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A Dangerous Method in Toronto

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A Dangerous Method in Toronto Empty A Dangerous Method in Toronto

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:10 pm

Habs jerseys come out for A Dangerous Method

Posted by Julian Carrington / September 11, 2011

A Dangerous Method CronenbergSaturday's TIFF press conference for gala selection A Dangerous Method was a homecoming for celebrated Toronto director David Cronenberg. An adaptation of Christopher Hampton's stage play The Talking Cure, A Dangerous Method tackles the collaboration and subsequent estrangement of Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) and Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen), the most prominent pioneers of psychoanalysis. The film also illuminates the under-appreciated contribution of Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley), a patient turned analyst whose affair with Jung precipitated his break with Freud.

The interview panel included Cronenberg and Hampton, producer Jeremy Thomas, actor Sarah Gadon, as well as Mortensen and Knightley, who arrived on stage draped in Habs jerseys. Mortensen, a Canadiens fan, explained the gesture as a gentle needle at Leafs lover Cronenberg, with whom he's enjoyes a close working relationship (the duo have previously collaborated on A History of Violence and Eastern Promises.

A Dangerous Method CronenbergIf Cronenberg and Mortensen remain on good terms, the same certainly wasn't true of Jung and Freud, who fell out in dramatic fashion. Mortensen explained that Cronenberg had sought to tap into the human elements of a schism that a less assured director might have rendered dull, or overly academic. "I think that the movie works because it doesn't get bogged in trying to be academic. It is academic, it's well researched, based on the work about Spielrein and Freud and Jung, using the letters largely between them", he said.

"The academic value is there; the purpose is to tell an entertaining story that's fun to watch, that's interesting to watch." "In the end, it wasn't about academic differences, it was about personality differences and misunderstandings, things that can happen anywhere, at any time. That's what's dramatically interesting about it."

A Dangerous Method CronenbergKnightley spoke about the challenges of embodying Speilrein, a character who is both highly intelligent and, initially, deeply troubled. She explained, "I think very often when you play characters there are certain threads that link you; emotionally you can understand what the person went through. With this one I had no frame of reference, but that was what was fascinating and exciting about it." "It really was a question of trying to find logic in what was perceived from the outside to be madness."

A Dangerous Method CronenbergOn tackling a biopic, Cronenberg discussed the appeal of resurrecting historical characters in a manner that was true to their virtues as well as their vices. Mortensen added that he appreciated that the film doesn't varnish over the degree to which Freud and Jung where driven by their egos.

A Dangerous Method CronenbergThe one conspicuous absentee from the conference was Fassbender, who stayed on in Venice to collect his best actor prize for TIFF selection Shame - an accolade that will surely do his ego no harm at all.

A Dangerous Method CronenbergA Dangerous Method CronenbergA Dangerous Method CronenbergPhotos by Jesse Milns

A big thanks to Warrior, an Alliance film in theatres September 9th, for sponsoring our coverage of the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.

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A Dangerous Method in Toronto Empty Re: A Dangerous Method in Toronto

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:51 pm

TIFF Press Conference Diaries: It’s game on for the stars of A Dangerous Method

Ben Kaplan Sep 10, 2011 – 9:11 PM ET

The Montreal Canadiens sweater worn by Keira Knightley at the start of A Dangerous Method’s Saturday afternoon press conference earned a pained grimace from David Cronenberg, her Toronto-based director.

“I told her it’s a very perverse thing to wear that jersey here,” said Cronenberg, his hair slicked back as meticulously as the pacing of his tense new film. “It didn’t seem to bother her.”

“I have no idea what this jersey is,” replied Knightley, gamely. “Viggo just told me it would wind David up.”

The Viggo that Knightley’s referring to is Viggo Mortensen, Cronenberg’s collaborator on A History of Violence and Eastern Promises, his smart and stylish last two films. In this picture, based on Christopher Hampton’s well-researched stage play, Mortensen appears as Sigmund Freud against Michael Fassbender’s edgy Carl Jung, with Knightley the tortured patient who attracts the duelling genius of both great men. When asked if the experience of playing Freud altered his own beliefs in the mental health field, Mortensen graciously deflected the question.

“I just go back to work with David and he fills up all my neuroses,” said Mortensen, speaking throughout the press conference in a conspiratorial, whispered drawl. “The most positive aspect of what Freud fathered was the idea of listening. One of the most loving things you can do is listen to someone.”

A leading man of Mortensen’s stature can hardly make three films with a director without being asked about the uniqueness of their relationship, but the actor responded to that question by listening for only a moment, then cutting it to the quick.

“It’s over,” he said of his relationship with Cronenberg. “This film was the last straw.”

“We’re done,” added his director, who, like any psychotherapist worth the price of his couch, absorbed the news with an entirely straight face.

A Dangerous Method, which, like Eastern Promises, also stars the always intriguing Vincent Cassel, is framed as a chess match between two titans. And perhaps that construct — a battle of icons for a troubled, though glorious prize — prompted the French journalist to ask Knightley if she felt any tension with Penelope Cruz, the Spanish actress who chewed up her deserted screen time in the most recent Pirates of the Caribbean film.

“I haven’t seen the last one, but I’m sure it’s wonderful,” answered Knightley, absorbing the hit like Guy Lafleur, whose #10 sweater she held in her arms. “I don’t think I’ll do any more, but Penelope Cruz is a wonderful actress.”

With that, the conference was called to its conclusion, the session was over, and Mortensen reclaimed his jersey from his blushing co-star. Holding up the sweater, Knightley smiled brightly.

She said, “I’m going to be huge in Montreal.”

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