Q&A after with Glen O. Gabbard, MD, Author, Psychiatry and the Cinema, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Baylor College of Medicine
Trailer Link: http://adangerousmethod-themovie.com/trailer
United States, 2011
Director: David Cronenberg
Screenwriter: Christopher Hampton
Cinematographer: Peter Suschitzky
Editor: Ronald Sanders
Composer: Howard Shore
Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley, Vincent Cassel, Sarah Gadon
Running time: 93 minutes
Director David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen reunite, following their collaborations on A History of Violence and Eastern Promises, for this striking period drama set in Vienna in the early 1900s. Beneath the dignified period veneer, the characters’ bodies, as in all Cronenberg films, are threatening to erupt under their mind’s repressive control. The protagonists are Dr. Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) and his mentor, Sigmund Freud (Mortensen). The two psychoanalysts are both spellbound and attracted by a beautiful and very disturbed Russian patient, Sabine Spielrein (Keira Knightley). Influenced by the radical psychoanalyst Otto Gross (Vincent Cassel) and Sabine’s own remarkable intellect, Jung questions the limitations of Dr. Freud’s approach, and begins to develop a radically different analytic practice.
The sharp and witty dialogue comes courtesy of Christopher Hampton (Dangerous Liaisons), adapted from his own play, The Talking Cure, itself based on John Kerr’s A Most Dangerous Method: The Story of Jung, Freud, and Sabina Spielrein. David Cronenberg was first acclaimed for his body-horror films, including The Brood (1979) and Videodrome (1983), but he is now working in a more classical vein, while still exploring the dark undercurrents behind the veil of normalcy. “Despite having to cover stages in the trio’s relationships spread over many years, Hampton’s screenplay utterly coheres and never feels episodic. The dialogue is constantly confronting, articulate and stimulating, the intellectual exchanges piercing at times. Cronenberg’s direction is at one with the writer’s diamond-hard rigor; cinematographer Peter Suschitzky provides visuals of a pristine purity augmented by the immaculate fin de l’epoch settings, while the editing has a bracing sharpness than can only be compared to Kubrick’s.” (Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter).