December 28, 2011
A Dangerous Method opens with the ominous notes of a cello, that, leading out of the opening credits, give way to a horn & string crescendo and the disturbing first scene: Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley) arrives screaming, restrained by men, in a black carriage, drawn by black horses at the Burgholzli Clinic. And as our stomachs vibrate from the bass and the violence of the scene just past, a calm Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) greets his new patient in a beige paneled room with dark parquet floors and bounced light. This is Zurich. It is 1904. Sabina suffers from mental hysteria (with spontaneous orgasms provoked by humiliation). She and Jung eventually begin a sexual relationship.
In these early meetings between Jung and Spielrein, conversation occurs in total silence. That is, without any background atmospheric noise. No cricket or ticking clock gives the stillness form. This is a pure and unnerving silence. Chirping birds add texture to the air, without which the infinity of time and space and the whole weight of the universe weighs down upon you so that it is unthinkable to sleep without the whir of a fan. Hyperconsciousness promotes a focus of such stimulating intensity, it quickly becomes erotic, so at the end of the long road of observations that occur in the first moments of a movie, you find yourself contemplating the details of faces and bodies with growing arousal…
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