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Could Venice numbers work for Cronenberg?

September 2, 2011

Strange coincidence or auspicious sign? David Cronenberg is at the Venice film festival¬†with his movie “A Dangerous Method”, one of 22 in the main competition lineup and competing for the coveted Golden Lion for best picture come September 10.

At a press conference after a screening to journalists and critics, where the reception for the cerebral costume drama was warm, the Canadian film maker pondered the significance of numbers at this year’s festival.

“This is the 68th Venice film festival and I am 68,” he said. “And just to add to that weirdness, the opening film of the festival was called ‘The Ides of March’ and that’s my birthday, so just keep that in mind.”

Early reviews of A Dangerous Method have been mixed, with some very positive feedback for the movie starring Viggo Mortensen as Sigmund Freud, Michael Fassbender as Carl Jung and Keira Knightley as Sabina Spielrein.

Knightley’s performance is the main talking point — she plays a psychologically disturbed patient who gradually gets her hysteria under control. Her “mad” scenes and those in which she moans with pleasure while being spanked by a leather belt are a departure from her more demure roles, and, like the film itself, the performance has split opinion.

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