David Cronenberg’s latest film looks at the tumultuous relationship between prominent psychoanalysts Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud in the early 20th century.
It seems whatever David Cronenberg does it is inherently fascinating. His obsessions with the human body – both inside and out – have embodied some truly brilliant pieces of cinema. There’s the techno-surrealism of Videodrome, head-exploding telekinesis of Scanners, and fear of an AIDS epidemic in Shivers. There’s the great (Dead Ringers, The Brood, The Fly), the good (Spider, A History of Violence, Eastern Promises) and the darn right ugly (Crash, eXistenZ) yet whether you like the Canadian-born filmmaker’s distinct oeuvre there’s no denying he makes his audience’s sit up and take notice.
His latest film, A Dangerous Method starring the suddenly ever-present Michael Fassbender and regular Cronenberg co-conspirator Viggo Mortensen, takes the director’s fascination with psychoanalysis to the next level. Set on the eve of World War I, the film looks at the tumultuous relationship between three prominent psychologists – Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychology, Sigmund Freud, the founder of the discipline of psychoanalysis, and Sabina Spielrein who later becomes one of the most prominent female psychoanalysts.
For A Dangerous Method, Cronenberg – known for his graphic scenes of sex and violence – restrains his outlandish anarchic fetishes in favour of a restrained character piece based on Christopher Hampton’s play. Thanks to Hampton adapting his own script for the film and Cronenberg’s reserved approach the film fails to shed its theatrical roots. But Cronenberg knows how to cleverly mix the stories of these three prominent thinkers, coaxing strong performances from Mortensen and Fassbender.
A Dangerous Method is released nationwide February 10th in the UK. The trailer is below.
A Dangerous Method (Dir. David Cronenberg):