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NYFF: David Cronenberg’s “A Dangerous Method”

NYFF: David Cronenberg's "A Dangerous Method"

In the Q&A following the New York Film Festival press screening of A Dangerous Method, David Cronenberg admitted to never having sat on an analyst’s couch. If the aim of psychoanalysis, however, is not to cure people of their neuroses, but to make them more comfortable with them, one could understand Cronenberg’s career as its own talking cure: since his first film, the 1966 short Transfer, about a psychiatrist and his patient, he’s pushed audiences up to the human body to stare down its grotesque horrors, past the point of revulsion until we’ve arrived, through catastrophe or attenuation, at a new, often fleshy normal. While there are no improvised orifices here, A Dangerous Method explores the cavities of the human interior all the same, those dark impulses that, as with his most recent “classical” films, A History of Violence and Eastern Promises, erupt messily onto the placid surface of everyday civility. Read Genevieve Yue’s review of A Dangerous Method.

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