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David Cronenberg

David Cronenberg

Birthday: 15 March 1943, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Birth Name: David Paul Cronenberg
Height: 175 cm

David Cronenberg, also known as the King of Venereal Horror or the Baron of Blood, was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1943. His father was a journalist, and his mother was a piano player. After ...Show More

David Cronenberg
[on philosophy] I consider myself a junior existentialist. When I started to read Jean-Paul Sartre a Show more [on philosophy] I consider myself a junior existentialist. When I started to read Jean-Paul Sartre and by association Martin Heidegger I thought, "Oh wow, this is what I've been thinking." There's a great lecture Sartre gave called 'Existentialism is a Humanism'. He basically said, "Look, we humans are really all we've got, forget about the afterlife, it doesn't exist. Forget about God, there is no God. We should accept that and if we did and realised that compassion and humanistic empathy were valuable - more than valuable but crucial - then the world would be a better place." So that's really my approach to life. Hide
If you look at a baby, the most fascinating thing to a baby, a newborn, is the human face. The baby Show more If you look at a baby, the most fascinating thing to a baby, a newborn, is the human face. The baby will look at your face and watch your face move and want to touch it. If it's a fantastic head and what it's talking about is fantastic, then you can't have anything better. It's the best! Hide
If religion is used to allow you to come to terms with death, and also to guide you in how you live Show more If religion is used to allow you to come to terms with death, and also to guide you in how you live your life, then I think art can do the same thing. But in a schematic way, in a much less rigid and absolute way, which is why it appeals to me and religion doesn't. Hide
[on working with Patrick McGoohan on Scanners (1981)] He had extreme Catholic views about sexuality, Show more [on working with Patrick McGoohan on Scanners (1981)] He had extreme Catholic views about sexuality, which came onto the set. My leading lady... came to me incredibly distraught and said, 'Patrick said, 'Are you a whore? Are you a slut?' And he started to lay into her because she'd had, like, five husbands. That was Patrick, and those were the things I had to deal with as a relatively young director. He was probably the most difficult actor I ever worked with, though he gave a fantastic performance. Hide
Drugs and creativity don't go together for me. Like everybody in the '60s, I had one acid trip and s Show more Drugs and creativity don't go together for me. Like everybody in the '60s, I had one acid trip and some cocaine and hash, you know, the stuff everyone did. But it's been 30 or 40 years since I bothered to do that. What I need is clarity. Even not having enough sleep is a problem for me, never mind doing any kind of drugs. Hide
[on what's the most frightening film ever made] That's totally subjective because what frightens som Show more [on what's the most frightening film ever made] That's totally subjective because what frightens some people is like a laugher to somebody else. For each person there might be a different answer to that question. Bambi (1942) is a terrifying film for a kid because Bambi's mother is killed. When you're a child that's a terrifying thing. So does that qualify? There's a movie called The Blue Lagoon (1949), which was really scary for me as a kid. It's kids on a boat, the boat sinks, the parents drown, the kids are alone on the island with a drunken sailor. There's a scene in a cave with a snake and a skeleton and all that stuff, and that was a scary movie for me. Probably for an adult not so scary. Then, as an adult, for me, Don't Look Now (1973), Nic Roeg's film with Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland. That really got to me, that was very effective film-making, its anticipation of death was so palpable. On the other hand if the person who asked this question saw it maybe it wouldn't have any effect. There's no absolute universal. Hide
You have to believe in God before you can say there are things that man was not meant to know. I don Show more You have to believe in God before you can say there are things that man was not meant to know. I don't think there's anything man wasn't meant to know. There are just some stupid things that people shouldn't do. Hide
My movies are body-conscious. The first fact of human existence is the human body. If you get away f Show more My movies are body-conscious. The first fact of human existence is the human body. If you get away from physical reality, you're fudging, in fantasy land, not coming to grips with what violence does. Hide
The versions of The Dead Zone (1983) and The Fly (1986) that you find on video carry my name, and th Show more The versions of The Dead Zone (1983) and The Fly (1986) that you find on video carry my name, and they are the films that I made, but I hate the way they look on tape. Too bright. Hide
To me, the life that we live is heaven. My idea of paradise is life on Earth. But we often don't kno Show more To me, the life that we live is heaven. My idea of paradise is life on Earth. But we often don't know it, and can't see it that way, until, I'm sure, we start to leave it. I guess that's the way I feel about film. Hide
There's an entire generation of Americans who have been spawned in the back seat of a 1954 Ford. So Show more There's an entire generation of Americans who have been spawned in the back seat of a 1954 Ford. So it's not like I invented sex in cars. Hide
I think of horror films as art, as films of confrontations. Films that make you confront aspects of Show more 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. Hide
Civilization is repression. You don't get civilization without repression of the unconscious, of the Show more Civilization is repression. You don't get civilization without repression of the unconscious, of the id. And the basic appeal of art is to the unconscious. Therefore, art is somewhat subversive of civilization. And yet at the same time it seems necessary for civilization. You don't get civilization without art. Hide
[on his son Brandon Cronenberg's developing interest in film-making] I noticed he was incredibly sen Show more [on his son Brandon Cronenberg's developing interest in film-making] I noticed he was incredibly sensitive to the music of film. He knew what scary music was. He'd run away. Hide
When I am doing art, I have absolutely no social responsibilities whatsoever -- it's like dreaming. When I am doing art, I have absolutely no social responsibilities whatsoever -- it's like dreaming.
[on M. Night Shyamalan] I HATE that guy! Next question. [on M. Night Shyamalan] I HATE that guy! Next question.
[on being an auteur] But for me, my movie-making is like a diamond, in the sense that it has many fa Show more [on being an auteur] But for me, my movie-making is like a diamond, in the sense that it has many facets but when you look in each facet, you are looking into the inner core of the same diamond. That diamond is really my experience of life, that's all it is, and so it's inevitable I return to the same themes and tropes and considerations but from slightly different angles. Hide
All stereotypes turn out to be true. This is a horrifying thing about life. All those things you fou Show more All stereotypes turn out to be true. This is a horrifying thing about life. All those things you fought against as a youth: you begin to realize they're stereotypes because they're true. Hide
You need language for thought, and you need language to anticipate death. There is no abstract thoug Show more You need language for thought, and you need language to anticipate death. There is no abstract thought without language and no anticipation. I think the anticipation of death without language would be impossible. Hide
Frankly, I don't like seeing my old films. When you make a movie, it's yours. It's in your control, Show more Frankly, I don't like seeing my old films. When you make a movie, it's yours. It's in your control, up to a certain point. And, after that, you let it go. It flies out. It's like having a kid. It's a cliche but your 'kid' becomes an individual creature in the world. It intersects with people you don't know, and it has experiences you don't control anymore, and that's what you want. So, unlike your children, whom you might invite home to dinner, I don't invite my films home to dinner. Hide
[on being voted the People's Choice Award at the 2007 T.I.F.F.] I feel like I've just been elected p Show more [on being voted the People's Choice Award at the 2007 T.I.F.F.] I feel like I've just been elected prime minister of Canada! Hide
[on superhero movies] But a superhero movie, by definition, you know, it's comic book. It's for kids Show more [on superhero movies] But a superhero movie, by definition, you know, it's comic book. It's for kids. It's adolescent in its core. That has always been its appeal, and I think people who are saying, you know, The Dark Knight Rises (2012) is, you know, supreme cinema art, I don't think they know what the fuck they're talking about. Hide
[on embracing digital film recording] I have no particular affection for 'film'. It's about time fil Show more [on embracing digital film recording] I have no particular affection for 'film'. It's about time film died its natural death. However, the filmmaking process is exactly the same. Why would you ever want to shoot film? Well, I don't. Hide
[on The Dark Knight Rises (2012) as 'art'] I don't think they are making them an elevated art form. Show more [on The Dark Knight Rises (2012) as 'art'] I don't think they are making them an elevated art form. I think it's still Batman running around in a stupid cape. I just don't think it's elevated. 'Christopher Nolan''s best movie is Memento (2000), and that is an interesting movie. I don't think his Batman movies are half as interesting, though they're 20 million times the expense. Hide
If I were doing a comedy with somebody slipping on a banana peel, I wouldn't show the reality of sli Show more If I were doing a comedy with somebody slipping on a banana peel, I wouldn't show the reality of slipping on a banana peel, which could be quite horrific, involving cracked skulls and broken spines and crippling. You have to do what's appropriate to the movie. Hide
When you're in the muck, you can only see muck. If you somehow manage to float above it, you still s Show more When you're in the muck, you can only see muck. If you somehow manage to float above it, you still see the muck, but you see it from a different perspective. And you see other things, too. That's the consolation of philosophy. Hide
Since I see technology as being an extension of the human body, it's inevitable that it should come Show more Since I see technology as being an extension of the human body, it's inevitable that it should come home to roost. Hide
Censors tend to do what only psychotics do: they confuse reality with illusion. Censors tend to do what only psychotics do: they confuse reality with illusion.
I have no demons. I was always a nature boy. I loved nature and animals and insects. And [Brandon] p Show more I have no demons. I was always a nature boy. I loved nature and animals and insects. And [Brandon] proved to have that same kind of sensibility, which undoubtedly has something to do with the kind of movies I've made and that he seems to be making as well. It comes from a real affection for the strangeness of animal life on earth. I's very pure and very direct. Hide
My dentist said to me the other day: I've enough problems in my life, so why should I see your films Show more My dentist said to me the other day: I've enough problems in my life, so why should I see your films? Hide
[on Christopher Nolan] What he is doing is some very interesting technical stuff, which, you know, h Show more [on Christopher Nolan] What he is doing is some very interesting technical stuff, which, you know, he's shooting IMAX and in 3-D. That's really tricky and difficult to do. I read about it in American Cinematography Magazine, and technically, that's all very interesting. The movies, to me, they're mostly boring. Hide
[on working with Patrick McGoohan on Scanners (1981)] He's a brilliant actor; the voice, the charism Show more [on working with Patrick McGoohan on Scanners (1981)] He's a brilliant actor; the voice, the charisma, the presence, the face. Phenomenal. And he was aging so well; he looked so great in that beard. But he was so angry. His self-hatred came out as anger against everybody and everything. He said to me, 'If I didn't drink I'd be afraid I'd kill someone.' He looks at you that way and you just say, 'Keep drinking.' It's all self-destructive, because it's all self-hating. That's my theory. He was also terrified. The second before we went to shoot he said, 'I'm scared.' I wasn't shocked; Olivier said that he was terrified each time he had to go on stage. With Patrick, though, it was just so raw and so scary-full of anger and potent. But he was sensing the disorganization; the script wasn't there, so he was right to worry about it. He didn't know me. He didn't know whether I could bring it off or not. We parted from the film not on very good terms ultimately. Hide
Everybody's a mad scientist, and life is their lab. We're all trying to experiment to find a way to Show more Everybody's a mad scientist, and life is their lab. We're all trying to experiment to find a way to live, to solve problems, to fend off madness and chaos. Hide
I identify with the parasites. I identify with the parasites.
[on awards] It can be very exhausting if you're nominated, so at a certain moment, part of you is al Show more [on awards] It can be very exhausting if you're nominated, so at a certain moment, part of you is almost praying you don't get any nominations. Hide
When we talk about violence, we're talking about the destruction of the human body, and I don't lose Show more When we talk about violence, we're talking about the destruction of the human body, and I don't lose sight of that. In general, my filmmaking is fairly body-oriented, because what you're photographing is people, bodies. You can't really photograph an abstract concept, whereas a novelist can write about that. You have to photograph something physical. So that combination of things suggests to me a particular way to deal with violence. And it's not a bad thing that people really understand what violence is. It's not, however, a politically correct thing I do. I'm not a big fan of political correctness. It's very detrimental to art in general. An artist's responsibility is to be irresponsible. As soon as you start to think about social or political responsibility, you've amputated the best limbs you've got as an artist. You are plugging into a very restrictive system that is going to push and mold you, and is going to make your art totally useless and ineffective. Hide
People ask me how is it to direct special effects? Is it fun? And in fact it's kind of like getting Show more People ask me how is it to direct special effects? Is it fun? And in fact it's kind of like getting a performance out of a bowl of shrimp salad actually, because it lies there and it's kind of you know, it's agonizing and I hate it, directing special effects I like working with actors and it's much more fun. Hide
[on a reluctance to revisit his earlier movies for re-editing purposes] I really think of a film as Show more [on a reluctance to revisit his earlier movies for re-editing purposes] I really think of a film as being part of an archaeological dig, you know? And you want it to be as close to what it was in its time as possible. Hide
We question a country's self-mythology. Perfect town and perfect family are - like Westerns - part o Show more We question a country's self-mythology. Perfect town and perfect family are - like Westerns - part of America's mythology, involving notions of past innocence and naïveté. But is it possible for innocence to exist while something heinous transpires elsewhere? What does it take for a country to be rich and prosperous? What does that country do to the world? Hide
The Brood (1979) is my version of Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), but more realistic. The Brood (1979) is my version of Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), but more realistic.
As filmmaker, I ask questions but don't have answers. Moviemaking is a philosophical exploration. I Show more As filmmaker, I ask questions but don't have answers. Moviemaking is a philosophical exploration. I invite the audience to come on the journey and discover what they think and feel. Hide
I'm a totally anti-storyboard person. I'm a totally anti-storyboard person.
I don't have a moral plan. I'm a Canadian. I don't have a moral plan. I'm a Canadian.
I think I can say that the characters in my films don't really I respond to a political stance or a Show more I think I can say that the characters in my films don't really I respond to a political stance or a schematic. They're not meant to be an illustration of a theory.. I never really worry about a character being sympathetic or not. That, to me, is a very Hollywood attitude, but it's not an attitude you find in, let's say, European films of that time. Hide
[on Michael Fassbender] Even with an intellectual character, his approach is visceral. He jokingly l Show more [on Michael Fassbender] Even with an intellectual character, his approach is visceral. He jokingly likes to say the only research he did was read 'The Idiots Guide to Carl Jung'. He's just so perky it drives you crazy. One day I found him standing out in the sun in his costume and makeup, with this big smile. I said to him, 'Michael, why are you smiling like that?' He said, 'I don't know... life.' I said, 'It's so irritating that you're happy all the time.' Hide
[on his imagination and humor] My imagination is not full of horrors at all. This is the misundersta Show more [on his imagination and humor] 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! Hide
We've all got the disease - the disease of being finite. Death is the basis of all horror. We've all got the disease - the disease of being finite. Death is the basis of all horror.
I have no rules. For me, it's a full, full experience to make a movie. It takes a lot of time, and I Show more I have no rules. For me, it's a full, full experience to make a movie. It takes a lot of time, and I want there to be a lot of stuff in it. You're looking for every shot in the movie to have resonance and want it to be something you can see a second time, and then I'd like it to be something you can see 10 years later, and it becomes a different movie, because you're a different person. So that means I want it to be deep, not in a pretentious way, but I guess I can say I am pretentious in that I pretend. I have aspirations that the movie should trigger off a lot of complex responses. Hide
It's my conceit that perhaps some diseases perceived as diseases that destroy a well-functioning mac Show more It's my conceit that perhaps some diseases perceived as diseases that destroy a well-functioning machine actually turn it into a new but still well-functioning machine with a different purpose. The AIDS virus: look at it from its point of view. Very vital, very excited, really having a good time. It's really a triumph if you're a virus. See the movies from the disease's point of view. You can see why they would resist all attempts to destroy them. These are all cerebral games, but they have emotional correlatives as well. Hide
[on the exploding head in Scanners (1981)] Yeah, it is metaphorical...it isn't just a special effect Show more [on the exploding head in Scanners (1981)] Yeah, it is metaphorical...it isn't just a special effect in a vacuum. Hide
[on the University of Toronto and Winter Kept Us Warm (1965), 2014] I can't say the University of To Show more [on the University of Toronto and Winter Kept Us Warm (1965), 2014] I can't say the University of Toronto led me to horror, but what it did do was lead me to cinema, though I never studied cinema. There was a student called David Secter who was making a movie called Winter Kept Us Warm (1965), which starred some friends of mine. And it never occurred to me that you could make a movie. It was unlike someone growing up in LA where everybody's parents were in the business. In Toronto, no one's parents were in the movie business because there wasn't a movie business.(...) The number of films I've seen that have impressed me is endless. But actually, Winter Kept Us Warm (1965) is the most influential film of my life in a weird way. It wasn't a horror film - it was a drama about students coping with life at the 'University of Toronto' - and it wasn't because of its artistry. It was just the fact it was made. It's hard to reproduce the shock I felt when I saw my classmates on screen in a real movie, acting. It was like magic: you are watching TV and suddenly you are in the TV, acting in some TV series. It was that kind of shock. Hide
David Cronenberg's FILMOGRAPHY
All as Actor (14) as Director (14) as Creator (8)
David Cronenberg David Cronenberg'S roles
Dr. Brezzel
Dr. Brezzel

Hospital Lawyer
Hospital Lawyer

Dr. Wimmer
Dr. Wimmer

Father Rousell
Father Rousell

Dr. Philip K. Decker
Dr. Philip K. Decker

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