David Cronenberg, filmmaker (born at Toronto 15 Mar 1943). David Cronenberg studied literature at the University of Toronto and while there made 2 short films. Stereo (1969) and Crimes of the Future (1970) were commentaries on scientific experiments set in a vaguely futuristic world.
David Cronenberg, filmmaker (born at Toronto 15 Mar 1943). David Cronenberg studied literature at the University of Toronto and while there made 2 short films. Stereo (1969) and Crimes of the Future (1970) were commentaries on scientific experiments set in a vaguely futuristic world. They were also avant-garde works in form and structure. On the basis of these films, Cronenberg decided to move into the commercial mainstream. His next films combined the conventions of horror and science fiction with a wry and distinctive commentary on contemporary life.
The Parasite Murders (1975, also known as Shivers) was vilified by Canadian critics but it, along with Rabid (1977), The Brood (1979), and Scanners (1981), turned him into a bankable director with a cult following, especially in Europe and the US. VIDEODROME (1983), a dark, disturbing tale about technology, began the process of his rehabilitation in critical circles, a process that has led to his being considered a major artist by most critics. His films began to explore a range of metaphysical questions involving the relationship between mind and body and ethical questions having to do with the role of technology and science in modern life.
Both The Dead Zone (1983) and The Fly (1986) were produced for Hollywood and placed David Cronenberg on the map as a commercial filmmaker of note. The success of the latter allowed him the freedom to explore more personal and darker concerns. DEAD RINGERS (1988) is considered by many to be among his finest work. Two of these 3 films were based on works by other writers, while The Fly was a remake of a classic American science-fiction film.
Naked Lunch (1991), based on William Burroughs's novel of the same name, was thought by many to be unfilmable. A long-cherished project of Cronenberg's, it was a cinematic success. M. Butterfly (1993) was based on the play by David Henry Hwang, and Cronenberg's most controversial film, Crash (1996), was based on the novel by J.G. Ballard. Crash, which won a Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival for "originality, daring and audacity," ran into censorship problems in some countries.
He returned to an original script of his own with eXistenZ (1999), a film that examined a similar theme as Videodrome: the relationship of the body to technology. His feature films then moved away from futuristic, science-fiction material into a much more personal inquiry into the psychological, with less reliance on special effects. Spider (2002) is a riveting portrait of a schizophrenic, while A History of Violence (2005) and Eastern Promises (2007) employ aspects of the gangster genre to explore the lives of 2 men who are not who they seem to be. A Dangerous Method, an adaptation of the play The Talking Cure by Christopher Hampton, is about the relationship between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung and premiered at the 2011 Venice Film Festival. The same year David Cronenberg completed Cosmopolis.
He has worked occasionally in television, including the highly acclaimed Crimes Against Nature series. He has acted in a number of films, most notably in Clive Barker's Nightbreed (1990).
Cronenberg's films have won many GENIE AWARDS. Dead Ringers (10 Genies) and Naked Lunch (8 Genies) were both named best picture and earned Cronenberg best director awards. He also received best director awards for Videodrome, Crash and Spider. A History of Violence received numerous accolades and awards, including Oscar nominations for best adapted screenplay and supporting actor (William Hurt), a BAFTA (Britain) nomination for best adapted screenplay, a César (France) nomination for best foreign film, 5 Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) awards, 2 Golden Globe nominations, and best director and Canadian film from the Toronto Film Critics Association. Eastern Promises received an Oscar nomination for best actor (Viggo Mortensen), 2 BAFTA nominations, a César nominaton for best foreign film, 5 DGC Awards and 8 Genie Awards. It was nominated for 3 Golden Globe Awards and won the prestigious People's Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Cronenberg was awarded the Chevalier des arts et lettres by the French government in 1990, and has been accorded retrospectives in many of the most prestigious cinematheques and film museums in the world. Major exhibitions of his objects, props, designs and drawings have been presented in Tokyo, Barcelona, Rio de Janeiro, Paris and Thessalonika and in Toronto at the ROYAL ONTARIO MUSEUM.