It is perhaps ironic that when Sigmund Freud – who lived by the psychoanalytic theory that sexual desire was the prime motivator for human beings – found out his young protégé, Carl Jung, was having an extra-marital affair with a pretty patient at a mental hospital, he was damning of it.
It was at the turn of the 20th century when the father of psychoanalysis discovered Jung – a married young doctor – was embroiled in an improper sexual liaison with Sabina Spielrein, a 22-year-old Russian who was first admitted as a patient to the Swiss hospital at which Jung worked, and later became one of his most brilliant students, and committed lover.
The revelation caused a schism in the men’s friendship that would deepen into personal and professional estrangement in years to come when Jung announced a departure from Freudian psychoanalytic thought and launched his own school of analysis based on dream theory, the collective unconscious and spirituality.
Spielrein’s highly charged presence in their lives is now to set the scene for a new film, A Dangerous Method, by the acclaimed director, David Cronenberg,
in which Keira Knightley will play the role of Jung’s lover, the unsung heroine of psychoanalysis whose own brilliant theories – in spite of her mental fragility – influenced both Freud’s and Jung’s ground-breaking works.
The director, who is known for his edgy, stylised treatment of stories such as his film adaptation of William S Burroughs’ book Naked Lunch, is preparing for a radical interpretation of the fractious triangular friendship. It is being billed as a “dark tale of sexual and intellectual discovery drawn from true-life events”. Cronenberg, who first had the idea four years ago, said he had “long been drawn to the story of erotic daring between these two good doctors and the woman who both divided and defined them”.
The film will star Michael Fassbender as Jung, and Viggo Mortensen as Freud, who at the time was grappling with many of the neuroses on which he wrote so extensively. A decade earlier, Freud had begun experiencing numerous psychosomatic disorders and exaggerated fears of dying.
The screenplay is to be written by Christopher Hampton, and based on his 2002 stage play, The Talking Cure. Hampton described it as a “true story of the obsessive love affair which played so fateful a role in the pioneering days of psychoanalysis”. Shooting will begin next month in Vienna and Lake Constance, and it is due to be in cinemas from next spring…
This sounds freaking awesome. Psychoanalysis and David Cronenberg!
When I first started seriously getting into music during high school, these were the albums I played over and over. Although there would be several significant albums to come, it’s probably these that ultimately shaped my music taste more than any others.
Alphaville, Forever Young
My 12, in no particular order:
Tori Amos, Little Earthquakes
Tori Amos, Under the Pink
Tori Amos, Boys for Pele
R.E.M., New Adventures in Hi-Fi
Radiohead, OK Computer
The Beatles, The Blue Album
Patti Smith, Horses
Kids (motion picture soundtrack)
Pulp Fiction (motion picture soundtrack)
Songs in the Key of X (songs inspired by The X-Files)