David Cronenberg

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One of the most iconic directors of all time, David Cronenberg has provided unique thrills for cinema fans in a career that staggers across seven decades.
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David Cronenberg’s unique brand of progressive sci-fi combined with gruesome horror and an always original vision, has established him as one of Canada’s greatest ever filmmakers. Born in Toronto in 1943, his fascination with cinema permeated his youth and after graduating university decided to learn more about the mechanics of filmmaking. In 1969 and 1970 he made two art-house films, Stereo and Crimes of the Future.

In the 1970s he began to focus more on the ‘body horror’ genre with films like Shivers (1975), Rabid (1977) and The Brood (1979). These films gained notoriety for their gory visual effects which polarised some critics but found a willing and excited audience. Scanners (1981) released shortly afterwards has become a cult classic with it’s famous head exploding scenes and helped Cronenberg break through to a more international, mainstream audience.

His follow-up was his first collaboration with a major US studio, the sublime Videodrome (1983) which further highlighted Cronenberg’s ability to create shocking yet contemplative films. The Dead Zone (1983) was released the same year and then in 1986 came The Fly, Cronenberg’s remake of the classic 50s sci-fi horror. Starring Jeff Goldblum as a scientist who following a failed experiment begins to turn into a fly, it was a huge hit at the box office becoming the biggest success of Cronenberg’s career.

The early 90s saw David Cronenberg take on a version of William S. Burrough’s most famous novel, Naked Lunch. A surreal and radical film that pushes the limits of imagination, it’s one of the most memorable in all of Cronenberg’s canon. In 1996 came another literary inspired outing with Crash. Based on J.G Ballard’s book of the same name, the film was released to much controversy due to it’s theme of sexual violence but has also been acclaimed by critics as one of his greatest.

The turn of the century saw Cronenberg shift to more tense thrillers like eXistenZ (1999), A History of Violence (2005) and Eastern Promises (2007) and then dramas such as A Dangerous Method (2011), Cosmopolis (2012) and Maps to the Stars (2014). However in 2022, Crimes of the Future (no relation to his earlier film) with its themes of evolution and body mutilation saw Cronenberg return to the sci-fi horror roots where he made his name.