This was a fun piece to write, one which I had to consciously restrain myself while writing so as to not make it too immense to take in at once. When you’re writing about Cronenberg, this is a necessity. He’s an overstimulating writer-director by nature. It’s part of our “Best Living Directors” series, covering JLG, Lynch, Scorsese, the Coens, Almodovar, Herzog and others.
If Jean-Luc Godard and the nouvelle vague represent the existentialist ethic as embodied in film; and auteurs like Martin Scorsese and the Brothers Coen explore metaethical questions and moral failings, then director David Cronenberg is positively postmodern. Among the Canadian writer-director’s 18 films spanning four decades, familiar themes emerge: the creation – and subsequent deconstruction – of identity; technology as an extension of self; the obliteration or total transformation of the physical form; the constructs and artificial nature of reality; the betrayal of the mind by the body’s devices, and vice-versa. And yet, as Cronenberg evolved or, to crib a verb from his work, mutated from initial status as King of Venereal Horror, picking apart the trappings of the flesh in earlier films like Rabid, Shivers and The Brood, he never forgot his roots. Riding the high wire between B-movie schlock and artful horror at first, Cronenberg’s films gradually flowered into more mature and measured acts, but never have they lacked adequate infusions of his preferred commodity: blood.
Read the rest here: Spectrum Culture: Best Living Directors: David Cronenberg