Archive for the ‘Cronenberg, David’ Category

David Cronenberg’s eXistenZ ™

January 1, 2011

 

One of the great films/movies of 1999 is David Cronenberg’s eXistenZ ™, starring Jude Law, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Willem Dafoe, Christopher Eccleston, Ian Holm, and Sarah Polley.

 

 

Here’s a plot summary: Allegra Geller (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is the designer of eXistenZ ™, a new game system so advanced it uses biology to transport players into gaming experiences beyond virtual reality. Allegra is a star – worshipped, cosseted and constantly under threat from fanatics and rival game companies alike. It is up to Ted Pikul (Jude Law) to protect her.

 

 

When a terrorist attack disrupts the first ever demonstration of eXistenZ ™, Geller and Pikul find themselves on the run in a strange and dangerous world where reality and fantasy merge and in which Geller and Pikul discover they can trust no one – perhaps least of all each other… for who can really tell where real life ends and the game begins?

 

Frighteningly vivid and tense, David Cronenberg’s eXistenZ ™ is a terrifying journey through betrayal, death, and the seductive world of game playing. It tackles notions of identity, art, creativity, the dangers of fiction, the reality/cyberspace dichotomy, and Martin Heidegger’s notion of ‘being’.

 

 

There is, of course, a soundtrack album for David Cronenberg’s eXistenZ ™. The film/movie is scored by long-time Cronenberg collaborator, Howard Shore. The album is worth owning, as it is very rich, melodic and atmospheric. Here’s a sound-bite:

 

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David Cronenberg’s eXistenZ ™ has been turned into a fast-paced and very well-written novel by Christopher Priest (writing as John Luther Novak).

 

 

  

Priest follows Croneberg’s plot precisely, but has added extra detail to round out the characters and the situations.

 

There is also a graphic novel, David Cronenberg’s eXistenZ ™, with illustrations by Sean Schoffield.

 

 

The 110 page graphic novel, published by Key Porter Books, contains set of a cast pictures, a glossary of technical terms, the graphic novel itself, and an interview with David Conenberg talking about the pre-production, the filming and the aftermath of eXistenZ ™.

 

Each of the different versions of eXistenZ ™ is worth a look. Watch the film/movie, read the novel, listen to the music, or enjoy the graphic novel – they’re all worth spending time on. David Cronenberg’s eXistenZ ™ is a razor-sharp science fiction thriller – with an intriguing plot and some great acting from Law and Leigh.

 

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Try David Croonenberg’s eXistenZ ™ – you might enjoy it.

  

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David Cronenberg’s Films

October 27, 2008

 

David Cronenberg

 

All of David Cronenberg’s films are confrontational, provocative, disturbing, and yet highly entertaining.

 

Since the early seventies, David Cronenberg has followed his own path and made films according to his own sensibilities, which has resulted in the term ‘Cronenbergesque’ being invented in order to describe his cinematic vision. His feature film filmography is:

 

Stereo (1969)

Crimes of the Future (1970)

Shivers (1975)

Rabid (1977)

Fast Company (1979)

The Brood (1979)

Scanners (1981)

Videodrome (1983)

The Dead Zone (1983)

The Fly (1986)

Dead Ringers (1988)

Naked Lunch (1991)

M. Butterfly (1993)

Crash (1996)

eXistenZ (1999)

Spider (2002)

A History of Violence (2005)

Eastern Promises (2007)

A Dangerous Method (2011)

Cosmopolis (2012) 

Maps to the Stars (2014)

 

Cronenberg began making films in the horror genre in the 1970s. He quickly established a reputation for himself as an original horror master with Shivers (1975), which was the film that launched his career as a writer and director.

 

He followed this with Rabid (1977) and The Brood (1979). Some critics obviously found his films distasteful, but others considered him an auteur with great artistic vision.

 

In the 1980s, Cronenberg’s films explored the paranormal, the media, biology, technology, identity and delusion. Films from this era include Scanners (1981) and Videodrome (1983).

 

With The Dead Zone in 1983, The Fly in 1986 and Dead Ringers in 1988, Cronenberg showed that he was much more than a competent filmmaker. Dead Ringers is the story of twin gynecologists, but it has very little to do with twins or gynecology. Dead Ringers is a meditation on our very existence – on the sadness of what Cronenberg has termed “unrequited life.” With themes like these, it wasn’t long before Cronenberg’s films started winning awards. The Dead Zone won the 1984 Critic’s Award at the Avoriaz Film Festival in France; Dead Ringers won the Grand Prize and 11 Genies including Best Picture, Director and Adapted Screenplay.

 

Later films include his 1992 film, Naked Lunch (based on the novel by William S. Burroughs); M Butterfly released in 1993; the controversial Crash (based on the novel by J.G. Ballard), released in 1996; and eXistenZ, released in 1999.

 

 

cronenberg_videodrome

His next film was Spider. Cronenberg was named Best Director at the 2003 Genies for Spider. A long-time favourite in France, Cronenberg, who had previously been given a chevalier des arts et lettres, was elevated to the level of officier in a special presentation by the French ambassador to Canada.

His 2005 film A History of Violence was selected for competition at Cannes; writer Josh Olson was nominated for writing in the Adapted Screenplay category at the Oscars; and William Hurt was nominated for Best Supporting Actor.

 

Cronenberg’s 2007 film was Eastern Promises, which received nominations and/or awards from The Golden Globes, The British Film Awards, the Academy Awards and the Genies, where it won seven of the coveted Canadian film awards.

 

Croneberg’s latest films are A Dangerous Method (detailing the break in the working relationship of Freud and Jung) and Cosmopolis (based on Don deLillo’s novel). His next film is Maps to the Stars, due for release in 2014.

 

Looking at David Cronenberg’s films, it is easy to see that while he has chosen to remain within a relatively narrow field, each project was a new direction; a new experiment; a new vision. His fans eagerly await the release of his next film.

 

 

 

David Cronenberg’s Films

© R J Dent (2013)

 

 

www.rjdent.com

 

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