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Ufa Studios incorrectly announced Sigmund Freud's approval of the project, sparking rumors and stories from Vienna to New York. The New York Times reported on July 26, 1925 that "Psychoanalysis will be popularly explained through a screen filming which will be passed upon and partly directed by Professor Freud." Freud, so angered by the incorrect announcement, demanded retractions in several newspapers and publications, and even paid for a second notice to be printed in some. See more »
At the beginning of the last century, Herr Sigmund Freud was a notorious Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist who was famous for his innovative studies of mental diseases and the complicated unconscious mind. This led him to found psychoanalysis and write "Die Traumdeutung" ( The Interpretation Of Dreams ) a turning point in modern psychiatry that claimed the path to the unconscious could be found in dreams. Since aristocrats usually have nothing in their minds, psychoanalysis could do little to fill such a void but was very useful for average people whose more accessible simple minds made them good subjects for these innovative psychiatric methods.
"Geheimnisse Einer Seele" ( Secrets Of A Soul ) (1926) , directed by Herr G. W. Pabst, an Austrian like Herr Freud, is about this new psychoanalysis, a subject in fashion in Germany due to the complex and confused Teutonic minds, that Herr Pabst efficiently and aseptically describes in this film.
The film is famous for its notorious dream sequence in which a chemistry professor's unconscious fears come to the surface and threatens his marriage. It is all connected to an incident in the neighbourhood and the return of his wife's cousin from India.
The first half of the film shows the tranquil and bourgeois life of the professor together with his wife and the (at first) unimportant events that little by little will affect the professor's unconscious and will take shape in a traumatic dream. This is the most unique and interesting part of the film, the late Expressionist dream sequence, a nightmare, a nonsense puzzle that during the second half of the film will be analyzed and described with the help of a psychoanalyst, natürlich!.
Herr Pabst, due to his Teutonic and organized human nature, describes and solves every little detail shown during the powerful dream sequence with the knowledgeable help of the psychiatrist of the film; a coherent, logical and aseptic analysis that lacks emotion and rhythm so there is no room for mystery. The story also has a conservative and too conventional happy ending that throws the film a bit off balance and is too predictable given the odd subject matter.
That's what happens when you are an open-minded and common person, your innermost secrets are easily revealed, so unlike the wicked, empty and inscrutable aristocratic minds.
And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must wake up.
Herr Graf Ferdinand Von Galitzien http://ferdinandvongalitzien.blogspot.com/
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