Blood, Hypnotism, Sex and Cocaine: ‘Freud’ on Netflix

Wendy Leeks



How unlikely would it be that a series starkly called ‘Freud’ would air on Netflix? Well, unexpected, yet there it is – but what is it? This article is not so much a review as a response by one viewer to the genre-blending or bending hybrid entertainment that is the Netflix ‘Freud’. This viewer has had dealings over many years with the writings of Freud and of his commentators, and has also, in teaching and research, had interests in visual representation, film, and biographical writing. The piece examines aspects of this ‘Freud’. It proposes that this is not a ‘serious’ or in-depth biography of the early career of the historical figure Sigmund Freud, but yet it is layered, referential. Consequently, the article maintains, the series affords pleasures for those of us who ‘know’ about Freud, and ‘know’ about film – provided we can ‘go with’ its blood-drenched detective/horror scenarios; its grotesques, and its comedy.    


Freud, cinema, representation, travesty

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