There’s a particular type of movie, the kind that depicts bourgeois capitalist decadence and excess, usually in the art world, or more specifically in the film world. La Dolce Vita is the iconic example, and all of the followers reference it; the recent examples I have in mind are The Great Beauty and Knight of Cups.More
There’s always something a little jarring, a little suspect about revisiting an artist’s early work. The impulse is to read the texts as prologue: what is to come. So, if David Cronenberg’s first foray into filmmaking — the 1966 short Transfer, made when he was just 23 years old — is (what’s the word?) “bad”, at least it can be recuperated by identifying the tendencies that will animate later, more accomplished films.More
Part of an ongoing effort to watch a set of films from non-White, non-U.S., non-male, and/or non-straight filmmakers and depart a little from the Western canon. The intro and full list can be found here.
Jean Cocteau rejected the label “Surrealist.” Contrary to notions of fundamentally unknowable art, born of dream and mining allusion, he began 1932’s Blood of a Poet with a title card that reads almost like a battle cry:
Every poem is a coat of arms.
Even if his early “body horror” films have now been canonized as classics (of a sort), and even if his more recent, less outre mainstream work has been often enthusiastically received, David Cronenberg has always been a divisive figure. This is more true of 2014’s Maps To The Stars than it has been in a while.More
David Wnendt’s Wetlands, based on Charlotte Roche’s novel, asks a simple, revealing question of audiences, one that’s never been asked quite so specifically: “How many depictions of anal fissures are you willing to allow in your charming romantic comedy?”
Think hard about this.More
Is there any living director who’s had a weirder career trajectory than David Cronenberg?
After carving out a very specific niche as a low-budget horror director fixated on technology and the body (Shivers, Rabid, The Brood), he moved on to bigger, more sci-fi oriented projects that maintained this focus (Videodrome, The Fly).More