The Cronenberg Thread

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Definitely.

slightly more subdued (kenan), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 03:42 (9 years ago) Permalink

A lot of his short stories would translate well into films. As would probably his last three novels. Cocaine Nights and Super Cannes expecially, seeing as they paint such a good visual image throughout.

Sasha (sgh), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 03:42 (9 years ago) Permalink

And I reckon Cronenberg would be the best director for his stuff.

Sasha (sgh), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 03:44 (9 years ago) Permalink

i like him so much i will be a bit upset if someone says he sucks. 'rabid' was kind of shit tho

franken-vader, Tuesday, 24 May 2005 03:51 (9 years ago) Permalink

i think that crash is brilliant--a conflation of machine and flesh that continues and expands his themes (which are the themes of all of us--it takes the la of five ecologies and turns it on), that is isolating, slick, beautiful, erotic, well versed and morally complicated.

i think it is the best film formally he has made

anthony, Tuesday, 24 May 2005 03:56 (9 years ago) Permalink

Ugh Cocaine Nights is terrible. No one should direct that.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 03:59 (9 years ago) Permalink

xpost
Did you really find it erotic, though?

slightly more subdued (kenan), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 04:00 (9 years ago) Permalink

Formally, yes. Sexually, no.

Just Kidding (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 04:01 (9 years ago) Permalink

actually thats a perfect answer

anthony, Tuesday, 24 May 2005 04:07 (9 years ago) Permalink

I don't know what "formally erotic" means, but I do understand why it's the perfect answer. May also explain my disconnect from the movie.

slightly more subdued (kenan), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 04:08 (9 years ago) Permalink

Ebart: "Cronenberg has made a movie that is pornographic in form, but not in result. Take out the cars, the scars, the crutches and scabs and wounds, and substitute the usual props of sex films, and you'd have a porno movie."

So, yes. Ebert liked it way more than I did, though.

slightly more subdued (kenan), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 04:12 (9 years ago) Permalink

I thought Spider was a total z. At least Crash was unintentionally funny. I find the stuff really entertaining but I think the 80s were his peak - charismatic leads help make his style a little less starchy.

POV:
Dead Ringers
Dead Zone
Scanners
Videodrome
The Fly

I really want to see Shivers.

miccio (miccio), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 04:54 (9 years ago) Permalink

That should be I find the early stuff

miccio (miccio), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 04:54 (9 years ago) Permalink

shivers is great, like if romero directed an orgy flick

j blount (papa la bas), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 04:58 (9 years ago) Permalink

Oh, and Howard Shore music scores for Videodrome, Crash & Scanners... FUCKING CLASSIC.

Sasha (sgh), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 05:03 (9 years ago) Permalink

yeah I saw a lot of clips of Shivers on an IFC documentary about horror films back in 2000 (I turned 21 that October, freaked out and spent every weekend eating pizza and watching tons of Craven, Romero and Cronenberg films on the station - all hosted by Tom Savini!) and it looked terrific.

miccio (miccio), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 05:09 (9 years ago) Permalink

charismatic leads help make his style a little less starchy

Not that I find his style starchy -- more like gooey (ha) -- but as the Star Wars threads (and esp. movies) have reminded me, it doesn't just take a good actor to be a good actor. It takes a relatively decent filmmaker as well. Th fact that Cronenberg consistently gets such good actors and such good stuff out of them is a testament to his ability to work with actors, and that's a laudable talent. Makes the movies better for all of us. A round of applause, please, for Goldblum in The Fly and Irons in Dead Ringers and even Jude Law in eXistenZ. Cronenberg doesn't always give these guys top-shelf material to work with, I won't argue that, but he apparently gives them the room to actually *act* in movies that are not perfect, and that's good direction.

slightly more subdued (kenan), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 05:10 (9 years ago) Permalink

apparently cronenberg's gonna make a movie out of london fields - i'm quite curious about this!

j blount (papa la bas), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 05:11 (9 years ago) Permalink

You're kidding. I need a link.

slightly more subdued (kenan), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 05:15 (9 years ago) Permalink

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0404207/ - admittedly just 'announced', with no status update for over a year so, hmmm, maybe not so likely to happen. i'd see that movie for sure though.

j blount (papa la bas), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 05:29 (9 years ago) Permalink

Oh, I could have looked that up myself. I was hoping for an article.

slightly more subdued (kenan), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 05:31 (9 years ago) Permalink

Holy shit a DC London Fields would be NICE.

David R. (popshots75`), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 05:37 (9 years ago) Permalink

Yes. Yes it would.

slightly more subdued (kenan), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 05:38 (9 years ago) Permalink

I can't tell if its a shame or not that he never got to do Basic Instinct 2. It almost happened!

miccio (miccio), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 05:39 (9 years ago) Permalink

If he'd done the first one, it would have been a great movie. It almost was anyway, but it lacked any subtext whatsoever.

slightly more subdued (kenan), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 05:44 (9 years ago) Permalink

TS: verhoeven vs. cronenberg

j blount (papa la bas), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 05:47 (9 years ago) Permalink

Holy shit a DC London Fields would be NICE.

It COULD be, depending on many, many things. At least the very thought doesn't make me want to die like pretty much any other director on this shit would.

box of socks, Tuesday, 24 May 2005 05:50 (9 years ago) Permalink

I love every Cronenberg movie I've seen but The Brood is my favorite. I made my girlfriend watch it and not only was she totally creeped out and disturbed but shortly after that she became pregnant. We have a good laugh about that now and then.

I always feel compelled to compare Cronenberg to David Lynch and as much as I admire Lynch, I think Cronenberg is much more successful at doing the same types of things Lynch attempts. For example while Lynch flirts with bad acting, camp, b-movie conventions, and general awkwardness, Cronenberg seems to operate in that territory quite naturally. He kind of skirts a thin line between the arthouse and schlocky failure that I find very exciting. Where other directors working in a similar vein might come across as too clever and knowing, Cronenberg manages to make movies that can be truly confounding and get the most intense reactions out of people.

So anyway, I think he's very underrated. Crash and Naked Lunch in particular are quite underrated. Total classic.

walter kranz (walterkranz), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 05:53 (9 years ago) Permalink

I forgot to mention: search his appearance in the film Last Night.

walter kranz (walterkranz), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 05:56 (9 years ago) Permalink

At least Crash was unintentionally funny.

Really? Unintentionally?

walter kranz (walterkranz), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 05:57 (9 years ago) Permalink

Doesn't matter if you're describing Crash as "funny" or "unintentionally funny," you're still missing the point.

slightly more subdued (kenan), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 06:13 (9 years ago) Permalink

Here I am again, defending a movie I don't even like.

slightly more subdued (kenan), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 06:13 (9 years ago) Permalink

I've never read the book so I'll admit I'm probably missing the point. Still, it's a great film on its own merits.

walter kranz (walterkranz), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 06:17 (9 years ago) Permalink

Don't taunt me like that. It's own merits are not great, so... you can grok the rest of my arguments from there.

slightly more subdued (kenan), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 06:20 (9 years ago) Permalink

What is your argument exactly? Crash is not great because you didn't like it and people who enjoyed it are missing the point? Finding humor in the movie is wrong because... why exactly? If the humor was intentional it betrayed the source material? Or if was unintentional then it's not worth enjoying? I'm not trying to taunt you but I'm curious what someone who otherwise likes Cronenberg would have against Crash (other than deviation from the source).

walter kranz (walterkranz), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 06:27 (9 years ago) Permalink

Now you've really lost me. You though it was supposed to be funny?

slightly more subdued (kenan), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 07:37 (9 years ago) Permalink

I mean, if you thought it was intentionally funny you did not see hte same movie as I did. If you though it was unintentionally funny ... well, I don't quite know what to think about that.

slightly more subdued (kenan), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 07:40 (9 years ago) Permalink

POV Cronenberg:

Shivers
Naked Lunch
Videodrome
ExistenZ
Dead Ringers

I like Crash and The Fly, too, and Scanners (although I was anticipating the head-blowing-up scene too much to really appreciate much else of the film).

emil.y (emil.y), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 10:38 (9 years ago) Permalink

Best Cronenberg moment ever might be in Scanners when the main character is ambushed in the artist's barn-studio and his psychic counter-attack is portrayed as the most ridiculously hammy head swing and grimace into the camera. It looks like a castmember of Fame playing "tough".

Dan I. (Dan I.), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 10:50 (9 years ago) Permalink

Crash and Fight Club are amazing fetish movies.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 14:51 (9 years ago) Permalink

What, no mention of DC's star turn in Friday The 13th: Space Travel Sucks? FOR SHAME!

I'm not the biggest fan of Crash, but I think a lot of that has to do w/ the subject matter (and the portrayal of it) (the fierce unyielding atavistic obsession the characters have re: the fetish), so I'm thinking the movie worked really well. I'm thinking "atavistic obsession" could summarize DC's career succinctly.

David R. (popshots75`), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 14:57 (9 years ago) Permalink

"last night"!

cozen (Cozen), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 16:04 (9 years ago) Permalink

New DVD of Dead Ringers June 7.

slightly more subdued (kenan), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 16:07 (9 years ago) Permalink

scanners
dead ringers
videodrome
dead zone
crash

the only other director who can finesse some of the same essence out of a scenario the way that he can is nicolas roeg. they're working in two different arenas, in general, but both are adept at channeling the anxiety of being an awkward fleshy thing with a brittle skeleton beneath, and i very much like the endings in their films. and the beginnings middles and rests too.

ok, strike the only out of that sentence. i hate that kinda talk.

firstworldman (firstworldman), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 16:43 (9 years ago) Permalink

i already have the previous criterion edition of dead ringers, is this the same thing just reissued or a whole new DVD with new features?

latebloomer: B Minus Time Traveler (latebloomer), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 16:52 (9 years ago) Permalink

anyway firstworlddude otm

latebloomer: B Minus Time Traveler (latebloomer), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 16:53 (9 years ago) Permalink

DVD Features:

* Commentary by Jeremy Irons
* Behind-the-scenes featurette
* Cast/filmmaker interviews and filmographies
* Dead Ringers Psychological Profiler (menu-based quiz)
* Theatrical trailer

ok, i see. still im not gonna need to buy this. the criterion edition from a few years back has much better features.

latebloomer: B Minus Time Traveler (latebloomer), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 17:01 (9 years ago) Permalink

Dead Ringers
eXistenZ
Videodrome
Crash
Scanners

I'm going to shock everyone by saying that Existenz is probably the one I enjoy the most.

I adore eXistenZ, it's incredibly funny! Poor Jude Law's excessive uptightness really makes it.

I like just about everything Cronenberg's ever done, including Crash. When I lived in Paris the Cahiers du Cinema people did a big retrospective, they screened all his films and brought Cronenberg there to give a few talks & such. He is super nice and seemed rather surprised by all the attention from that realm, i.e. the film scholar/auteur worshipping contingent instead of, you know, Fangoria. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

As part of the retrospective they had an exhibition of various props and plans and things from his films.. This turned out to be extremely hilarious, because on the ground floor of the same building there happened to be an exhibition of a century's worth of advertising art for Lu, the dessert company. So you'd walk in and it was all bright sunlight and cheery vintage Art Nouveau posters and candy and cookies, and then you got to go downstairs to this gloomy, dark basement (really!) and look at tools for operating on mutant women. I wonder if Cronenberg ever made it over there to see what they'd done, I think he would have been amused.

xpost
Holy shit, "psychological profiler"? That's messed up. Awesome.

daria g (daria g), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 17:30 (9 years ago) Permalink

'Shivers' is great. Remove the parasites and you have almost an adaptation of Ballard's 'High Rise.'

robertw, Tuesday, 24 May 2005 18:52 (9 years ago) Permalink

There might not be a contemporary director whose fans vary so widely on what his best and worst work is. I even know some people who would call Dead Ringers his great sellout.

Personally, I think I like Crash and The Dead Zone the best.

L'Histoire d'Eric H. (Eric H.), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 18:55 (9 years ago) Permalink

actually i guess he wrote the first go around '93?

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/sep/17/maps-to-the-stars-my-film-about-the-dark-side-of-hollywood

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 2 October 2014 03:34 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

that makes sense, because I can't really think of any present day analogues to Benji's franchise. It seemed like more of a Home Alone/Problem Child thing

Number None, Thursday, 2 October 2014 07:53 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

yeah, surely some of those kids' moms were their agents

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 2 October 2014 11:20 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

Cronenberg made a movie about Problem Child? Sold!

Eric H., Thursday, 2 October 2014 12:11 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

dangerous method is the real nadir of latter-day cronenberg, imho - so lifeless and cheap-looking

― sʌxihɔːl (Ward Fowler), Monday, 29 September 2014 Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I liked the film: how it put what he is interested in highly conventional ways.

Freud's office didn't look bad at all to me. Thought there was care to how the film looked.

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 2 October 2014 12:12 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

i loved freud's office in ADM

i think it is a lot more interesting movie than anyone gives it credit for, i think weirdly people dismiss it just because it's a period piece and thus not what they expect from croney

socki (s1ocki), Thursday, 2 October 2014 23:38 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

i like when directors not known for period pieces (altman, mike leigh, cronenberg) do them, they always bring something interesting and weird

socki (s1ocki), Thursday, 2 October 2014 23:38 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

Kubrick, arguably.

Eric H., Friday, 3 October 2014 05:08 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

paul w.s. anderson

I dunno. (amateurist), Friday, 3 October 2014 06:38 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

Just to expand on this a bit. Its not that I don't like what Cronenberg does that I'd suddenly want something fairly conventional/BBC drama-esque from him. Dramatizing Freud and the scene of people around him in that way somehow felt appropriate. Some of those characters were so out of left-field that you just give them the space for their weirdness to take over.

xyzzzz__, Friday, 3 October 2014 08:33 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

Kubrick, arguably.

― Eric H., Friday, October 3, 2014 1:08 AM (7 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

you might say 2001 is a sci-fi period piece Ô_o

socki (s1ocki), Friday, 3 October 2014 12:19 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

You might say Kubrick brought apes to the period piece.

Eric H., Friday, 3 October 2014 12:20 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

you might say 2001 was the original "planet" of the "apes" movie

socki (s1ocki), Friday, 3 October 2014 12:21 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

"you" might "say"

I dunno. (amateurist), Monday, 6 October 2014 20:30 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

Vadim Rizov not wild about DC's year

There’s a moment when Olivia Williams is exiting her bathroom; she turns and stares before gasping in shock at an unexpected intruder. The camera waits in the hallway the whole time like a stalker, cuing us to expect a jolt, but the amount of space and attenuated time it takes to get there is what generates a frisson beyond the expected. Still, I can’t get around the fact that this is a terrible script, and I’m not sure Cronenberg grasps that that’s an insurmountable problem. A salute, though, to Mia Wasikowska, in the year’s most thankless great performance.

I should also say a few words about Cronenberg’s debut novel, Consumed. Reviews of this have been good so far, which makes me wonder if I’m just functionally illiterate and haven’t learned anything in my life so far....

http://filmmakermagazine.com/87812-nyff-14-david-cronenbergs-maps-to-the-stars-and-consumed/#.VDQWr_ldVyw

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 7 October 2014 16:45 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

One thing about this film is that it may teach ilxors the correct way to say imago

lool at the herrlich (wins), Thursday, 9 October 2014 17:57 (1 week ago) Permalink

imago ahead and say it

socki (s1ocki), Thursday, 9 October 2014 19:48 (1 week ago) Permalink

i think it is a lot more interesting movie than anyone gives it credit for

I remember seeing ADM at Telluride and being literally its only defender among the dozens of people I knew there who'd seen it.

Simon H., Thursday, 9 October 2014 19:57 (1 week ago) Permalink

yeah i think that criticism has so oriented itself around auteur critique that it's hard for some people to just say, "here's a talented director who has a shitty script, and the resulting film isn't that good." that explains most of scorsese's career for the past 20 years, anyhow.

I dunno. (amateurist), Thursday, 9 October 2014 23:15 (1 week ago) Permalink

Spider is my second favourite after Dead Ringers. I think Spider is seriously neglected.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 10 October 2014 17:21 (1 week ago) Permalink

I interviewed Cronenberg once about Spider and he told me how he'd cut out all sorts of special effects from the film. The one that sticks out is some meal that had eyeballs and bled when the guy cut into it. I admit, it's a fuzzy memory.

The Thnig, Friday, 10 October 2014 17:57 (1 week ago) Permalink

one of only a few Cronenberg movies I've never bothered to watch since it sounds so deeply unpleasant and pointless

Οὖτις, Friday, 10 October 2014 17:58 (1 week ago) Permalink

haven't watched Cosmopolis for similar reaseon

Οὖτις, Friday, 10 October 2014 17:59 (1 week ago) Permalink

It's very very quiet. Some themes that may be troubling to some but in the context of sheer unpleasantness it's light weight Cronenberg.

In an odd way I found some of it soothing. Miranda Richardson is really great and beautiful in it.

I highly recommend it.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 10 October 2014 18:19 (1 week ago) Permalink

Just looking through his filmography and never knew he did adverts (including Nike) or a Friday The 13th episode.

I don't think I've ever heard him talk about his favourite films or directors. He seems to talk about writers more.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 10 October 2014 18:37 (1 week ago) Permalink

Cosmopolis is really, really funny.

Eric H., Friday, 10 October 2014 18:44 (1 week ago) Permalink

I have never heard that opinion expressed

Οὖτις, Friday, 10 October 2014 19:17 (1 week ago) Permalink

spider was good, and i should revisit it, but i remember feeling like the resolution/revelation was kind of pat in a very mid-century pop-freudian way.

I dunno. (amateurist), Friday, 10 October 2014 19:21 (1 week ago) Permalink

in general I'm not v interested in films with twists about unreliable narrators

Οὖτις, Friday, 10 October 2014 19:24 (1 week ago) Permalink

that wasn't my problem -- my problem was just after building the mystery so carefully the revelation felt rather predictable and pat. which doesn't mean the film is any worse than one of those 1940s freudian potboilers by siodmak or fritz lang, just that it's not much more than that, either.

I dunno. (amateurist), Friday, 10 October 2014 19:25 (1 week ago) Permalink


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