Cronenberg’s Freudian Slip

For those of you who may not know me, I am a cinemaphile. That means I LOVE movies. Before I went to medical school, I hoped to become a film director. In my twenties, I directed several horror movies I shot on video tape (remember that?). In college I won a Best Actor Award for playing psychotic twin brothers.

I love many genres but psychological thrillers, especially Alfred Hitchcock’s movies, resonate with me on such a deeper level. I still hate all birds because of his film. Whenever I hear the music to Vertigo, I become entranced in a hypnotic state, and I defy you not to straighten out your spine at the slightest hint of a violin screech to the soundtrack of Psycho. It’s impossible. 

Let’s just say if there is a movie about girls in a sanitarium (Girl Interrupted) or crazy girls in a boarding school (Picnic at Hanging Rock, Cracks) then I’m there. 

Yet, only certain directors are able to navigate their way into your subconscious so that when you watch one of their movies you become completely and utterly transfixed, even when you have nothing in common with their characters. 

You can imagine by now how excited I was when David Cronenberg released, A Dangerous Method, a movie that depicts the relationship between the grandfather of modern psychiatry, Sigmund Freud and his contemporary, Carl Jung. The film explores their relationship and its subsequent deterioration as it relates to Jung’s patient, Sabina Spielrein, a hysterical Russian woman, who becomes involved in a sadomasochistic relationship with Jung while under his care. 

It had all the makings of a classic psychological thriller: great director, great cast, great story!

Unfortunately, I found the movie beautifully photographed, very well acted, particularly, Kiera Knightly and Viggo Mortensen, but painfully dull. 

This is Cronenberg  for Freud’s sake! Where were the sadistic director’s touches I grew to love in Dead Ringers with Jeremy Irons, probing female private parts with instruments designed for mutant women? Where were those intricately choreographed sex scenes that aroused me in Crash with Debra Kara Unger and James Spader?

 Has Cronenberg gone soft? 

That night I dreamt I was being attacked by the roots of a tree with veins and tendons branching out from every limb. Just as I was being pulled apart, I awoke and saw Freud himself, sleeping there next to me. He whispered, “Sometimes a tree is just a tree.”

Well, hopefully, next time, Cronenberg will bring his C@CK.

%d bloggers like this: