’s really not. The meticulously shot, edited, scored and, of course, directed film is in fact, when you take a closer look, the logical chamber-drama extension of Cronenberg’s first and most frantic (and, to this writer, best) effort, 1975’s SHIVERS (a.k.a. THEY CAME FROM WITHIN). In that wild picture, a sexual parasite is unleashed upon the residents of a Montreal high-rise, turning them into carnal zombies, unleashing the Freudian id with demented and lethal results. And yet, as the director has always articulated, he was firmly on the side of the parasite. In A DANGEROUS METHOD, Spielrein can be seen as the parasite, and her insistence that indulging the command of the id and letting it destroy the ego is the only way to achieve sexual liberation is exactly the same theme explored in SHIVERS. And in fact, that submission to an alien, threatening influence and allowing it to transform the self for both better and worse is the common theme coursing through all of Cronenberg’s work.

And taken this way, Knightley’s performance makes sense—a mass of jut-jawed, wild-eyed stuttering, twitches and unrefined emotion that shakes the picture’s tranquility to its foundations. Many will reject Knightley’s turn, but I view her as the “monster” and it’s a difficult role…and she sells it. It’s amazing that you buy her intellect and are attracted to her sensuality, yet still recoil at her behavior. It’s a complex performance, and not one easily dismissed. Mortensen and Fassbender are topnotch in their less showy but more nuanced, controlled parts and the crackling dialogue they spout at each other (courtesy of screenwriter Christopher Hampton) is convincing and compelling.

For what it sets out to do, METHOD is a perfect film. It may be far too highbrow and restrained for Cronenberg’s grittier fan base, but those who have followed his evolution and understand his body of work will really get off on it.

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Post by Admin on Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:25 am

http://www.cine-vue.com/2011/09/previews-dangerous-method.html

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Previews: 'A Dangerous Method'
David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method (2011) - starring Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Vincent Cassel and Kiera Knightley - is the long-awaited follow up to his excellent Russian Mafia yarn Eastern Promises (2007). Based on Academy Award-winning writer Christopher Hampton's stage play Taking the Cure and John Kerr's 1993 non-fiction book A Most Dangerous Method, Cronenberg returns to psychosexual territory with this examination of the relationship between Sigmund Freud (Mortensen), his prodigy Carl Jung (Fassbender) and Russian psychoanalyst Sabina Speilrein (Knightley).

Set in 1904, the film focuses on Jung's treatment of Spielrein at the Burghölzlli Psychiatric Hospital in Zurich,Switzerland. Wracked by parental issues that manifest themselves in masochistic sexual perversion. Spielrein is treated by Jung using the psychoanalysis techniques of his mentor Freud but when Jung gets a little to close to his patient, his professional reputation and his relationship with Freud are tested to the limits.

Cronenberg is one of the great directors currently plying their trade in the industry and it's very rare that he delivers a weak picture. His early body horror of the head-exploding Scanners (1981) and the warped techno-organic shocks of Videodrome (1983) brought him instant cult status. Yet it was The Fly (1986) - for my money one of the best pictures of the 1980s - which propelled him into the mainstream.

True to form Cronenberg was more interested in exploring strange subjects rather then your family friendly blockbusters. His one shot at producing something vaguely commercial eXistenz (1999) flopped at the box office and it wasn't until his graphic novel adaptation A History of Violence (2005) that audiences and critics started to take notice again and this has coincided with his work with Viggo Mortensen.

Fassbender is hot property after his turns in Inglorious Basterds (2009), X-Men: First Class (2011) and Steve McQueen's Shame (2011). Keira Knightley's credibility as an actress is on a constant yo-yo string, but rumour has it her turn as the disturbed but intelligent Speierlrein is her best work to date. Throw in a supporting role by the almighty Vincent Cassel as a sex-crazed mental patient and you have all the makings of a cinema classic.

A Dangerous Method is due for release in the UK on 10 February, 2012.

Lee Cassanell
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Post by Admin on Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:57 am

http://www.toromagazine.com/features/tiff/tiff-11/a079c895-2581-a8c4-0902-4bff2ef3e02a/TIFF-11-Day-2-Reviews/

More TIFF 11
TIFF 11: DAY 2 REVIEWS

Jesse Skinner
POSTED BY: Jesse Skinner
September 9, 2011

A Dangerous Method (dir. David Cronenberg, eOne, 93 minutes)

A Dangerous Method takes a hard, cold look at the roots of psychoanalysis both in the way it has liberated truly repressed people like Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley) and excused immoral behaviour in others (pioneer Carl Jung himself, here played by Michael Fassbender.)

Apparently based on true events and brought halfway to life by David Cronenberg, the film dramatizes a few years in Jung’s career, wherein he was drawn into the young patient Spielrein’s bedroom and the inner circle of elder psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen.)

To call the film lifeless would be overstating it but there’s a dry, clinical feel throughout that is never relieved, even in the moments of intense intimacy between Knightley and Fassbender. True to a movie about people who are better prepared to sit around and talk about sex than to actually have any, A Dangerous Method is annoyingly well-mannered and not very dangerous.

But I can admire the way Cronenberg engages with the theories of Jung and Freud in his academic way. He is probably more interested in the esoteric details of these thinkers than his audience will be, and that trips him up more than once, but he knows the material and brings some honest drama out of Christopher Hampton’s script. 3/5
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Post by Admin on Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:59 am

http://www.comingsoon.net/news/torontonews.php?id=81940

TIFF11 Reviews: A Dangerous Method, The Skin I Live In, Take Shelter
Source: Edward Douglas
September 12, 2011


TIFF 2011 motors along with three movies being released by Sony Pictures Classics later this year, two by talented auteurs who have been making classic, Oscar-worthy films for many decades and one by a bright young talent from the indie world.

Toronto's hometown hero David Cronenberg offers A Dangerous Method, an adaptation of Christopher Hampton's play "The Talking Cure," starring Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley and Viggo Mortensen, while Pedro Almodovar delves further into genre with his thriller The Skin I Live In, reuniting him with Antonio Banderas. Jeff Nichols' Take Shelter stars Michael Shannon as a man who foresees a giant storm coming, much to the concern of his wife, played by Jessica Chastain.


A Dangerous Method (Sony Pictures Classics - November 23)
Directed by David Cronenberg; Written by Christopher Hampton
Starring Keira Knightley, Michael Fassbender, Viggo Mortenson, Vincent Cassel, Sarah Gadon
Rating: 7.5/10

It's been some years since David Cronenberg brought his Russian thriller "Eastern Promises" to TIFF, and while it continues some of his earlier themes, "A Dangerous Method" gets away from what we've come to expect from the filmmaker who started out by making some of the most disturbing genre films.

The film opens with a bedraggled Keira Knightley being carried kicking and screaming into an institution in Zurich. This is Sabina Spielrein, a young woman who went through abuse and humiliation at the hands of her father, leaving her completely unhinged, and she's been put into the care of Dr. Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) who uses groundbreaking methods in psychotherapy devised by his mentor Sigmund Freud. We see how the two of them establish a rapport as he tries to help the young woman get through her problems by getting her to help him with her experiments, and her treatment helps her get to the point where she can get into therapy herself.

It's a full 20 minutes before we're introduced to Viggo Mortensen's Sigmund Freud and we get some idea of the rapport between the godfather of modern psychiatry and his student. Rather than being solely about this relationship, it's more of a traditional period-set love story and about Sabina's journey and how her relationship with Jung causes a rift in the friendship between the two medical colleagues.

Fassbender plays Jung in a rather low-key manner, and this is far from the norm of what we've come to expect following some of his other more boisterous roles, and in some ways, Mortensen--looking a lot like Christoph Waltz, the Austrian Oscar winner who was originally lined up to play the role--maintains a similarly leveled performance showing very little emotion. They have an interesting relationship, one where they spend hours analyzing each other's dreams. As one might expect from its origins as a play by screenwriter Christopher Hampton, the movie involves a lot of discussions between the two of them. Later on though it becomes more about them writing letters back and forth, which means we don't see the two actors together on screen as some might expect. It's fairly easy to see how their friendship would deteriorate with Jung trying to get out of the shadow of his mentor, who in turn is jealous of the luxurious way that Jung has become accustomed to living from marrying into wealth.

Knightley's performance may take some getting used to, especially at the beginning when her Russian accent, heavy stammer and exaggerated facial expressions are quite off-putting. Even so, it's her performance that really has the most impact, as much as it may be hard to believe the woman we meet at the beginning can transform herself into a respected psychoanalyst in her own right.

The final piece in the puzzle is Vincent Cassel's Otto Gross, a patient sent by Freud to be treated by Jung, but whose depraved sexuality ends up influencing Jung to cheat on his wife with Sabina. Otto is a small role but another scene-stealing performance by Vincent Cassel after laying a similarly lecherous character in "Black Swan."

Ultimately, it makes for a surprisingly low-key film for Cronenberg, as much as he comes to life in this period European setting, creating beautiful shots of the estates and buildings of early 20th Century Zurich and Vienna. The closest it gets to some of the explorations of depravity and obsession in which Cronenberg has excelled are the love scenes between Jung and Sabina, in which he indulges her masochistic streak by spanking her.

This isn't going to be a movie for everyone and Cronenberg's regular cadre of fans might feel disappointed he's doing something more for the prestige than continuing with the genre fare for which he's loved. This is certainly an interesting story but it contains little of the dynamic qualities we've come to expect from Cronenberg, so despite solid performances, "A Dangerous Method" may have been more impressive coming from a younger director rather than one we have seen greatness from in recent years.
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Post by Admin on Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:18 pm

http://www.popmatters.com/pm/post/149010-toronto-international-film-festival-2011-a-dangerous-method/

Toronto International Film Festival 2011: 'A Dangerous Method'

Friday, Sep 23, 2011
by Stuart Henderson
David Cronenberg's latest is a chilly study of the creative and competitive triangle between Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen), Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender), and the lesser-known Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightly) in the early years of the 20th century.

A DANGEROUS METHOD
Director: David Cronenberg
Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley, Sarah Gadon, Vincent Cassel
Country: Germany / Canada

David Cronenberg’s latest is a chilly study of the creative and competitive triangle between Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen), Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender), and the lesser-known Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightly) in the early years of the 20th century. Christopher Hampton’s cunningly constructed script—he is the man behind Dangerous Liaisons and Atonement) paints the early history of psychoanalysis as a precarious moment, a time when brave innovators faced the collective disapproval of their peers for their forays to the edges of science. In many ways, this is a film about acceptance, about fitting in, and about the ways one muct repress one’s desires in order to do so.

In one telling scene Freud and Jung debate how best to pronounce the term “psychoanalysis”, and the decision is taken based on which would sound better to the public. A lot of this trepidation arises from the centrality of sex to Freud’s understanding of neuroses, and his understanding that this might rankle the puritans. In response, Freud is here simultaneously confident of his (most dangerous) method and anxious about the public’s willingness to accept it (much less embrace it). He even refers to it as “the plague” at one point. Cleverly invoking Freud’s Jewishness and class status (and contrasting it with the wealthy Protestant Jung), we are offered perhaps a bit of insight into Freud’s final conservatism when compared to Jung’s eventual turn to mysticism. At the centre of all of this is Knightley’s Sabina, a truly unsung heroine of psychoanalysis, and a kind of bridge between Freud and Jung’s respective methods. The film’s narrative arc is all hers, as she begins the movie completely tangled up in the throes of an agonizing psychosis before she is eventually cured (by Jung, using Freud’s method) and winds up a Freudian psychoanalyst herself. Along the way, she has a brief but torrid affair with Jung which causes him to (perhaps) re-evaluate his own repressed sexuality.

Possibly most important of all in this game of identity and discovery is Vincent Cassel’s wonderful turn as Otto Gross, another psychoanalyst who found himself a patient of Jung. Obsessed by sex, and a believer in gratification and pleasure above all else, Gross is the only character here who feels completely free—he is all id, let’s say—but he is just as unable to operate in the mainstream as was Sabina in her period of superego masochism. I could go on. This is a film that positively demands that you go on. It is whipsmart, carefully constructed, and entrancing. It is also very talky, and often a bit too clever for its own good. Audiences may admire Knightley’s resoundingly over-the-top performance (I mean this in a good way, though many will disagree), but will likely find the coldness of the proceedings a bit underwhelming. Still, it is quite a feat to have made such a stimulating film about repression.
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Post by Admin on Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:18 pm

http://secondavisione.wordpress.com/2011/09/23/a-dangerous-method-david-cronenberg-2011/

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"I am Li, Andrea Segre, 2011
A Dangerous Method, David Cronenberg, 2011

I know you came to see the movie just for this scene. Mo 'pecks you two hours of bickering between Freud and Jung

Let's start with the left foot. The wrong one. We start from the hand of the author. Cronenberg's hand in this film is widely recognized as the turning point of selling this film. The scene that Tarantino shot if he had, over the next 5 years we had young filmmakers citing that reflected MYTHICAL scenes where their cousin spanking their pretty high school classmate who always wanted to be an actress.

The primal scene (heh, heh, that witty and a few two-way), that is also seen in the trailer. What was written in the subject. And there was only one subject "

"Michael Fassbender gets strapped on ass Keira Knightley. It has a monocle! "

The producer read it and said "ok, we have the film. Now costruiteci around the donut. "

Behold, we had turned Tarantino quotes, had turned Faenza We rolled on the floor from laughing, he had turned Almodovar "Ah, the provocateur."

The Cronenberg spins and cleans any eroticism, will be the mustache and glasses of Fassbender, will be the interpretation of the folly of Keira (I call it that), that will see this scene after learned disquisitions on the ammoscia psychoanalysis, but we prefer to give us the total lack of erotic feeling and excitement to the fact that the author has not lost his hand, but capable of dissecting the bodies of perversions in the same way as he did at one time.

At the same time, however, the author has aged. It happens to everyone. A Spider by Cronenberg on. It went from being a visionary by their unreasoning theoretical potential to literary and theoretical analyst's own vision of cinema (et of the world, ça va sans dire).

The harsh reality of life is that you can do to Videodrome Nearing seventy, and then the choice is perhaps less risky, but also the most honest, leaving space for the mutation, alteration, mutilation, others who have learned from him , to get to reflect on what has always driven by Stereo on.

You do not want to make a defense of the office of an old buddy who gave us so many joys (and The Fly, which is in my personal top three of the most disturbing films ever seen. In this classification there is Salo), indeed. The film is strongly discouraged. Plate to the core of most television, what you would not expect from Cronenberg, almost with the desire to demonstrate the ability to make movies "serious". Nearly De Oliveira, for the use of the word. Completely different stuff than you expect. And the surprises are usually always a pleasure.

Let's say that either is recommended only to those to which it is a vague interest in - and you are just a few, I know - to investigate the relationship between Freud and Jung and personal reasons (especially) their theoretical break. Vs. Mysticism. scientific method, realism vs.. promise of the future, vs. parapsychology. data found. Vs. jealous father. son gifted but sborone. I was intrigued, and I've enjoyed, but certainly for a good half hour I thought seriously about Alzheimer's that strikes the film at some point of his career.

Other reasons for it are the ones who could tell you a champion of quality films: actors, screenplay (in some batture, almost perfect, with the ability to trace the relationship between the two with two salacious exchanges on the cross: the pragmatic, envious, Patriarch Freud and the narcissus, arrogant and Arian Jung).

Here, if ten years ago one had told me "Oh, the last Croneberg: What actors, but that script to watch" I would have laughed at you. And now I'm going to laugh in my face in the mirror.

Consistency is a virtue? The fact that the object of all his films become gradually more and more verbose and less bloody, more and more open to dialogue and less mutant, can be considered a more PEL report card? I give it to him in my field, even though I know very well that the final evaluation, there are things that do not matter much. Especially since the turn that had taken over the past films, including History of Violence and Eastern Promises involution seemed incapable of exploding into something. Here, in this film it seems that the reflection on the body and various other Cronenberg does not seek refuge in the literature (Spider) or in kind (the other two) but face metacinematograficamente, a talking-cure. A short film under psychoanalysis, which can not legitimately be of interest.

What they remember Promises: a scene, the fight in the sauna. Spectacular, virtuous and fully capable of attracting attention to the viewer more involved in making out / think about the bills.

In this case, the paradox of the scene is so powerful is that powerful on paper becomes forgettable, it was so erotic that it becomes a word to tell between the 200 000 that are exchanged.

In short, Croneberg starts talking and is always the same speech, a little taller, a little (read: very) more verbalized.

No skull that explodes, no deformed body (if not perfectly and righteously annoying interpretation of Keira - hello, Keira, punish me) but so many words. Well written, but always words.

I can not say be happy, but I can not even say, of being disappointed. I remain somewhat concerned, give a pat on the shoulder to David and say, "Oh, those formidable years in which the heads exploding. Now we are here and play bridge with the theory. "

Ah, for those who had never noticed it, Viggo Mortensen is tremendous.

Trailer | IMDB
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Post by Admin on Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:32 pm

http://www.informador.com.mx/entretenimiento/2011/324142/6/un-metodo-peligroso-llega-a-la-pantalla-grande-a-contar-la-relacion-freud-jung.htm&usg=ALkJrhjPP2h3EJ2TaXZVRNhai-DELRGCCA

A method''dangerous''comes to the big screen to tell Freud-Jung relationship
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Sigmund Freud
[A method''dangerous''comes to the big screen to tell Freud-Jung relationship]

U.S. actor Viggo Mortensen plays the Austrian psychoanalyst. SPECIAL

Billboards reach U.S. on November 23

The film is an adaptation of the play The Talking Cure, the playwright Christopher Hampton
STATE OF MEXICO (22/SEP/2011) .- The film director David Cronenberg took to the big screen of life who is remembered as the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, who died on September 23, 1939.

In the movie, U.S. actor Viggo Mortensen plays the Austrian psychoanalyst, to show the complicated relationship he had with his colleague Karl Jung, here played by German actor Michael Fassbender.

The film, which is called "A dangerous method" is an adaptation of the play "The talking cure", the playwright Christopher Hampton, who also did the screenplay for the film.

'A method dangerous' billboards reach Americans on November 23, but it was well received by the public and critics at film festivals in Venice and Toronto.

Sigmund Freud was born May 6, 1856 in Moravia, Austrian Empire ancient land. His family situation led to the awakening of curiosity and desire to sharpen their intelligence.

In 1860, because the family business went bankrupt, Freud moved with his family to Vienna, where he had to leave way to exile in London in 1938, for his Jewishness, following the annexation of Austria Nazi Germany.

After completing his secondary education in 1873, and after considering the possibility to study law, Freud ended up settling on medicine, with the intention of studying the human condition with some scientific rigor.

Halfway through the race, he decided to biological research, so from 1876 to 1882 he worked in the laboratory of Dr. Ernst von Brucke, where he became interested in some neural structures in animal and human brain anatomy.

In 1881 he graduated as a doctor and a year later began working at the Vienna General Hospital, where he remained until 1885, in order to acquire sufficient clinical experience to allow him to reach a certain prestige.

During his time as a physician, Freud was a pioneer in proposing the therapeutic use of cocaine between 1884 and 1887 and published several articles on the properties of the drug, and based on own experiments failed to demonstrate its properties as a local anesthetic.

In 1885 he was appointed professor at the School of Medicine in Vienna, where he taught throughout his career, in principle neuropathology and later psychoanalysis.

Thanks to a grant, managed to travel to Paris, where he worked for four months and a half with the neurologist Jean Martin Charcot, then the most prestigious French neurologist, under his leadership had the opportunity to observe the effects of hypnosis and suggestion in the treatment of hysteria.

By 1886, he began to practice these techniques at a clinic of his own, specializing in nervous disorders. However, later abandoned in favor of free association, which consists of the psychoanalyzed express all their occurrences, as submitted.

The treatment of his patients led him to forge the essential elements of psychoanalytic concepts such as "unconscious", "repression" and "transference."

Which is considered his most outstanding work, "The Interpretation of Dreams" was published in 1899, thus inaugurating the psychoanalysis. After this event, began to form a group of adherents to his theories, which germinate later in the psychoanalytic movement.

"Three Contributions to the Theory of Sexuality", the second largest of his works, was published in 1905, after the publication began to attract more followers, who in 1908 at the invitation of Karl Gustav Jung, held in Salzburg, the first psychoanalytic congress .

Freud and Jung traveled to the United States in 1909, hosted by Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, which conferred an honorary doctorate to Freud, to deliver a series of lectures on discipline, noting the excitement that was Freudian thinking raised in that country.

A year later, was founded in Nuremberg, Germany, the "International Psychoanalytic Society," chaired by Jung until 1914, when he resigned after a break with Freud, because of professional differences, before it had already given his resignation by Alfred Adler and six of his followers in 1911.

In 1923, Sigmund Freud was diagnosed with mouth cancer, attributed to his fondness for cigars, because of the disease had surgery 33 times, in addition to causing this condition in his right ear deafness forced him to use prosthetic palate, hindered their ability to speak.

Despite his illness, he continued working as a psychoanalyst Freud and published numerous articles, essays and books until the end of his life, September 23, 1939.

In the work published in its final stage include "The Future of an Illusion" (1927), "The Discontents" (1930) and "Moses and Monotheism" (1939).
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Post by Admin on Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:14 pm

http://thefilmexperience.net/blog/2011/9/22/dangerous-expectations.html

Dangerous Expectations
DateThursday, September 22, 2011 at 10:45AM

For what it's worth...


I saw A Dangerous Method last night and enjoyed it. With the New York Film Festival press events in swing (the festival proper starts on the 30th) and other screenings happening to the side we've arrived at our favorite time of year... Prestige Picture let out of the gate! As we speak, Michael and Kurt are watching Lars von Trier's Melancholia (which I've already seen and found fascinating and difficult to let settle) so you'll be hearing about these two movies shortly and later on when they open, too. Fall season is best because even when the movies aren't perfect they offer plenty to talk (and argue) about.

This adaptation of The Talking Cure (a phrase used in the movie unlike its new title) won't hit until November so my proper review will wait but I wanted to note straightaway that it wasn't quite what I was expecting -- almost stately, subtle and one might even say uptight to the point of refusing catharsis. Keira Knightley handles her difficult role well and without vanity, jutting her jaw out grotesquely and contorting her body to the point that it's even more alien and angular than one might have ever found it before. It's as if she's never read any of the critiques of her beauty. (I would like to note that I don't take kindly to the common hateful screeds about the actual looks of actors that are so popular on the web but this is rather like Sarah Jessica Parker -- who I personally love to look at -- agreeing to co-star in a picture entirely about horses.)

Freud (Viggo) and Jung (Fassy)Loved Viggo as Freud but was quite surprised to have difficulty with Michael Fassbender for the first time. I'm guessing that repression is, like depression, difficult to act in a mesmerizing way. For what it's worth my favorite male portrait of stifling repression is probably Anthony Hopkins in Remains of the Day who I would have handed the Oscar to in 1993. I am not overly fond of Hopkins so maybe I just have issues with male repression onscreen? A point of comparison: I was similarly unwowed by Daniel Day-Lewis when he made The Age of Innocence which is the picture my mind kept drifting towards.

As to Oscar speculation: I suspect that if there is Oscar play then The Age of Innocence is a far better comparison than Remains of the Day. But I suppose it all depends on whether AMPAS is in a repressed well appointed 90s period piece mood (they've kind of moved away from that lately, right?) and how the competition holds up when all the game pieces are on the board.
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Post by Admin on Fri Oct 07, 2011 4:48 pm

http://www.filmlinc.com/film-comment/article/david-cronenbergs-a-dangerous-method

David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method
A secret history of psychoanalysis
Written by Amy Taubin

A Dangerous Method

The opening image of David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method is of a woman screaming her head off, her face pressed against the window of a careening horse-drawn carriage. She is 17-year-old Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley), whose amazing real-life story is the focus of this poignant, witty, intellectual adventure movie, an inquiry into the early years of psychoanalysis and the fraught father-son relationship between its all-too-human pioneers, Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) and Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender). Their divergent mappings of the unconscious still define how we imagine ourselves today.

The film’s script by Christopher Hampton sticks fairly close, in both structure and dialogue, to his play, The Talking Cure, produced in London in 2002 by the Royal National Theater with Ralph Fiennes as Jung and Jodhi May as Spielrein. Both play and film are indebted to John Kerr’s dense 1992 history of the development of psychoanalysis, A Most Dangerous Method, which gives a new spin to the famous Freud/Jung schism through its research on Spielrein and her effect on the theory and practice of both men and on their personal lives. A precociously intelligent Russian Jew from a well-to-do, educated family, Spielrein was sent to Zurich in 1904 in the hopes of curing her violent, incapacitating hysteria. She was one of Jung’s first psychoanalytic patients, and his success in treating her with an experimental method, “the talking cure,” allowed her to enroll in medical school the following year and graduate five years later with a degree in psychiatry. She married a doctor who was also a Russian Jew, had two daughters, practiced for about a decade in Geneva, and published papers—one of which was cited by Freud as an influence on his theory of “the death instinct.” In 1923 she returned to Russia, which in her absence had become the Soviet Union, hoping to teach psychoanalysis there. But history was not on her side. Her three brothers were murdered in the Stalinist purges; her husband died insane. Spielrein and her daughters survived Stalin only to be executed in 1941 by the Nazis when they occupied her town, Rostov-on-Don.

Like Hampton’s play, Cronenberg’s film (and despite its seeming classicism, this is a profoundly Cronenbergian work) takes place between 1904 and 1913. It depicts Jung’s analysis of Spielrein and their not entirely secret, stormy love affair—which begins while she is still his patient—against the background of Jung’s marriage and his disastrously Oedipal relationship with Freud. The restrained melodramatic narrative is built on two interlocking triangles. In both, Spielrein is the interloper, the destabilizing element. The more obvious or, we might say, traditional of the two involves Jung, Spielrein, and Jung’s wife Emma (Sarah Gadon). The other comes into focus as a triangle only if one applies a psychoanalytic lens, which the film encourages us to do—one of the ironies that Cronenberg brings into high relief (sometimes to hilarious effect) being the solipsistic traps within the psychoanalytic enterprise, with its transferences and counter transferences and its projections and introjections. (There’s as much shop talk in A Dangerous Method as in The Social Network or any television medical series.) When Spielrein, feeling betrayed and abandoned by Jung who has broken off their affair, writes to Freud requesting a consultation, she is in effect a daughter taking revenge on her brother by telling on him to their father. Spielrein and Jung have already shared a fantasy of an incestuous love, like the siblings Siegmund and Sieglinde in Wagner’s Ring cycle whose union produced Siegfried, the pure prince. But Jung, valuing his reputation and his relationship with the straitlaced Freud more than he does Spielrein, tries to cover up the affair, claiming that his patient is a fantasist whose aggressive sexual advances he resisted. Eventually Spielrein shames him into admitting something if not all of the truth. Jung’s initial deception, however, even more than his sexual transgression, adds to the misgivings Freud has about his flight into mysticism, causing Freud to question Jung’s worthiness to be his heir apparent, and leading to a complete break between them.

A Dangerous Method II

That pretty much covers the plot of A Dangerous Method, a story almost too good to be true, which is why, in real life, it was easily swept under the rug for decades. But in the mid-Seventies, a cache of papers was discovered that Spielrein—in a splendid example of parapraxis—had left behind when she departed for the Soviet Union. Among them were her exchanges of letters with both Jung and Freud, and the diary in which she confided her romantic passion for Jung and the erratic course of their relationship, using the code word “poetry” to stand in for their sexual activity. Readers of this revealing document (even readers who have themselves flirted with indiscretion on the page) find it impossible to determine exactly what went down—did they ever hit a home run or was it a matter of playing around at third base to their mutual satisfaction? In Hampton’s stage play, there is one scene in which there is blood on the bedclothes and several others that end in passionate kisses. But for Cronenberg, a bit of blood—the clinical evidence of virginity lost—does not suffice.

“I’m not mad, you know,” Spielrein says as she sits in a straight back chair in Jung’s office, looking like a terrified, cornered animal, her face and body wracked by contradictory impulses. Her lower jaw juts forward and locks; her lips pull back baring her teeth, her head twists; her body jackknifes in the chair, her hands clutch at each other, fly up and then down, ever so briefly pressing between her thighs as if she were simultaneously yielding to and suppressing the urge to masturbate. Her fear of what she might say is so great that every word is choked back before it’s released. In most movies, kineticism is achieved through camera movement and editing, usually as they are deployed in big action sequences. It’s very rare for a performance to take hold of a viewer in the solar plexus and for that body-to-body identification to be sustained for the entire duration of the narrative. I’m not talking about desire but rather a sense of connecting to the nervous system of the character on the screen, and out of that connection finding emotional empathy and intellectual understanding.

Need it be said that Cronenberg’s ongoing primary subject is the interpenetration of body and mind? By situating a film in the world of psychoanalysis and afflicting his protagonist with conversion hysteria (literally the transformation of psychical conflict into physical behavior) he can approach the issue with almost comical directness and also from a somewhat different angle than, say, the body horror of Dead Ringers, a film with which, nevertheless, A Dangerous Method has much in common. In both films, a masochistic female patient survives the treatment of male doctors whose pathology is in no less doubt than that of the institution that empowers them. What eventually destroys Spielrein is not Jung’s shabby, unethical treatment of her but the anti-Semitism that worries Freud far more than any internal arguments among his heirs over the nature of the libido. In the past decade, questions of Jewish identity and anti-Semitism have begun to surface in Cronenberg’s work, and in A Dangerous Method the character of Freud brings them to the foreground. Freud has chosen Jung as his heir apparent because he believes psychoanalysis needs to have an Aryan beard. But when he begins to doubt Jung’s intellect, talents, and sense of ethics, it weighs on him that the woman Jung has smeared and taken advantage of is a Jew. “We are and remain Jews,” Freud writes to Spielrein. The letter is paraphrased in the film along with another in which he writes that he’s pleased she’s given up her fantasy of “the Aryan prince.” It’s almost enough to make you feel sorry for weak, self-deluded Jung.

And Cronenberg certainly goes out of his way to make the character sympathetic by casting Fassbender, an actor whose deep sense of sadness is palpable even when he plays arch villains, which is not the case here. A Dangerous Method is a character-driven film, and the actors, especially Knightley, are brilliant. Not only does she take enormous risks with the grotesque behavior of the early scenes, she sustains Spielrein’s distinctive combination of psychological fragility and intellectual toughness throughout—the sense of a mind on fire as well as a body. In the film, Spielrein is never completely cured, but she gains a measure of control over her physical symptoms, which wax and wane depending on the level of threat she feels within and without. Fassbender is a terrific foil for her, finding the confusion and even despair beneath Jung’s poker-faced professional manner. (I’m sure many viewers will identify with Jung and find their way into the film through him.) In one of Jung’s early analytic sessions with Spielrein, she divulges what incited her hysteria—not merely that her father beat her, but that she felt humiliated by her sexual arousal when he did. At that moment, Cronenberg cuts to a close-up of Jung, and we see a tiny flicker of excitement in his eyes, which is easy to interpret as triumph that “the talking cure” is a success. But a few months later in her bedroom when he’s whipping her ass, we understand that something more complicated was taking place. Included in the end credits is the following disclaimer: “This film is based on true events, but certain scenes, especially those in the private sphere, are of a speculative nature.”

Melodrama, a mad profusion of professional lingo, and whips in the bedroom notwithstanding, A Dangerous Method is a spare, if not austere movie, Bressonian in its ellipticality and compression of time. The passage of months, even years, are often marked by an abruptly closed or opened door. Howard Shore’s score, poised between late Beethoven and early Wagner is discreetly expressive. What makes the form of the film as radical as its underlying subject—Freud’s concept of the unconscious—is the monkey wrench Cronenberg throws into the construction of two shots, three shots, and reverse-angle POVs (or shot/countershot sequences as they are customarily termed). In recent movies, Cronenberg has favored a somewhat wide-angle lens that flattens space, making the actor in the foreground seem disproportionately large in comparison to the actor in the background. Most directors who use wide-angle lenses try to cover this distortion through movement. Here, however, particularly in the “talking cure” scenes, Cronenberg employs the disproportion to reveal something about subjectivity: how one’s self-involvement can dwarf one’s perception and comprehension of the other, or vice versa. A Dangerous Method thereby becomes a tragic study of the absence of true reciprocity in human relations.

A Dangerous Method III

If the film’s opening image is of Spielrein, the closing shot and the last line belong to Jung. Spielrein, who is married and pregnant, has come to say goodbye. Oddly, it’s the first time in the film that we get a glimmer that this was indeed a serious love affair for him as well as for her. They are sitting lakeside in the Jung family’s backyard. As Spielrein starts to leave, Jung pulls himself out of his near catatonic depression long enough to offer an explanation for his abandonment of her: “Sometimes you have to do something unforgivable, just to be able to go on living.” (In real life, the last letter Jung wrote to Spielrein ended with that line.) It is an achingly sad, romantic moment, but after I left the theater, I couldn’t help thinking about all the unforgivable compromises Jung would make as he sat out World War II by the side of a Swiss lake. This is a major film, for sure.

© 2011 by Amy Taubin
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Dr. Carl Jung would be stripped of his license today

Another film due to come out in theaters is A Dangerous Method also starring Michael Fassbender. For those X-Men fans who thought that Professor X/Magento’s relationship was epic, the Freud/Jung bust up was very much the same. Both men are the fathers of modern psychology and had begun as professional collaborators. Jung was mentored by Freud and much of their philosophies form the foundation of most academic psychology programs. One cannot be a therapist without studying the writings of Freud and Jung. Their names were lent to a an entire discipline and are synonymous with it, such as Freudian or Jungian, plus the numerous cultural references to their ideas in common language. When you hear the words - “its a daddy or mommy issue” - you’re borrowing from Freud. Or if you are prone to want to interpret dreams or explore your unconsciousness its stepping into Jung’s territory.

Like the X-Men’s duo, when Freud and Jung broke it created two distinct philosophies and vernacular. In Freud we have the ego, ID, hysteria, Freudian slip, free association, repression and neurosis. As for Jung, there is the shadow, complex, archetype, synchronicity, and symbolism of the collective unconscious. Brilliant and pioneering in their contributions to the understanding of the mind and soul, these two men were still humans with shortcomings. For Dr. Jung it was his affair with Sabrina that doomed his relationship with Freud. For what Jung is in the history of psychology it is ironic that his illicit affair today would cause any therapist to be stripped of their license.

Fassbender’s portrayal will be interesting to see as Sabrina had a predilection for what we now call S&M. Even more ironic is that Sabrina went on to become a therapist herself and studied with Piaget who wrote many works on child development. It makes one wonder: are all therapists essentially wounded healers themselves? If Sabrina were to try to be a licensed psychologist today could she with her mental health history? Perhaps. A Dangerous Method could be a biopic tale of projection, transference, sex therapy, and boundary violations that are now illegal. After watching this movie I may never look at Jungian work quite the same way again.
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