Review of Secrets of a Soul (1926)

Moving picture, 97 minutes

Seen in 2017.

A childless husband loses the ability to hold knives.

A Neue Sachlichkeit illustration of a Freud case study. Interesting simply for the way it popularizes and distorts Freud with a proximity to the original subject matter that cannot be recaptured. The dream sequence in particular, and its detailed analysis, are built like a Sherlock Holmes fantasy. Each detail, though nonsensical at first, “makes sense” in interpretation, right down to the childish pop gun in the cousin’s hands, from the giving away of a doll in childhood. Freud, for all his flaws, at least opposed this naïve understanding of dreams as coherently meaningful.

References here: “Un chien Andalou” (1929), A Dangerous Method (2011).

moving picture fiction