David Cronenberg’s ‘A Dangerous Method’ and ‘Crash’

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We have a long and storied history of feting David Cronenberg over here at SOS – hell, the first iteration of our podcast was called The Naked Lunch. Our Cronenberg fanboyism gets seriously tested this week, though, with the opening here in Montreal of perhaps Cronenberg’s most well-behaved films – on the surface, anyway – the period drama A Dangerous Method. All hands – Ricky, Justine, Julian, and Simon – are on deck to have it out over the flick, as well as touching on Croney’s then-controversial psychosexual 1996 dramaa Crash.

[powerpress]

Music Playlist:

Howard Shore – “Reflections”

Tiger and Woods – “Gin Nation”

 

2 Comments
  1. tmack says

    OOPS! I wondered why you were going on about car crashes in the movie Crash, which I recalled was about racism. Apparently I confused the Paul Haggis film with Cronenberg’s, the latter which I’ve never seen.

    I do like the Cronenberg films I’ve seen–The Fly (which I find almost too painful to enjoy); History of Violence; Eastern Promises–his most commercial fims. I even liked M. Butterfly in an odd kind of way. Dead Ringers was just too perverse for me to sit through.

  2. tmack says

    A Dangerous Method, a film I looked forward to seeing, failed almost totally. What is this film about ultimately? It’s seems to be about Carl Jung and his exploration into ideas and concepts that Otto G promoted and Freud disdained as dangerous to the professional development of psychoanalysis. Clearly Jung’s lover, Sabina S., and his patient Otto G., have more influence on Jung than Freud. And Jung ventures into territory he’s not emotionally or intellectually equipped to handle.

    This premise is fine in itself but executed poorly. The passion between Jung & Sabina, which should be the central driver of this film, is so fragmented and odd that you wonder if there’s real feeling between them or just some interest in sadism. The passion between Freud & Jung is so remotely acted out that it’s barely detectable. Freud regards Jung with the same mien when they are close colleagues and when they part. Keira Knightly…her performance was simply distorted and suffered from transformations that took place off stage. Were we really prepared to grant her the gravitas of a learned colleague by the end of the film when her most dramatic performances had been as an hysteric and a spankee?

    Just way too much talk and very little action. Compare this film to John Huston’s Freud with Montgomery Clift and Susannah York. The latter was also about ideas of the times, Freud’s controversial foray into hysteria and its sexual roots, his relationship with an hysterical female patient, his self examination delving into his own psychosexual development and an oedipal attraction that’s 1000 times more engrossing and dramatic than what Cronenberg does here.

    I never liked Crash although I do recall it was much admired when it was first released. I’ve never had any desire to re-watch it.

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