The Info List - A Dangerous Method

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A Dangerous Method is a 2011 German-Canadian historical film directed by David Cronenberg and starring Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, and Vincent Cassel. The screenplay was adapted by writer Christopher Hampton from his 2002 stage play The Talking Cure, which was based on the 1993 non-fiction book by John Kerr, A Most Dangerous Method: The story of Jung, Freud, and Sabina Spielrein. The film marks the third consecutive collaboration between Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen (after A History of Violence and Eastern Promises). This is also the third Cronenberg film made with British film producer Jeremy Thomas, after completing together the William Burroughs adaptation Naked Lunch and the J. G. Ballard adaptation Crash. A Dangerous Method was a German/Canadian co-production. The film premiered at the 68th Venice Film Festival and was also featured at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.[3][4] Set on the eve of World War I, A Dangerous Method describes the turbulent relationships between Carl Jung, founder of analytical psychology; Sigmund Freud, founder of the discipline of psychoanalysis; and Sabina Spielrein, initially a patient of Jung and later a physician and one of the first female psychoanalysts.[5] Among the film's many honors, Mortensen was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture for his portrayal of Freud.


1 Plot 2 Cast 3 Production 4 Release 5 Reception

5.1 Top ten lists

6 Accolades 7 References 8 External links

Plot[edit] In August 1904, Sabina Spielrein arrives at the Burghölzli, the pre-eminent psychiatric hospital in Zurich, suffering from hysteria and begins a new course of treatment with the young Swiss doctor, Carl Jung. He uses word association and dream interpretation as part of his approach to psychoanalysis, and finds that Spielrein's condition was triggered by the humiliation and sexual arousal she felt as a child when her father spanked her naked. Jung and chief of medicine Eugen Bleuler recognize Spielrein's intelligence and energy, and allow her to assist them in their experiments. She measures the physical reactions of subjects during word association, to provide empirical data as a scientific basis for psychoanalysis. She soon learns that much of this new science is founded on the doctors' observations of themselves, each other, and their families, not just their patients. The doctors correspond at length before they meet, and begin sharing their dreams and analysing each other, and Freud himself soon adopts Jung as his heir and agent. Jung finds in Spielrein a kindred spirit, and their attraction deepens due to transference. Jung resists the idea of cheating on his wife, Emma, and breaking the taboo of sex with a patient, but his resolve is weakened by the wild and unrepentant confidences of his new patient Otto Gross, a brilliant, philandering, unstable psychoanalyst. Gross decries monogamy in general and suggests that resistance to transference is symptomatic of the repression of normal, healthy sexual impulses, exhorting Jung to indulge himself with abandon. Jung finally begins an affair with Spielrein, including rudimentary bondage and spanking. Things become even more tangled as he becomes her advisor to her dissertation; he publishes not only his studies of her as a patient but eventually her treatise as well. Spielrein wants to conceive a child with Jung, but he refuses. After his attempt to confine their relationship again to doctor and patient, she appeals to Freud for his professional help, and forces Jung to tell Freud the truth about their relationship, reminding him that she could have publicly damaged him but did not want to. Jung and Freud journey to America. However, cracks appear in their friendship as they begin to disagree more frequently on matters of psychoanalysis. Jung and Spielrein meet to work on her dissertation in Switzerland, and begin their sexual relationship once more. However, after Jung refuses to leave his wife for her, Spielrein decides to go to Vienna. She meets Freud, and says that although she sides with him, she believes he and Jung need to reconcile for psychoanalysis to continue to develop. Following Freud's collapse at an academic conference, he and Jung continue correspondence via letters. They decide to end their relationship after increasing hostilities and accusations regarding the differences in their conceptualisation of psychoanalysis. Spielrein marries a Russian doctor and, while pregnant, visits Jung and his wife. They discuss psychoanalysis and Jung's new mistress. Jung confides that his love for Spielrein made him a better person. The film's footnote reveals the eventual fates of the four analysts. Gross starved to death in Berlin in 1919. Freud died of cancer in London in 1939 after being driven out of Vienna by the Nazis. Spielrein trained a number of analysts in the Soviet Union, before she, along with her two daughters, were shot by the Nazis in 1942. Jung emerged from a nervous breakdown to become the world's leading psychologist before dying in 1961. Cast[edit]

Keira Knightley as Sabina Spielrein Michael Fassbender as Carl Jung Viggo Mortensen as Sigmund Freud Vincent Cassel as Otto Gross Sarah Gadon as Emma Jung André Hennicke as Eugen Bleuler Arndt Schwering-Sohnrey (de) as Sándor Ferenczi

Production[edit] Hampton's earliest version of the screenplay, dating back to the 1990s, was written for Julia Roberts in the role of Sabina Spielrein, but the film was never realized. Hampton re-wrote the screenplay for the stage, before producer Jeremy Thomas acquired the rights for both the earlier script and the stage version.[6]

Interior of Café Sperl where a meeting between Jung and Freud was filmed. David Cronenberg said of the shoot, "We almost had to change nothing to make it feel like 1907."

The film was produced by Britain's Recorded Picture Company, with Germany's Lago Film and Canada's Prospero Film acting as co-producers.[7] Additional funding was provided by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, MFG Baden-Württemberg, Filmstiftung NRW, the German Federal Film Board (de) and Film Fund, Ontario Media Development Corp and Millbrook Pictures.[8] Christoph Waltz was initially cast as Sigmund Freud, but was replaced by Viggo Mortensen due to a scheduling conflict.[9] Christian Bale had been in talks to play Carl Jung, but he too had to drop out because of scheduling conflicts.[10] Filming began on 26 May and ended on 24 July 2010.[8] Exteriors were shot in Vienna and interiors were filmed on a soundstage in Cologne, Germany. Viennese locations included the Café Sperl, Berggasse 19, and the Schloss Belvedere. Lake Constance (Bodensee) stood in for Lake Zurich.[11]

A scene featuring Keira Knightley and Michael Fassbender was filmed aboard the paddle steamer Hohentwiel on Lake Constance

A noted feature of the film is the extensive use in the musical score of leitmotifs from Wagner's third Ring opera Siegfried, mostly in piano transcription. In fact the composer Howard Shore has said that the structure of the film is based on the structure of the Siegfried opera.[12] Release[edit] Universal Pictures released the film in German-speaking territories, while Lionsgate took rights to the United Kingdom[13] and Sony Pictures Classics distributed the film in the United States.[14] The film debuted at the Venice Film Festival in Italy on 2 September 2011. Reception[edit] As of 27 March 2012, the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 77% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 168 reviews.[15] Louise Keller reports from Urban Cinephile, "The best scenes are those between Mortensen and Fassbender...the tension between the two men mounts as their views conflict: Freud insists that sex is an underlying factor in every neurosis while Jung, interested in spiritualism and the occult, is disappointed by what he considers to be Freud's 'rigid pragmatism.'"[16] Andrew O'Hehir's review on Salon notes that on the one hand Freud's "single-minded focus on sexual repression as the source of neurosis led to the creation of psychiatry as a legitimate medical and scientific field—one that was often resistant to change and dominated by authoritarian father figures." On the other hand, Sabina's effect on Jung, and "the discoveries they had made together, both in the office and the bedroom," including the potential in "a creative fusion of opposites—doctor and patient, man and woman, dark and light, Jew and Aryan," led to a falling out between the two men "over a variety of issues, most notably the scientific limits of psychiatric inquiry."[17] In contrast, Steven Rea of The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote that, despite the film's exploration of "the way our subconscious works, the way we repress, and suppress, natural urges—the constant battle between the rational and the instinctive, the civilized and the wild", the film "feels distant, and clinical, in ways you wished it did not."[18] In an interview with The Daily Beast's Marlow Stern, Cronenberg himself is quoted as saying that the love scenes between Jung and Spelrein were "quite clinical. These were people who, even when they were having sex, they were observing themselves having sex because they were so interested in their reactions to things."[10] The film was listed at number 5 on Film Comment magazine's Best Films of 2011 list.[19] Top ten lists[edit] A Dangerous Method was listed on many critics' 2011 top ten lists.[20]

1st – J. Hoberman, The Village Voice 1st – Glenn Kenny, MSN Movies 2nd – Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter 5th – Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader 5th – Kim Morgan, MSN Movies 6th – Eric Hynes, The Village Voice 7th – Anne Thompson, Indiewire 7th – Richard T. Jameson, MSN Movies 8th – Stephen Holden, The New York Times 9th – Mark Olsen, Boxoffice Magazine 9th – Jim Emerson, MSN Movies 10th – Caryn James, Indiewire Best of 2014 (listed alphabetically, not ranked) – A.O. Scott, The New York Times Best of 2014 (listed alphabetically, not ranked) – Manohla Dargis, New York Times


Year of ceremony Award Category Recipient(s) Result

2011 National Board of Review Awards[21] Spotlight Award Michael Fassbender (Also for Shame, Jane Eyre, and X-Men: First Class) Won

Satellite Awards Actor in a Supporting Role Viggo Mortensen Nominated

Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards Best Actor Michael Fassbender (Also for Shame, Jane Eyre, and X-Men: First Class) Won

2012 Golden Globe Awards[22] Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Viggo Mortensen Nominated

London Critics' Circle Film Awards[23] British Actor of the Year Michael Fassbender (Also for Shame) Won

Central Ohio Film Critics Association Awards[24] Actor of the Year Michael Fassbender (Also for Shame, Jane Eyre, and X-Men: First Class) Nominated

Genie Awards[25] Best Motion Picture Martin Katz, Marco Mehlitz, Jeremy Thomas Nominated

Achievement In Art Direction/Production Design James Mcateer Won

Performance By An Actor In A Leading Role Michael Fassbender Nominated

Performance By An Actor In A Supporting Role Viggo Mortensen Won

Achievement In Costume Design Denise Cronenberg Nominated

Achievement In Direction David Cronenberg Nominated

Achievement In Editing Ronald Sanders, C.C.E. A.C.E. Nominated

Achievement In Music – Original Score Howard Shore Won

Achievement In Overall Sound Orest Sushko, Christian Cooke Won

Achievement In Sound Editing Wayne Griffin, Rob Bertola, Tony Currie, Andy Malcolm, Michael O’Farrell Won

Achievement In Visual Effects Jason Edwardh, Oliver Hearsey, Jim Price, Milan Schere, Wojciech Zielinski Nominated

Sant Jordi Award Best Foreign Actor Michael Fassbender (Also for Jane Eyre and X-Men: First Class) Won

Directors Guild of Canada Awards[26] Best Direction David Cronenberg Won

Best Feature Film


Best Production Design - Feature Film James McAteer Won

Best Picture Editing - Feature Film Ron Sanders Won

Best Sound Editing Rob Bertola, Tony Currie, Alastair Gray, Michael O'Farrell, Gren-Erich Zwicker Won


^ "Box office / business for A Dangerous Method". IMDB. Retrieved 22 August 2012.  ^ "A Dangerous Method (2011)". Box Office Mojo. 20 April 2012. Retrieved 22 April 2012.  ^ "TIFF 2011: U2, Brad Pitt, George Clooney Films Featured At 2011 Toronto International Film Festival". The Huffington Post. 26 July 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2011.  ^ Evans, Ian (2011), "A Dangerous Method TIFF premiere photos", DigitalHit.com, retrieved 2012-03-12  ^ Kerr, John. 1993. A Most Dangerous Method: The Story of Jung, Freud, and Sabina Spielrein, New York: Alfred A Knopf, 1993, p. 11. ^ Dee Jefferson: Jeremy Thomas: The Lone Ranger Archived 3 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine., interview with Jeremy Thomas on thebrag.com, 14 August 2012, retrieved 2012-12-23. ^ Meza, Ed (1 July 2010). "'Dangerous' turn for Millbrook". Variety. Retrieved 16 January 2011.  ^ a b "A Dangerous Method". Screenbase. Screen International. Retrieved 16 January 2011.  ^ Adler, Tim (9 March 2010). "Sigmund Freud Gets Cast: Christoph Waltz's Loss Is Viggo Mortensen's Gain". Deadline.com. Mail.com Media. Retrieved 16 January 2011.  ^ a b Stern, Marlow (20 October 2011). "David Cronenberg on 'A Dangerous Method,' Robert Pattinson's Acting, and S&M With Keira Knightley". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 21 November 2011.  ^ Michael Fassbender: A Dangerous Method: Filming Locations ^ http://latimes.com/culturemonster/2011/11/a-dangerous-method-melancholia-richard-wagner.html[permanent dead link] ^ Lodderhose, Diana (16 May 2010). "Lionsgate U.K. picks up 'Method,' 'Coriolanus'". Variety. Retrieved 16 January 2011.  ^ "Sony Classics Picks Up David Cronenberg's 'A Dangerous Method'". The Contenders. 17 June 2011. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 17 June 2011.  ^ "A Dangerous Method". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 27 March 2012.  ^ Keller, Louise (5 April 2012). "A Dangerous Method". Urban Cinephile. Seaforth NSW Australia. Retrieved 7 April 2012.  ^ O'Hehir, Andrew (9 September 2011). "Knightley and Fassbender Steam Up 'Dangerous Method'". Salon. Archived from the original on 23 April 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2012.  ^ Rea, Steven (5 January 2012). "'A Dangerous Method': A Time-Travel Visit to Jung and Freud". The Philadelphia Inquirer. p. 1. Retrieved 7 April 2012.  ^ http://www.filmcomment.com/article/film-comments-end-of-year-critics-poll-2011 Film Comment, January/February 2012 ^ http://www.metacritic.com/feature/movie-critic-best-of-2011-top-ten-lists ^ "National Board of Review Announces 2011 Awards; HUGO Takes Top Prize". WeAreMovieGeeks.com. Retrieved 2 December 2011. ^ "69th Annual Golden Globe Awards – Full List Of Nominees". HollywoodLife.com. Retrieved 15 December 2011. ^ "32nd London Critics' Circle Film Awards nominations announced". The Critics' Circle. Retrieved 31 December 2011. ^ "Central Ohio Film Critics Nominations". COFCA. Retrieved 1 January 2012. ^ "Genie Awards 2012: the nominations". Genie. Retrieved 21 January 2012. ^ "David Cronenberg's 'A Dangerous Method,' Jon Cassar's 'The Kennedys' Dominate Directors Guild of Canada Awards". DGOC. Retrieved 21 October 2012.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to A Dangerous Method.

Official website Official US website A Dangerous Method on IMDb A Dangerous Method at Rotten Tomatoes A Dangerous Method at Metacritic

v t e

Films directed by David Cronenberg

Feature films

Stereo (1969) Crimes of the Future (1970) Shivers (1975) Rabid (1977) Fast Company (1979) The Brood (1979) Scanners (1981) Videodrome (1983) The Dead Zone (1983) The Fly (1986) Dead Ringers (1988) Naked Lunch (1991) M. Butterfly (1993) Crash (1996) Existenz (1999) Spider (2002) A History of Violence (2005) Eastern Promises (2007) A Dangerous Method (2011) Cosmopolis (2012) Maps to the Stars (2014)

Short films

Transfer (1966) From the Drain (1967) Camera (2000) At the Suicide of the Last Jew in the World in the Last Cinema in the World (2007)

v t e

Christopher Hampton

Films directed

Carrington (1995) The Secret Agent (1996) Imagining Argentina (2003)

Films & TV written

A Doll's House Able's Will Tales from the Vienna Woods The History Man The Honorary Consul The Wolf at the Door Hotel du Lac The Good Father Dangerous Liaisons Tales from Hollywood The Ginger Tree Total Eclipse Mary Reilly The Quiet American Atonement Chéri A Dangerous Method Ali and Nino The Thirteenth Tale


When Did You Last See My Mother? Total Eclipse The Philanthropist Savages Treats Tales from the Vienna Woods The Portage to San Cristobal of A.H. Tartuffe Tales from Hollywood Les Liaisons Dangereuses White Chameleon Alice's Adventures Under Ground The Talking Cure Embers The Age of the Fish Appomattox

Musical productions

Sunset Boulevard Dracula, the Musical Waiting for the Barbarians Appomattox Rebecca Stephen Ward

v t e

Carl Gustav Jung


Analytical psychology Cognitive functions Interpretation of religion Personality type Synchronicity Theory of neurosis


The psyche

Anima and animus Collective unconscious Complex Electra complex Inner child Personal unconscious Persona Self Shadow

Jungian archetypes

Apollo Trickster Wise Old Man and Wise Old Woman Wounded healer


Active imagination Enantiodromia Extraversion and introversion Individuation Participation mystique

Works and publications


Psychology of the Unconscious Two Essays on Analytical Psychology Psychological Types


Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self Answer to Job Synchronicity Symbols of Transformation


Man and His Symbols Memories, Dreams, Reflections Red Book

Black Books

Seven Sermons to the Dead

The Collected Works of C. G. Jung

Psychiatric Studies (1970) Experimental Researches (1973) Psychogenesis of Mental Disease (1960) Freud & Psychoanalysis (1961) Symbols of Transformation (1967, a revision of Psychology of the Unconscious, 1912) . Psychological Types (1971) Two Essays on Analytical Psychology (1967) Structure & Dynamics of the Psyche (1969) Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious (1969) Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self (1969) Civilization in Transition (1970) Psychology and Religion: West and East (1970) Psychology and Alchemy (1968) Alchemical Studies (1968) Mysterium Coniunctionis (1970) Spirit in Man, Art, and Literature (1966) Practice of Psychotherapy (1966) Development of Personality (1954) The Symbolic Life (1977) General Bibliography (Revised Edition) (1990) General Index (1979)



Marie-Louise von Franz Barbara Hannah Jolande Jacobi Aniela Jaffé Emma Jung Toni Wolff


Sigmund Freud Wolfgang Pauli Sabina Spielrein Victor White Richard Wilhelm


Joseph Campbell James Hillman Erich Neumann Laurens van der Post Sonu Shamdasani June Singer Anthony Stevens


Bollingen Foundation C. G. Jung Institute in Zürich Int'l Assoc. for Analytical Psychology Int'l Assoc. for Jungian Studies Philemon Foundation

Popular culture

A Dangerous Method Synchronicity (album song 1 2) Shadow Man The Soul Keeper


Archetypal literary criticism Archetypal pedagogy Bollingen Prize Bollingen Tower Burghölzli Eranos I Ching The Secret of the Golden Flower

v t e

Sigmund Freud


On Aphasia Civilization and Its Discontents The Ego and the Id The Future of an Illusion Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego The History of the Psychoanalytic Movement The Interpretation of Dreams (including On Dreams) Introduction to Psychoanalysis Moses and Monotheism The Psychopathology of Everyday Life The Question of Lay Analysis Studies on Hysteria Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious Totem and Taboo


"The Aetiology of Hysteria" Beyond the Pleasure Principle Creative Writers and Day-Dreaming Delusion and Dream in Jensen's Gradiva Dostoevsky and Parricide Leonardo da Vinci, A Memory of His Childhood Medusa's Head Mourning and Melancholia On Narcissism Some Character-Types Met with in Psycho-Analytic Work Thoughts for the Times on War and Death Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality

Case studies

"Dora" (Ida Bauer) Emma Eckstein Herbert Graf ("Little Hans") Irma's injection "Anna O." (Bertha Pappenheim) "Rat Man" Sergei Pankejeff ("Wolfman") Daniel Paul Schreber


Amalia Freud (mother) Jacob Freud (father) Martha Bernays (wife) Anna Freud (daughter) Ernst L. Freud (son) Edward Bernays (nephew) Clement Freud (grandson) Lucian Freud (grandson) Walter Freud (grandson)

Cultural depictions

Mahler on the Couch (2010 film) A Dangerous Method (2011 film)


Bibliography Archives Vienna home and museum London home and museum


Freudian slip Humor Inner circle Neo-Freudianism Views on homosexuality Religious views

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 280411563