In a terrific LA Times article about David Cronenberg, the 69-year-old Toronto-born and based director, J Hoberman posits the question, “Is David Cronenberg our most original director?” My answer would be a resounding, yes. Cronenberg, whose new film Cosmopolis, stars Twilight’s Robert Pattison, is based on the prophetic 2003 Don DeLillo novel, caused quite a stir at this years Cannes Film Festival. With its unorthodox narrative, nonsensical dialogue seemingly spoken in code, and its bleak commentary on the amorality of our modern financial system, the dangers of unchecked wealth run amok, and what the future holds for us a society because of it. But Cronenberg has never been a stranger to the bizarre and unusual throughout his prolific career as a filmmaker. From the world of snuff TV and sadomasochism in 1981’s Videodrome, up through last year’s A Dangerous Method, the Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud melodrama, which treads along similar themes of seduction, and the flesh’s victories over barriers human society has erected against it. Cronenberg’s films have always shocked and titillated, yet at the same time have been quite cerebral, thoughtful, and philosophical, making for a potent combination.
What really sets Cronenberg apart from his contemporaries is his uncompromising vision and the fact that he has continually challenged himself and his audience in new and original techniques in storytelling. He seems to be most interested in the human condition; specifically the psychological exploration of human contradictions and idiosyncrasies, which offer a wealth of material for him to explore.