A History of Cronenberg


David Cronenberg’s career spans four decades, 20-plus films (including 16 features), multiple viral strains, and a ton of enthusiastic Voice notices. Indeed, he may be the best-reviewed filmmaker in this paper’s history. A sampling of raves:

Shivers a/k/a They Came From Within
(1975, Image DVD): “A slap in the face of bourgie morality and a cautionary tale about the fragility of civilization.” Amy Taubin

Scanners (1981, MGM DVD): “Images of intellectualized grisliness that paralyze your brain while they nauseate your guts. Cronenberg handily doubles your displeasure.” Carrie Rickey

(1983, Criterion DVD)
: “A Bosch-ian brew of lurid s&m, hallucinogenic TV transmissions, and biomorphism run amok.”J. Hoberman

The Fly (1986, Fox DVD): “Not since Psycho has there been a movie so completely drenched with modernist malaise and yet also such a deeply felt work of art.” Andrew Sarris

Dead Ringers (1988, Warner DVD): “Directing against splatterific expectations, Cronenberg serves this shocker with cool, Langian restraint.” J. Hoberman

Crash (1997, New Line DVD): “Uncompromising in its melancholia, Crash establishes a profound sense of seeking comfort in the crevices of a lacerating, metallic world.” J. Hoberman

eXistenZ (1999, Dimension DVD): “Almost buoyant in its creepiness and positively bejeweled in its disgust.” J. Hoberman

Spider (2002, Columbia Tristar DVD): “More poetic than clinical in its approach to schizophrenia, suffused with existential dread, this evocation of psychological torment is both sensationally grim and exquisitely realized.” J. Hoberman

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 13, 2005

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