The life of the mind is on full display in director David Cronenberg's new film "A Dangerous Method," which had its premiere Wednesday at the 49th annual New York Film Festival. NY1's George Whipple filed the following report.
"A Dangerous Method" premiered Wednesday night at the New York Film Festival. It is the story of a triangular relationship between pioneering psychiatrist Sigmund Freud, portrayed by Viggo Mortensen, their beautiful and deeply unbalanced patient, Sabina Spielrein, portrayed by Keira Knightly, and the Freud disciple and psychiatrist Carl Jung, who is played by Michael Fassbender.
George Whipple: Did you like your character?
Fassbender: Yes. I always like my characters in one way or another, or at least try and understand them. It's not my place to judge them. So if I did that, it would kind of give them a little bit of a stilted performance, I think.
The movie is directed by the ever-creative David Cronenberg.
"I realized that I have probably have always wanted to do a movie about Freud, about psychoanalysis, about Vienna at the turn of the [20th] century. All very rich stuff, but I never had a structure for it before," says Cronenberg. "And suddenly, here was this wonderful play. Sort of a triangle, a love story, introducing a character, Sabina Spielrein, who's played by Keira Knightly, who I had never heard of before."
Fassbender prepped to play the shrink Jung by harkening back to his training as an actor.
Whipple: How much did you know about Jung before you did the role?
Fassbender: I realized that the sort of training that we had in grammar school was fairly Jungian. It was all about sort of types of persona, and I realized that actually through sort of uncovering it all. But until then, it was sort of basic stuff that I knew."
So viewers who want to visit Vienna and see the birth of psychoanalysis should not fear "A Dangerous Method."