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Happy Birthday David Cronenberg!

03.15.2017by: Mike Sprague

Happy Birthday, David Cronenberg!

It was just earlier today we shared the news there is set to (another) remake of THE FLY. Now, while that flick is not planned to be remake of David Cronenberg's THE FLY, per say, I think we can all agree that the filmmakers in charge of the re-imagining or whatever they're calling it will be taking more that a few plays from the Cronenberg handbook.

As well they should! David Cronenberg is one of the undisputed kings of modern horror and all but perfected (if not created) the beloved "Body Horror" subgenre we all know and love.

Today we celebrate all things Cronenberg, as I take you through a condensed run at his biography, share some choice films, reviews, trivia and quotes.

Let's get to it!

 

A Brief History of Cronenberg

David Cronenberg was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on March 15th, 1943. He was raised in a "middle-class progressive Jewish family", and is the son of a musician, and a writer/editor.

He began writing as a child and after developing an interest in science, especially botany and lepidopterology (moths and butterflies), he entered the Honours Science program at the University of Toronto in 1963. He later switched to Honors English Language and Literature, and eventually graduated from University College at the top of his class.

Cronenberg's fascination with filmmaking began with the film WINTER KEPT US WARM in 1966. He began learning art of filmmaking and, inspired by the New York underground, he founded the Toronto Film Co-op with GHOSTBUSTERS director Ivan Reitman. 

Cronenberg has cited William S. Burroughs and Vladimir Nabokov as influences, and has said that his films should be seen "from the point of view of the disease".

Cronenberg remains a true Canadian filmmaker, with almost all of his films having been shot in Ontario. Aside from THE DEAD ZONE and THE FLY, he has mostly stayed away from big-budget, mainstream Hollywood flicks.

Since THE BROOD, he has always hired composer Howard Shore to craft the scores for his films, other than THE DEAD ZONE, which boasts a score by DIE HARD and EVENT HORIZON composer Michael Kamen. After seeing cinematographer Peter Suschitzky's work on THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, which Cronenberg said, "was the only one of those movies that actually looked good", he hired him for DEAD RINGERS and the two have worked together since. 

Back in 2011, Cronenberg talked about a sequel to THE FLY he had written, which he called a "parallel story", but his sequel never went past the script stage, because there were budgetary issues and his script was “a little too radical” for Fox. Too bad.

On a cool side note, Cronenberg published his first novel, CONSUMED in 2014. Which you can purchase RIGHT HERE!

 

SELECT CRONENBERG FILMOGRAPHY

Shivers (1975)
Rabid (1977)
The Brood (1979)
Scanners (1981)
Videodrome (1983)
The Dead Zone (1983)
The Fly (1986)
Dead Ringers (1988)
Naked Lunch (1991)
Crash (1996)
eXistenZ (1999)
Spider (2002)
A History of Violence (2005)
Eastern Promises (2007)
A Dangerous Method (2011)
Maps to the Stars (2014)

 

ARROW REVIEWS

THE BROOD

VIDEODROME

THE FLY

A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE

EASTERN PROMISES

 

PLUS

The Test of Time: THE DEAD ZONE

 

CRONENBERG TRIVIA (via IMDb)

Costumes in his films are usually designed by his sister Denise Cronenberg.

Was set to direct TOTAL RECALL. He even wrote a few drafts of the script before Paul Verhoeven took over.

John Carpenter paid homage to him in ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK. One of the United States Police Force guards is on the line with Hauk, then adds that Cronenberg is on the line for him.

Was offered the chance to direct RETURN OF THE JEDI but he declined.

Turned down the chance to direct TOP GUN

Turned down the chance to direct ROBOCOP

In the late 1990s, Cronenberg was announced as director of a sequel to BASIC INSTINCT, but this also fell through.

He once said that SCANNERS was the most frustrating directing job he'd ever had.


CRONENBERG QUOTES (via IMDb)

- My dentist said to me the other day: I've enough problems in my life, so why should I see your films?

- Censors tend to do what only psychotics do: they confuse reality with illusion.

- I think of horror films as art, as films of confrontations. Films that make you confront aspects of your own life that are difficult to face. Just because you're making a horror film doesn't mean you can't make an artful film.

- When I am doing art, I have absolutely no social responsibilities whatsoever -- it's like dreaming.

- My imagination is not full of horrors at all. This is the misunderstanding of what my movies are. First of all, I think all my movies are funny. Not everything in them is funny, but they are full of humour. And second, it's not really my imagination. Anybody looking at the news on the internet or in a newspaper, there's horror there every day - compared with that, my imagination is a wonderful playground!

- [on M. Night Shyamalan] I HATE that guy! Next question.


CRONENBERG PHOTO GALLERY (20 pics)

Happy Birthday, David Cronenberg!

Extra Tidbit: Yeah... I'm a big fan of David Cronenberg

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