Single-body horror
July 15, 2014 8:39 AM   Subscribe

Metafilter favorite David Cronenberg (previously, previously, previously) has lately been making short films for festival exhibition. Most are aggressively simple, with only a few actors and even fewer locations. But they're all unmistakably Cronenberg films.

"At the Suicide of the Last Jew in the World in the Last Cinema in the World" (featuring Cronenberg himself in the title role)
"My parents were secular. I was never bar mitzvahed. At a very early age, I decided I was an atheist, and I still am. I don’t feel the need to involve myself with the traditions of Judaism. In fact, I’m rather anti-religious. . . . I wasn’t hiding my Jewishness. It just never seemed to be an issue. But when I started to make this little short, suddenly, it was. It was provoked by what’s going on in the world right now. The pronouncements of various Islamic leaders about how nice it would be to kill all the Jews in the world—you know, like the Hezbollah leader. I thought, “Well, what if that would happen? How would that happen?”
The Nest (starring Evelyne Brochu of Orphan Black and Cronenberg as an offscreen voice)
"In September, Scribner will be publishing David Cronenberg’s first novel, Consumed, described as a surreal thriller about two Internet reporters/personalities who “become entwined in a gripping, dreamlike plot that involves geopolitics, 3-D printing, North Korea, the Cannes Film Festival, cancer, and, in an incredible number of varieties, sex.” Back in April, Cronenberg released a “trailer” for Consumed, consisting of an excerpt from a nine-minute short he made for the International Film Festival Of Rotterdam and the EYE Film Institute, as part of an exhibition that will be up at EYE from June 22 through September 14. Last week, the IFFR posted the complete short, “The Nest,” on YouTube, where it will remain available all summer, before being removed right around the time Consumed comes out."
Camera (featuring Les Carlson, better known as Barry Convex)
"David Cronenberg has been fixated throughout his career on the idea of the camera, the apparatus of cinema, being an intrusion on the human body. Often times, as in The Brood and Naked Lunch, this is merely a hidden subtext, its implications obscured in the onslaught of body horror, but other times, as in Videodrome, Cronenberg makes it explicitly clear what his thoughts are on the relationship between the voyeuristic mechanism of the camera and the vulnerable human body. But perhaps his most direct and potent evocation of this theme is his 6-minute short Camera, which is not only open with its title but also with its blatantly suggestive imagery, vacillating between crude, claustrophobic digital video and clean, formulaic production values."
And finally, Cronenberg's 1967 student film, From The Drain. His other student film, Transfer, is seemingly unavailable.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard (7 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
I think the secret of Cronenberg's work, especially the short films, is his inimitable ability to capture the conscious attention of the viewer. There aren't a lot of filmmakers who can do that like Cronenberg, especially using both blunt and subtle means.

I don't get to attend enough film festivals, which is a crime as I live in Toronto, but I'm hoping I can see some of this new work. Thanks, ThatFuzzyBastard, for posting this.

As an aside, I met the man last spring, at a wedding of friends of mine. He seemed like a lovely man, and spoke to a flimmaker friend of mine for a few moments, seemingly peer-to-peer in a way one expects rarely from an elite professional.

Of course my friends and I, who are clearly bonkers, spent most of the night pretending that he was using his dinner table as the telepod from The Fly, calling everyone who walked by "Goldblum," and inviting them to go under the table to be turned into an inside out baboon.
posted by LoRichTimes at 8:53 AM on July 15, 2014 [3 favorites]

Going on fifteen years ago I was at a film-related event held at Toronto's old Uptown Theatre on Yonge St., where before the movie some awards were being given out to volunteers. David Cronenberg was the one giving out the awards. So he's up on stage in front of hundreds of people, calling out names..."John Smith...Jane Doe..." etc., etc., and then there's a guy whose last name is Walker. His name is called, he comes up and gets his certificate or whatever from Cronenberg, shakes his hand and then the poor guy trips and almost falls off the stage onto the first row of the audience. With perfect comedic timing, once the guy has regained his footing and sheepishly started up the aisle toward his seat, Cronenberg leans into the mike and intones "The name is...WALKER."
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:01 AM on July 15, 2014 [5 favorites]

I know people smirk at my insistence that Jason X is a beautiful masterpiece, but the presence of Cronenberg in the film should be enough to verify my claim.
posted by maxsparber at 9:18 AM on July 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Camera came on the bonus features disk of my Criterion Collection version of Videodrome. If I was teaching a film studies 101 course it would be a critical element of the course syllabus.
posted by Doleful Creature at 10:04 AM on July 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

This post is relevant to my interests.
posted by brundlefly at 10:13 AM on July 15, 2014 [7 favorites]

This post was both the three best and worst things that happened to me today.
posted by Work to Live at 4:09 PM on July 15, 2014

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