Monday, January 9, 2012

Phil sees A DANGEROUS METHOD at the Camera 12-January 7, 2012

This past Saturday I went nuts! I went and saw four movies: three at the Camera 12 during the day and a midnight show at the Camera 3, both located in beautiful downtown San Jose. So for the first film of the day that I saw was David Cronenberg's A DANGEROUS METHOD.

Theatrical Movie Poster (2011)
Based on a true story, the film chronicles the story of the intense relationship between Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) and his mentor Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) and the birth of psychoanalysis, and Sabina Spielrein (Kira Knightley), the troubled but beautiful young woman who comes between the two of them. Soon Jung becomes obsessed with Sabina and succumbs to his sexual desires and they become entwined with one another, despite Freud's disapproval with the idea.

The screenplay was adapted by Christopher Hampton from his 2002 stage play The Talking Cure, which was based on the 1993 non-fiction book by John Kerr, A Most Dangerous Method: the story of Jung, Freud, and Sabina Spielrein.

Once again director Cronenberg ventures into familiar territory: human sexuality and the human condition. Like what he explored in his previous films like DEAD RINGERS, THE FLY and CRASH,  Cronenberg has made a career out exploring taboos such as sex, death, a social anxieties. Here, highlighting the progression of psychoanalysis, Carl has a sexual awakening, thanks to both Sabina and his other patient Otto Gross (Vincent Cassel), who informs him that sexual depravity is not an illness, but can be used as a treatment. With Sabina as his lover, he begins to question the traditional scientific method that Freud has implemented in the science community. Soon their friendship becomes frayed, with Sabina literally caught in the middle.

Again Cronenberg's directing in superb, capturing the emotional and the scenic beauty in this period piece. Knightley does a incredible job performing the insane but intelligent Sabina: from raging lunacy to sexual mistress to professional doctor, Knightley really gives an impressive performance. Both Fassbender and Mortensen give us the intellectual fight that I was hoping to see. Powerful and  commanding performances by these two actors.

A DANGEROUS METHOD is a brilliant, though-provoking, absorbing period drama that tells us the story of love, lust and the beginnings of psychoanalysis. Great directing, great story, great acting add up to a very impressive movie. Definitely a must-see!

A DANGEROUS METHOD is currently playing in theaters nationwide, including at the Camera Cinemas here in the Bay Area. To view showtimes, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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