The Cut (2006)

20:25 min.

The 1962 John Huston film Freud the Secret Passion presents the discovery of psychoanalysis as a kind of detective story. Freud, depicted by Montgomery Clift, descends into the darkest depths of the psyche. Although not an entirely accurate representation of the biography of Freud and the history of psychoanalysis, the film is an ambitious attempt to dramatize on screen the thought process that led to the major concepts of psychoanalysis.

A series of edits and erasures mark the history of the film. The screenplay was based on a long, complex scenario written by Jean-Paul Sartre and subsequently rewritten by a number of Hollywood screenwriters. After filming, several further scenes were excised by the studio to make it more acceptable to a wider audience. My initial interest in the project came upon discovering that nineteen minutes, including a key subplot, were edited out of the film when it was dubbed into German - Freud's mother tongue.

Rather than present a linear explanation or documentation, The Cut attempts to fill the gaps in the history with fictional scenes that question the possibility of representing history and historical figures. While a classical film narrative is usually a linear development, focusing on the deeds of a few primary protagonists and moving towards the resolution of a conflict, The Cut follows narratives that develop in multiple directions, simultaneously encompassing the stories of many characters and focusing on the lacunae of the dominant narrative.

The film was shot over four days in Berlin in a single room furnished with stage props according to the representation of Freud's studio in the film Freud the Secret Passion. The actors perform the historical characters without attempting to become them, and each actor plays several roles.

Cast and Crew

Montgomery Clift / Priest Tomas Spencer
John Huston Tom Strauss
Liz Taylor / Marilyn Monroe Katie Mullins
FBI Agent / Producer Peter Gilbert Cotton
Camera Georg Schönharting
Lighting Jürgen Rüge
Sound Tim van Peppen
Costumes and Styling Marlous Borm
Assistant Noortje Fischer
Make-up Peter Kisur
Direction, Writing Geoffrey Garrison

Produced with the support of the Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, The Netherlands.