Sunday, June 22, 2008

When Nietzsche Wept (2007)

Set in the year 1882, director Pinchas Perry's adaptation of Irvin D. Yalom's fictional 1992 novel finds a depressed Friedrich Nietzsche seeking out the advice of pioneering psychoanalyst Josef Breuer for help in battling mental malaise. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

When Nietzsche Wept (2007)
I have spent some time on-line learning about √úbermensch and the various philosophies involved in his theories. So this film I had to watch to get an idea of this person and yes some of Nietzsche's nihilistic thoughts do seem to come out in the film even if just in the dream sequence of Josef Breuer.

When Nietzsche Wept-Wiki
When Nietzsche Wept is an independent film released in 2007, starring Armand Assante, Ben Cross and Katheryn Winnick. The movie is based on a book of the same name by Irvin D. Yalom and is directed by Pinchas Perry.

The film follows the storyline of the book quite faithfully, although neither the book nor the movie is based on reality. The novel and movie are both fictions.

In the story, Lou Salome visits Dr. Josef Breuer, and convinces Dr. Breuer to take Nietzsche on as a patient, using Dr. Breuer's new "talking cure". The plot revolves around Dr. Breuer trying to get inside the mind of Nietzsche in an attempt to figure out the cause of his migraines, but the only way Breuer can do this, is by submitting to Nietzsche and being his patient. While Breuer is a physician to Nietzsche, Nietzsche is a physician for the soul of Breuer.


IMDb reviews do not seem to have much praise for this film: When Nietzsche Wept, including:
I rented this DVD having seen it while looking for something else. When I saw the title on the jacket I couldn't believe my eyes. I read Yalom's book about a year ago and loved it, in fact admire Yalom's work in general. (I am a clinical psychologist.) I have watched perhaps 30 minutes of this movie and have had to turn it off. I'm not sure if I can take much more. At a superficial level, the faux accents, as others have commented, are simply distracting at best and irritating and vapid at worst. The acting is dull when it should be passionate and comical when it should be serious. The portrayal of Lou Salome is simply flippant, and the brilliant Freud comes off as little more than a schoolboy. I see very little of the book's spirit conveyed thus far. I had hoped to be able to recommend this film to my students. Instead, I will refer them to the book. Imagine that.

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