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Cronenberg on Cronenberg (Directors on Directors) Paperback – February 6, 1997

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About the Author

With films such as The Brood and Videodrome, David Cronenberg established himself as Canada's most provocative director. With subsequent movies such as The Dead Zone, The Fly, Dead Ringers and Naked Lunch, Cronenberg demonstrated his ability not only to touch painful nerves, but also to invest his own developing genre with seriousness, philosophical dimension and a rare emotional intensity.

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Product Details

  • Series: Directors on Directors
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Rev Sub edition (February 6, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571191371
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571191376
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #596,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Will Errickson on February 23, 2000
David Cronenberg--what do we do with him? Is he a horror filmmaker? A Canadian who makes art films? A schlockmeister? Cronenberg bucks all categories and trends because so many of his films cannot be placed in any genre. You'll not find any tough-talking hipsters a la "Pulp Fiction"; you'll find no romantic cliches a la "Chasing Amy"; you'll find no staid, genteel period pieces a la Merchant-Ivory. With Cronenberg what you get is sui generis, an auteur in the true sense of the word, a man whose perverse, atheistic, disturbing visions are realized on-screen in a wholly uncompromising manner. In this book of interviews you get to hear this brilliant, highly articulate man talk about his films, production, story ideas, influences (Burroughs & Nabokov, how about that!), diseases and viruses, social mores, the responsibiblities of the artist, and more. Personally I find Cronenberg a more interesting thinker than other filmmakers, even ones I like a bit better (Woody Allen, Scorsese), because he's primarily an intellectual who is not afraid to look at the non-human aspect of his films--the insect, the parasite, the video image--and postulate its unique existence. Recent films like "Crash" and "Naked Lunch" are difficult, rewarding works, although I know many people who hate these films. Film fans are notoriously divided on where Cronenberg stands--some called "eXistenZ" a wooden bore, others one of the great SF films of recent years. Some say "Videodrome" is a mashmash of half-thought ideas, or that "Crash" is pretentious and ridiculous. Some men can't watch "Dead Ringers," while many film critics consider it Jeremy Irons' greatest performance. I think these films are oddly brilliant and exciting.Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mark Cuadrado on January 8, 1998
This must-read is for anyone who has ever wondered about the relationship between venereal diseases and their application to modern Film. Cronenberg's style of writing is extremely poetic, subjective and provocative; his meditations bring forth a Proustian dialogue that is as infectious as it is terrifying. The ideas of a 'biological horror film' are not only discussed, but engage the reader as only the greatest horror writers, past and present, have done; bears comparison to H.P. Lovecraft and Du Maurier.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 23, 2000
This book is quite simply fascinating. When I was first introduced to Cronenberg's films I was immediately struck by how perverse, disgusting, intelligent and touching they are. What interests me about this book is how articulate Cronenberg is, how the thought processes behind many of his disgusting or "out there" images come from a real sense of purity and clarity. He is a fascinating specimen, and more than deserving of the 256 pages devoted to him. I wish critics, feminists and film historians who have dismissed Cronenberg, based on limited theories, should read this book and learn the workings of a true artist. In my opinion it is hard to criticize something you've never embraced in some way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Adam Daniel Mezei on November 4, 2006
The "auteur" moniker that seems to hang ominously like a dead albatross around David Cronenberg's directorial neck is an overly misapplied reputation which requires a bit of deconstruction.

Essentially, when you hear the term auteur, the suggestion that typically applies is that the director in question--in this case, David Cronenberg--is a snotty type who doesn't budge not even the width of an atom for his particular creative vision. Everything on-set by definition must be done to the letter of the man himself, an inflexible character. Auteur, in this highly pejorative sense, is the closest thing to a Mussolini-type dictatorship which one could experience on the film set. Horrors.

But I'd certainly have to disagree.

David Cronenberg, according to many of the players who have worked under him (not toiled, collaborated!), especially in the case of Maria Belo and Viggo Mortensen, lately of A History of Violence, have nothing but rave reviews for the man. Even former porn-star Marilyn Chambers in The Brood had fantastic things to say about the Toronto-based director.

Few so-called auteurs seem to be as democratic as Cronenberg. He places a great emphasis upon his actors' appearance on screen, and much is discussed of how he generally will permit heaps of retakes for various scenes if a given actor feels as though they didn't pull off a scene correctly, or with particular aplomb.

He's one of the smartest directors in Hollywood. He's extremely well read (evidenced by his fluidity of speech during interviews--I've watched them), he's maginificently outspoken, and he knows his material so very well, especially when he writes the scripts himself. What's more is that he's adamant about shooting his films in his native Canada.
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Verified Purchase
David Cronenberg is a fascinating individual. He is extremely well spoken and articulate. The interviews collected in this book are top notch and give incite to all of Cronenberg's films but depending on which edition you pick up will indicate what films the book covers. I picked up an early edition that covers up through "Naked Lunch" but I loved the book enough that I have no problem hunting down a more recent edition.

It was cool to learn how involved Cronenberg was with everything in his films; I never knew how large of a role he had in the writing of all his films. You also get to hear first hand the artistic integrity to his work and trials he had to endure and overcome to simply get most of his films made from flaky producers to relentless journalists and censors.

My only complaint about the book is a silly one but I wish he could have gone into more depth on everything! It was too cool to hear about each movie and I became sad every time a chapter would end. It seemed like there could be a book written on every film Cronenberg has made (and I would read everyone one of them). The photos are cool and seeing a young Ivan Reitman (who played a key role in Cronenberg's career) was a real treat. Bottom line is that this is a wonderful book for fans or anyone interested in David Cronenberg. A great investment and I cannot recommend it enough. I'm looking forward to purchasing other volumes of the `Director on Director Series' and more books on Mr. Cronenberg.
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