Riding across Manhattan in a stretch limo in order to get a haircut, a 28-year-old billionaire asset manager's day devolves into an odyssey with a cast of characters that start to tear his world apart.
After getting into a serious car accident, a TV director discovers an underground sub-culture of scarred, omnisexual car-crash victims who use car accidents and the raw sexual energy they produce to try to rejuvenate his sex life with his wife.
After developing an addiction to the substance he uses to kill bugs, an exterminator accidentally kills his wife, and becomes involved in a secret government plot being orchestrated by giant bugs in a port town in North Africa.
Suffering from hysteria, Sabina Spielrein is hospitalized under the care of Dr. Carl Jung who has begun using Dr. Sigmund Freud's talking cure with some of his patients. Spielrain's psychological problems are deeply rooted in her childhood and violent father. She is highly intelligent however and hopes to be a doctor, eventually becoming a psychiatrist in her own right. The married Jung and Spielrein eventually become lovers. Jung and Freud develop an almost father-son relationship with Freud seeing the young Jung as his likely successor as the standard-bearer of his beliefs. A deep rift develops between them when Jung diverges from Freud's belief that while psychoanalysis can reveal the cause of psychological problems it cannot cure the patient.Written by
At Viggo Mortensen's suggestion, Freud is smoking a cigar in every scene except the family dinner with Jung, where there was one waiting for him on set, just off-screen. See more »
When Jung enters Gross's bedroom there is a desiccated frog pinned to the bulletin board. In the closeup, there are papers behind the frog; in the long shots, the frog is pinned directly to the bulletin board, not on top of any papers. See more »
[to his new patient]
Good morning... I'm Dr. Jung. I admitted you yesterday.
I'm not... I'm not mad, you know.
Let me explain what I have in mind. I propose that we meet here, most days, to talk for an hour or two.
Yes. Just talk. See if we can identify what's troubling you. So as to distract you as little as possible, I'm going to sit there, behind you. I'm going to ask you to try not to turn around and look at me under any circumstances. Now...
[...] See more »
Freud is misread by Jung from the start as fatherly, as Freud brings the photo to his heart, revealing some kind of narcissitic homoeroticism was at play--if not in the literal sense then in the sense of the master v the protege. Look how it shows Freud's family once and never again. Mostly it shows him in his den making faces wishing someone would strike him dead. The play brings this as David v Goliath with his authority being chipped away. Jung as the candidate must debase and humiliate himself to explore Freud's sexual freedom and it scars him for life. The abyss stares back. (There is also an absurdest black comedy component where all this is just to get their rocks off.) What's resonant is the trap of being in the narcissist's grasp. Deliciously, the villain's plot is cerebral: a certain idea in despair. It is why Jung escalates in those mic dropping letter exchanges. The film presents Freud's rule as this foregone treatise of humanity's lowness, because it mirrors Cronenberg's own atheistic world view of the misanthrope, allowing this frame of mocking Jung's naivety and admiring Freud, a perfect heroes journey--Freud is the Cronenberg stand-in after all--then if I'm overstating him as malicious, there he functions here, at least he's weary, daring to be proven wrong, skeptical... he has human history on his side after all. Then with perspective here he embodies a voice of the historic Jewish trauma. Enter the woman bridging and dividing them, of course in noir she would drive them mad with jealousy, and with Freud having no interest in women, she must do so via intellectual cuckoldry: taking Freud's patients, confessing it's his ideas she prefers. "We're both Jews, never forget that." The other key is the film also insists history in the post-script, that all this religious idealism was regressive in the 20th century nuclear age, vs Jung's Plato's forms, instigates Jung's Eyes Wide Shut trip through hell. Problem is it revels in it a bit much, Cronenberg seems too certain in the Freudian as Jung does seem to find actualization in the carnal to conclude with, dirty love haunts him. In this way it reveals the 20th century not Freud v Jung. Because did the film even watch itself? Look how it functions the way any comic book operates: the battle and co-dependence of good v evil. Then through is its very structure of a storytelling order that would please us, dueling scientists, femme fatals, monsters, heroes journey, labyrinthic villainry, reflects Jungian forms of storytelling no matter how much he loved spanking the girl. Cronenberg unlike Spielrein had no interest in bridging them.
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