From Tzivi’s May ’12 Spotlight — on Freud!

“Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar…”

Seventy-two years after his death in London at age 83, Sigmund Freud, the quintessential Viennese Jew, is suddenly hot again. This column will focus on three recent films; a related column by JUF News editor Cindy Sher will discuss the new play Freud’s Last Session (currently on stage at the Mercury Theatre on Southport).

Mahler on the Couch, coming to our Gene Siskel Film Center on State Street for a one-week run from April 27 to May 3, is a brilliant evocation of Fin-de-Siècle Vienna.

Basing their screenplay on one page in Ernest Jones’ mammoth three-volume biography of Freud describing a meeting between Freud and composer Gustav Mahler, German director Percy Adlon and his son Felix have created an aural and visual delight that simultaneously enlarged my mind and broke my heart.

The performers, Johannes Silberschneider as “Mahler,” Karl Markovics (best known for his lead role in the Oscar-winning Austrian film The Counterfeiters) as “Freud,” and newcomer Barbara Romaner as “Alma” (married first to Mahler, then to architect Walter Gropius, and finally to novelist Franz Werfel), are all extraordinary.

“That it happened is fact. How it happened is fiction,” say the Adlons. Indeed! Do not wait for DVD; this beautiful film deserves to be seen on the biggest possible screen.

For tickets call (312) 846-2085 or visit

Photo Credits © Benedict Neuenfels. National Center for Jewish Film.

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