Archive for February 1st, 2012

Copyright © 2012 by James Clark

    As with The Artist, in its financially dangerous format of an obsolete mode of cinematic expression, A Dangerous Method (another stunning tour de force from 2011) thinks to make hay along lines of the even more forbidding strike of Socratic Dialogue.

    I don’t know about you, but I tend to run the other way when a movie comes at me trotting out the supposed awesomeness of even one historical Titan; but this film packs two of them (two and a half, actually), the celebrated explorers of the modern psyche, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung (not to mention Feminist inspiration, Sabina Spielrein). Naturally enough, the play of ideas centers upon the Socrates of Jung in his (far from Platonically untroubled) bid to do some SWAT upon the esteemed Sophist, Freud. Breaking that possibly ruinous mold from the past, in this case, is Jung’s painful—very non-Platonic, and very cinematic—discovery that the dialogic format is not for him, and never was. Although Cronenberg is no stranger to sensationalizing rational research into the surprises matter brings to humankind, it is the prissy hothouse of an Initial Public Offering as to a new clan of academic hotshots (namely, those earnest, putative benefactors hiving to Freud’s psychoanalytic probe of human sensibility) that constitutes the pervasive (and thus unpromisingly [for film profits] austere) key of this film. Therefore, the question challenging commentary about A Dangerous Method is: How effectively does the work offer its audience the visceralness of its jailbreak from the asylum of classical rationality? (more…)

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