In his gorgeous new film, director David Cronenberg [see post below] has taken an enormous bite into the unconscious cravings of those struggling to fit into “polite society.” But he also works to unpack some of the deepest conflicts—between Freud and Jung, for example—which plagued the new field of psychoanalysis in the early 20th century.
Was the new “science” to be based upon some rational architecture of the irrational? the Oedipal desires, repressed sexual connections afflicting family hierarchy, and diagnostic answers based upon the inner logic of illicit sexual desires—as Freud insisted? Or were there even deeper channels within psychiatric patients tapping down into archetypal roles and tensions shared by all humans, archetypes such as the Wounded Warrior, and tensions uniting love and death in an eternal embrace—as Jung was beginning to suspect?
A Dangerous Method is now playing at the Nickelodeon.
Here’s what you’ll find:
1) this stunning film oozes Viennese sophistication, with ravishing costumes you would swear were designed by Gustav Klimt.
2) the men’s suits, details such as regional styles of ties, of lapels, of hats, are all impeccably recreated as if we were walking down the Königstrasse in 1912.
3) the women’s costumes — by Denise Cronenberg —are spun sugar lace and linen, very Jugendstil, and cut as razor-sharp yet tumescently as the libidinous desires of the actors’ characters.
4) this is an adult film—frank, erotic, probing, poignant and thoughtful.
5) A Dangerous Method is not a perfect film. It moves at a largo pace, and often we can feel that Cronenberg reaches to suggest far more than he, and the script can manage. But it is an unforgettable cinematic feast. Brief, searing, and brimming over with a soundtrack of revisionist Wagner that is an orgy for the ears.
6) Do not miss this film.