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Thursday 12 January 2012

A Dangerous Method

Cronenberg is an odd one.  I've seen many of his films and liked a few.  When I see a Cronenberg film, I ask myself, "did I really get it, did I understand the point?"  If I can't answer, then I didn't.

Of the Cronenberg films I've seen, Rabid was an interesting take on the zombie theme at a time when there were few zombie movies.  The Brood was just weird.  Videodrome, which I watched again recently on Netflix, while dated, is an interesting statement on technology at the threshold (1983) of home entertainment, interactive video and access to porn.

The Dead Zone and The Fly were more mainstream and both excellent films.  Then he started getting weird again. Dead Ringers (based on a true story) was sick (old school definition).  I didn't understand Naked Lunch (based on the Burroughs novel, which I also didn't understand), but the insect thing reminded me a bit of Kafka's Metamorphosis.  I hated the book, Crash, by J. G. Ballard, so I never watched the film.  eXistanZ (a Videodrome update?) and Spider were just boring - or I didn't understand them.

I really liked History of Violence, except for the ending which may have been a metaphor? Man kills his past by literally killing his past. 

I liked Eastern Promises.

I didn't realize that Viggo made any movies before Lord of the Rings until I looked him up on IMDB.  I've seen him in a few movies but before LOTR, he was one of those guys who looked familiar but you didn't know his name.  I guess Cronenberg likes Viggo as this is their third movie together.  Dude can act.

Fassbender is appearing in lots of stuff.  Dude can also act.

Vincent Cassel, an arrogant Frenchman always seems to play an arrogant Frenchman.  Gotta go with what works for you, I guess.

Kiera Knightly never impresses me.

The trailer for A Dangerous Method, also based on a true story, looks like a return to the mainstream - as mainstream as Cronenberg can allow himself to be (maybe he goes mainstream for the money and weird for himself - if I was smart and talented, I'd likely do the same).

So the gist of it is that Freud and young Jung develop a friendship of sorts but Jung's theories are different from Freud's and, given that Freud doesn't approve of Jung's affair with a patient (which likely proves Freud's theories) it isn't surprising that Jung separates himself from Freud. 

During the trailer young Jung says, "sometimes you need to do something unforgivable just to go on living."   Ahh, great minds sometimes create clever sounding yet silly statements to justify their less than noble actions... Nice example of Freudian rationalization, Carl.

Just to highlight the differences: The id, ego, superego, and Oedipus stuff are Freudian; archetypes, extro- and introversion, and the collective unconscious are Jungian (thanks http://www.mentalfloss.com/difference/freud-vs-jung/).
There are enough elements here to make this a good film; I'm just not sure if I care to see it.


  1. Greggie, the Curmudgeon13 January 2012 at 09:37

    Well, I’m gonna check it out – just for portrayal of that cigar-toting, cocaine-snorting phallus (um, Freud). And I wouldn’t give up on Jung just yet. Maybe his ‘unforgivable’ quote is part of the fallen hero motif (that he found in all most every story on this tale-spinning planet). Or just plain part of our annoying condition (yes, okay – we’re fallible – that’s how I learn and I get you to forgive me…;). Or better yet – maybe some kind of existential free-for-all: plunge yourself into the abyss to truly know how to live. An inherent contradiction? Maybe – but ain’t that life? I think the biggest difference between Ego-Boy and the Dream-Kid: Jung was interested in the mystical, spiritual (seeking that collective unconscious, synchronicity with all cultures), something Freud readily dismissed (by passing out when losing a heated argument with the Jungian upstart). Even those crazy neurologists think they’ve found something unique to our cerebellum – a section of the brain responsible for mysticism/spirituality. Really? Think that’s just PR for something integral to our being: we’re meaning-seeking creatures, often aspiring to greater meaning or purpose. Call it religion, philosophy or the excuse for a Cronenberg movie. Just hope there’s some nudity along the way… (oops, that was Ego-Boy getting out).

  2. Thanks for the enlightened comment, Greggie. To further promote Ego-Boy and his "coming out" I'd like to propose that you see the film and send me your review. I'd be happy to post it.
    Thanks for reading!