April 16, 2004 |
If we only had a couch to take "The Talking Cure." It's apropos not only because Christopher Hampton's play, now at the Mark Taper Forum, features founding figures of psychoanalysis: Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and their sometime protege Sabina Spielrein. A couch seat also suits Hampton's reverent, simplistic portrait of these pioneers, which comes off as the sort of studied, speechifying docudrama for which cable television was meant.
November 23, 2011 |
Before it became known as psychoanalysis, the radical new method of dealing with emotional crises pioneered by Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and others was known simply as "the talking cure. " And it is talk - smart, satisfying and sometimes even thrilling - that is at the heart of "A Dangerous Method. " "Method" stars Viggo Mortensen as Freud, Michael Fassbender as Jung, and a game but somewhat miscast Keira Knightley as Sabina Spielrein, a woman who influenced them both. The confident directing style of David Cronenberg is essential in making this kind of intellectually stimulating cinema look easy, but the critical component in the film's success is Christopher Hampton's classically well-written script.
March 18, 2012 |
Few working filmmakers invite the application of the auteur theory — the notion that some films bear a directorial signature — as frequently as David Cronenberg. The coherence of his body of work is hard to miss. In movies as varied as "Videodrome," "Dead Ringers" and "Crash," he has found myriad ways to explore a recurring set of themes: the thrill and danger of transfiguration, the interrelation of the mind and the body. With these obsessions so firmly established, it is no wonder that many critics and fans watch a new Cronenberg film looking for signs of the old ones, sometimes detecting their encoded presence, sometimes bemoaning their absence.
April 26, 2004 |
It never ceases to amaze me how few critics know where to fault a production when it doesn't work. Case in point: Rob Kendt's review of "The Talking Cure," which he didn't like, found boring and held the script responsible ("Talk About Mind Games," April 16).
January 5, 2012 |
Shortly after Russian hysteric Sabina Spielrein is carried kicking and screaming into a Swiss sanitarium, her new doctor, Carl Jung, primly inquires, "What are your interests?" Sabina, portrayed in "A Dangerous Method" by Keira Knightley, snarls in reply: "Suicide and interplanetary travel. " Some icebreaker! Spastic and stammering, Sabina recovers after taking the "talking cure" administered by Jung (Michael Fassbender) under the guidance of his mentor Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen)
January 1, 2012 |
The art of adaptation, as the rash of movies derived from plays this season attests, is never easy. The best artistic looters of all time — Shakespeare, the Greek tragedians — recognized that independent vision is everything. Borrowing didn't inhibit them in least. Their goal, of course, wasn't to duplicate but to create something autonomous. Heck, Shakespeare wasn't beyond taking a freehand with history itself. Contemporary purloiners tend to be less independent. They struggle under a self-imposed obligation of faithfulness.