A Dangerous Method
A Dangerous Method (German title: Eine dunkle Begierde) is a 2011 historical film directed by David Cronenberg. The film is a German-British-Canadian co-production. The screenplay was adapted by Christopher Hampton from his 2002 stage play The Talking Cure, itself based on the 1993 non-fiction book by John Kerr, A Most Dangerous Method.
|“|| Jung: Tell me about the first time you can remember being beaten by your father.
Spielrein: It's possible...I was four. I'd broken a plate or...yes, and he told me to go into the little room and take my clothes off and then he came in and...spanked me!
[she starts crying]
And then I was so frightened I wet myself...and then he hit me again! And then...
Jung: That first time, how did you feel about what was happening?
[Sabina answers very quietly]
Jung: Would you repeat that? I couldn't quite hear.
Spielrein: I liked it. It excited me!
Jung: And did you continue to like it?
Spielrein: Yes! Yes! Before long...he just had to say to me to go to the little room and I would...I would start to get wet. He would just threaten, it was enough! I'd have to go down and lie down and...and touch myself. He would scold and it would set it off! Any kind of humiliation, I looked for any humiliation! Even here, you...you hit my...my coat with your stick, I had to come back right away. I was so...excited! There's no hope for me. I'm wild and filthy and corrupt. I must never be let out of here.
|— A Dangerous Method|
The story begins with the arrival of a patient, Sabina Spielrein, at Carl Jung's psychiatric clinic in Zurich, Switzerland. The beautiful and highly intelligent Jewish Russian woman suffers from hysteric attacks. Jung applies a new method, psychoanalysis, as developed by his Austrian colleague and mentor Sigmund Freud. He has soon identified her problem: guilt over masochistic sexual fantasies engendered by her sadistic father's corporal punishments during childhood. In the course of the following therapy sessions, Spielrein is soon on the road to recovery. She and Jung begin a secret love affair.
The title refers to Jung's innovative "talking cure", the earliest form of psychoanalysis, in which Jung encourages Sabina to recall her feelings as a child when her father spanked her.
Spanking references and scenes
|“|| Spielrein: When you make love to your wife, how is it? Describe it to me.
Jung: When you live in the same room with someone, it becomes habit. You know, it's...it's very tender.
Spielrein: And this is another thing. Another thing in another country. With me I want you to be ferocious. I want you to punish me.
|— A Dangerous Method|
Soon after Spielrein (played by Keira Knightley) becomes the patient of Jung (Michael Fassbender), the two go on a walk in the park. There, Spielrein becomes very uneasy when Jung beats the dust off her coat with a walking stick. Later she admits to him that she is fascinated and sexually aroused by any smallest thing to do with punishment and humiliation. When Jung asks his patient about her earliest memories of the beatings she received as a four-year-old from her father, she tells him: "It excited me!"
Later, after the two become lovers, Spielrein, now a much more self-confident person and at peace with her kink, tells Jung that she wants their love to be harsh, not too tender: "With me I want you to be ferocious. I want you to punish me." In one scene that follows, Jung spanks Spielrein with his hand (delivering five hard smacks) while she bends over a couch. In another, later scene, she is dressed in her undergarments and kneeling on a bed with her wrists bound while he whips her six times with a folded leather belt. She watches herself in this scene in the mirror cabinet.
Keira Knightley has starred previously in films such as Bend It Like Beckham and the popular Pirates of the Caribbean series.
True story vs. film
The film is based on a true event from 1904-1909. Sabina Spielrein was born in 1885, so she was 19 years old in 1904. Details of her affair with Jung (born 1875, 10 years her senior), which ended abruptly in 1909, are preserved through the correspondence between Jung and Freud, and Spielrein's letters and diaries. Spielrein graduated in 1911 and became one of the world's first female psychoanalysts. In 1942 she was killed in Rostow in the holocaust, being a Jew, together with her daughters Renata, 29, and Eva, 16. The story of Sabina Spielrein's life was presented to the public in the documentary Ich hieß Sabina Spielrein by Elisabeth Márton, 2002.
In the film, the story is condensed and moved forward to the year 1914, to just before the outbreak of World War I.
Spanking parody video
- A Dangerous Method on Wikipedia
- Sabina Spielrein on Wikipedia
- Carl Gustav Jung on Wikipedia
- The History of spanking in film
- Spanking in mainstream films
- Spanking therapy
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