Relentless, eye-gouging mise-en-scene. Paints the entire world as a flickering lightbulb, consistently unpredictable and always threatening to extinguish. Climactic gunfight far more coherent and effective than I remember. Narrative is purposefully ludicrous, constructed to hide the economic concerns/motivations of fringe characters and subplots, the real heroes of this film. Still, a part of me hates DOMINO because Scott relishes his own stylistic show-boating over character and theme.
Soul Meets Body
The films of Canadian director David Cronenberg are a nasty brood, wildly divergent in terms of narrative yet thematically connected by the same obsession with the un(natural) evolution of body and mind. Initially known for constructing some of the 1970’s and 1980’s most harrowing and challenging genre films (Shivers, Scanners, The Fly), Cronenberg has since evolved toward a more classical, calculated form of storytelling in films like A History of Violence and Eastern Promises. Despite this shift, Cronenberg’s brilliantly subversive obsessions remain the same.
With A Dangerous Method, a sly and smart examination of the tumultuous Carl Jung/Sigmund Freud relationship during the early 1900’s, Cronenberg reaches the apex of this auteurist progression. His thematic concerns (deformity, disease, repression), once so brazenly represented by external violence or sex, are almost completely internalized in A Dangerous Method, revealed meticulously through longing facial expressions, razor-sharp glares, and extended dialogue sequences. Fittingly, there’s much time spent on the process of relationships, the way people’s perceptions of each other change over time …