Thursday, January 26, 2012
Carl Jung and A Dangerous Method
In November of 2011 the movie A Dangerous Method starring Viggo Mortensen and Michael Fassbender was released. The screenplay was adapted by Academy Award-winning writer Christopher Hampton from his 2002 stage play The Talking Cure, which was based on the 1993 non-fiction book by John Kerr, A Most Dangerous Method: the story of Jung, Freud, and Sabina Spielrein. The movie takes place in 1904 and details the deteriorating relationship between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. Carl Jung (Fassbender), a disciple of Sigmund Freud (Mortensen), is using Freudian techniques to treat Russian-Jewish psychiatric patient Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley) at Burghölzli Mental Hospital. But the deeper Jung's relationship with Spielrein grows, the further the psychiatrist and his highly respected mentor drift apart. As Jung struggles to help his patient overcome some pressing paternal issues, disturbed patient Otto Gross (Vincent Cassel) sets out to test the boundaries of the doctor's professional resolve.
Although the movie is a fictitious representation, the lives and studies of Freud and Jung are still continuously explored and studied today. If you are interested in Carl Jung or Jungian theory, check out the book Finding Jung: Frank N. McMillan Jr., a Life in Quest of the Lion (Texas A&M University Press, March) by Frank N. McMillan III ─ the personal story of McMillan Jr.’s life-long quest for meaning. McMillan, a country boy steeped in the traditional culture of rural Texas , began reading Carl Jung’s Collected Works upon hearing impressionist artist Forrest Bess’s description of Jung as a master psychologist, soul doctor, and healer. McMillan went on to establish the world’s first professorship to study the field of Jungian Psychology.