Note: Contains images that may be considered graphic and disturbing to some readers.
David Cronenberg is among the most original talents the movie industry has ever known. In the early days, he became associated withâ€“even defined byâ€“a type of cinema known as â€śbody-horrorâ€ť and earned a name for himself as â€śThe Baron of Bloodâ€ť and â€śDave Deprave.â€ť In later years he moved away from the exclusive realms of horror to explore other genres.
In a career spanning over forty years, the director has always remained relevant; his work adored by fans as well as taken seriously by critics. Outrageous and thought-provoking, there is nothing like the nightmare world of David Cronenberg. Not even close.
A moment of happiness for Gallimard (Jeremy Irons) and Song (John Lone) at the Great Wall.
Itâ€™s fair to say that â€śM Butterflyâ€ť is unloved and forgotten. Based on an award-winning Broadway play inspired by a true story, Jeremy Irons is on electric form as a French diplomat embarking on a twenty-year love affair with a female opera singer (or so he thinks). Itâ€™s time â€śM Butterflyâ€ť came in from the cold.
Peter Weller stars as a writer, drug addict and spy in “Naked Lunch” (1991).
How do you go about adapting an unfilmable novel? The answer is: you donâ€™t. Cronenberg used the bookâ€™s title and a few other elements to tell the tale of a manâ€™s troubled journey to becoming an artist. William S. Burroughs infamously shot his wife dead during a drunken game of William Tell. That tragic event provided the basis of the movie â€śNaked Lunch.â€ť
The relationship between of Freud and Jung is explored in “A Dangerous Method” (2011).
A Dangerous Method
â€śA Dangerous Methodâ€ť is bloody brilliant. Those that bark on like junkyard dogs, declaring it sucks big time, need to chill and take another look. The ultimate Cronenberg space is a clinic. It is to the directorâ€™s imagination what the haunted house is to ghost stories. â€śA Dangerous Methodâ€ť is a clever redefinition of classic Cronenberg themes. Fact.
‘I’m hungry. Hungry for love!’ A parasitic form turns people into sex fiends in “Shivers” (1975).
The film where it all began. â€śShiversâ€ť has aged remarkably well. It looks a bit rough around the edges, for sure, but the execution is clean. A parasite birthed in a lab is let loose in a plush apartment building in Montreal. The occupants turn into, well, sort of like â€¦ horny zombies? Seriously! The third act is dreamlike and deliciously weird.
Video games will reshape reality as well as the future in existent.
It feels like a good timeâ€“the midway point of the articleâ€“to declare that Cronenbergâ€™s movies are as funny as they are shocking or gross. â€śeXistenZâ€ť is like a remake of â€śVideodromeâ€ť done as a comedy of (computer) errors. Ted Pikulâ€™s line, â€śIâ€™m very worried about my body,â€ť is arguably the ultimate body-horror zinger.
John Smith (Christopher Walken) wakes from a coma with a powerful new ability: he can read minds.
The Dead Zone
Dave Deprave and Stephen King. It feels as mismatched a pairing as a sardines and peanut butter sandwich. â€śThe Dead Zone,â€ť it turned out, is a classic. An ordinary middle-class American school teacher wakes up from a coma as a freak of nature. Christopher Walken and Martin Sheen rock it as the hero and villain.
“The Fly” (1987) is one of the great body-horror masterpieces.
â€śThe Flyâ€ť is something of a last hurrah. After this, the director let go of his â€śBaron of Bloodâ€ť persona and moved on to pastures new. The special effects are disgusting (youâ€™ll never eat donuts againâ€¦ maybe) and the blood-and-guts quota is set very high. Itâ€™s worth mentioning that â€śThe Flyâ€ť plays like a deranged romantic screwball comedy. â€śHis Girl Flydayâ€ť?
The death of Barry Convex in “Videodrome” (1983) is a gory highlight.
Cronenberg always has had a flair for unusual casting. â€śRabid,â€ť for example, starred porno actress Marilyn Chambers. In â€śVideodrome,â€ť the directorâ€™s first certifiable masterpiece, he cast Blondieâ€™s Debbie Harry as a radio DJ and S&M enthusiast. Full of extreme imagery and iconic linesâ€”â€śLong live the new flesh!â€ťâ€” â€śVideodromeâ€ť is the directorâ€™s most beloved and batshit crazy flick.
Mr and Mrs Ballard share a kiss in the hugely controversial “Crash” (1996).
Erotic, sexy, even romantic, â€śCrashâ€ť was a scandal upon release in 1996. Whatâ€™s the big deal? Well, the film details the lives of a group of individuals who find car crashes the ultimate turn-on. â€śCrashâ€ť is wall-to-wall sex. Depraved sex! Thereâ€™s, like, four sex scenes in a row. Not joking. Itâ€™s also an artistic triumph with dreamy compositions and camera work.
“Dead Ringers” (1988) reigns supreme as Cronenbergâ€™s greatest cinematic offering.
Jeremy Ironsâ€™s portrayal of twin gynaecologists descending into madness and self-destruction is peerless. It is quite frankly â€“ and uniquelyâ€“ two of the greatest performances ever committed to celluloid. The illusion is extraordinary in a psychological drama of the most profound melancholy. â€śDead Ringersâ€ť: a marvel of film-making craft, screen acting and art design.
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