For this Retrospective the Museum will showcase sixteen feature films and six short and expermiental works, it traces Cronenberg's career from early experimental films and horror and science fiction movies to his recent literary adaptations. The series opens with a personal appearance by the director.
“I think of human beings as a strange mixture of the physical and the non-physical, and both of these things have their say at every moment we’re alive. My films are some kind of strange metaphysical passion play.”—David Cronenberg
David Cronenberg, the Canadian director whose career started with experimental science fiction films and inventive horror films that were at once visceral and intellectually provocative, and whose latest film, A Dangerous Method, is a deceptively classical period drama about Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and the birth of psychoanalysis, is the subject of an extensive retrospective at Museum of the Moving Image. From January 21 through February 12, 2012, the Museum will showcase 16 feature films and 6 short films; the series opens with a personal appearance by Cronenberg on January 21. A Dangerous Method, released by Sony Pictures Classics, is currently in theaters.
The personal appearance by Cronenberg is part of the Consulate General of Canada’s Canada in Conversation series. The program is sold out. A video simulcast will be presented in the 68-seat Bartos Screening Room. Tickets for the simulcast are $15 public / $10 Museum members (and include Museum admission).
“Moving deftly between genre and arthouse filmmaking, between original screenplays and literary adaptations, Cronenberg’s work is thematically consistent and marked by a rigorous intelligence, a keen sense of humor, and a fearless engagement with the nature of human existence,” said David Schwartz, the Museum’s Chief Curator. “He has been exploring the most primal themes since the beginning of his career, and continues to probe them with growing maturity and depth.”
The series traces Cronenberg’s career from early experimental films and horror and science fiction movies to his recent literary adaptations. Titles include: They Came from Within (a.k.a. Shivers) (1975), Rabid (1977), Fast Company (1979), The Brood (1979), Scanners (1981), The Dead Zone (1983), Videodrome (1983), The Fly (1986), Dead Ringers (1988), Naked Lunch (1991), M. Butterfly (1993), Crash (1996), eXistenZ (1999), Spider (2002), A History of Violence (2005), and Eastern Promises (2007). The following short films will be shown: Transfer (1966), From the Drain (1967), Stereo (1969), Crimes of the Future (1970), Camera (2000), and At the Suicide of the Last Jew in the World in the Last Cinema in the World (2007).
SCHEDULE FOR ‘DAVID CRONENBERG,’ JANUARY 21–FEBRUARY 12, 2012
A Conversation with David Cronenberg
Saturday, January 21, 2:00 p.m.
In this wide-ranging conversation, David Cronenberg will look at his remarkable body of work, discussing the themes and motifs of his films from his early experimental works and horror films to the accomplished, adventurous adaptations of recent years. The dialogue will include clips from many of his films, and will be moderated by Chief Curator David Schwartz. Also screened will be Cronenberg’s short films Camera (2000, 6 mins.) and At the Suicide of the Last Jew in the World in the Last Cinema in the World (2007, 4 mins.).
This event is sold out. Tickets, if they become available are $25 public / $15 Museum members / Free for Silver Screen Members and above.
Tickets ($15 public / $10 Museum members) are available for a video simulcast in the Bartos Screening Room. Purchase tickets online at movingimage.us or by calling 718 777 6800.
A History of Violence
Saturday, January 21, 5:00 p.m.
Dir. David Cronenberg. 2005, 96 mins. With Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello, Ed Harris, William Hurt. The life—and identity— of a small-town coffee-shop owner and family man is violently upended by the sudden emergence of a secret from his past, in Cronenberg’s rich, masterful, and film-noir-like adaptation of a graphic novel.
Saturday, January 21, 7:30 p.m.
Dir. David Cronenberg. 1988, 116 mins. With Jeremy Irons, Geneviève Bujold, Heidi von Palleske, Barbara Gordon. In Cronenberg’s most audacious exploration of fractured identity and sexuality, Jeremy Irons plays the lead characters—twin gynecologists whose relationship begins to deteriorate into madness and horror when they both fall in love with the same woman.
Stereo and Crimes of the Future
Sunday, January 22, 3:00 p.m.
Stereo: Dir. David Cronenberg. 1969, 65 mins. With Ronald Mlodzik, Jack Messinger, Iain Ewing. Crimes of the Future: Dir. David Cronenberg. 1970, 70 mins. With Ronald Mlodzik, Jon Lidolt, Tania Zolty. These rarely seen early films reflect Cronenberg’s interest in experimental cinema, and portray a future in which medical experimentation, telepathy, and strange diseases create new forms of sexuality and social behavior.
Sunday, January 22, 6:00 p.m.
Dir. David Cronenberg. 1983, 87 mins. With James Woods, Deborah Harry. “Long live the new flesh.” Cronenberg’s fascination with the merging of flesh and technology is literalized in this philosophical horror film. A cabletelevision programmer of soft-core porn discovers a startling new kind of programming that offers a nightmarish version of Marshall McLuhan’s theories.
They Came From Within (a.k.a. Shivers)
Preceded by Transfer and From the Drain
Saturday, January 28, 2:30 p.m.
Dir. David Cronenberg. 1975, 87 mins. With Paul Hampton, Joe Silver, Lynn Lowry, Allan Kolman. A phallic/excremental parasite invades the tenants of a modern apartment complex in this humorous and sympathetic portrayal of sexual frenzy. Cronenberg finds a certain savage joy in all the mayhem, in his bracing debut feature. Preceded by:
Transfer. Dir. David Cronenberg. 1966, 7 mins. With Rafe Macpherson, Stefan Nosko. Cronenberg’s first film is a surreal exchange between a psychiatrist and his obsessive former patient, who claims he invented stories to gain the psychiatrist’s attention.
From the Drain. Dir. David Cronenberg. 1967, 14 mins. With Mort Ritts, Stefan Nosko. This futuristic short features two clothed men in a bathtub discussing chemical warfare. . . until something emerges from the drain.
Saturday, January 28, 5:00 p.m.
Dir. David Cronenberg. 1977, 91 mins. With Marilyn Chambers, Frank Moore, Joe Silver, Howard Ryshpan. Cronenberg enhances this film’s sexual themes by casting porn queen Chambers as a modern-day vampire who spreads a plague through Montreal. Centering on a young woman whose plastic surgery infects her with a taste for blood, this film is both a commentary on the dangers of biotechnology and a political allegory about the dangers of repression.
Sunday, January 29, 1:00 p.m.
Dir. David Cronenberg. 1979, 91 mins. With William Smith, Claudia Jennings, John Saxon. Considered an anomaly in his oeuvre, this entertaining genre film, about a drag racer caught between his love of the sport and a greedy sponsor indulges Cronenberg’s genuine love for cars and machinery.
Sunday, January 29, 3:00 p.m.
Dir. David Cronenberg. 1979, 92 mins. With Oliver Reed, Samantha Eggar, Art Hindle. Made after a painful divorce, this horror film was described by Cronenberg as “a fantastical Kramer vs. Kramer.” The mother is involved in “psychoplasmics,” a treatment that leads to her literally (and graphically) giving birth to her rage.
Sunday, January 29, 5:30 p.m.
Dir. David Cronenberg. 1981, 103 mins. With Jennifer O’Neill, Stephen Lack, Patrick McGoohan. Dr. Paul Ruth converts a scanner—a psychic with enough power to control people’s minds—to fight against an underground movement of scanners who want to dominate the world. This gory film will always be remembered for its famous exploding-head scene. (Part of the David Cronenberg retrospective)
Friday, February 3, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 4, 3:00 p.m.
Dir. David Cronenberg. 1986, 96 mins. With Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz. Remaking a popular 1958 sci-fi/horror thriller, Cronenberg’s The Fly is one of his most overtly emotional films, the tragically romantic drama of a man’s physical downfall after a science experiment gone tragically awry. Sometimes interpreted as an allegory for AIDS, the film, Cronenberg has said, depicts the deterioration of the aging process from which no human is spared.
Saturday, February 4, 6:00 p.m.
Dir. David Cronenberg. 1996, 100 mins. With James Spader, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas, Deborah Kara Unger. After a car accident, a television director discovers a subculture of accident victims who transform their physical trauma into an obsession with the sexual energy produced by car wrecks. Based on the novel by J. G. Ballard, Cronenberg’s adaptation delves into deep and dark emotional territory.
Sunday, February 5, 3:00 p.m.
Dir. David Cronenberg. 1991, 115 mins. With Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm, Julian Sands, Roy Scheider. William Burroughs’s hallucinatory and “unfilmable” novel about a narcotics addict unmoored in New York, Tangiers, and a nightmarish world known as the Interzone becomes, in Cronenberg’s hands, a phantasmagorical portrait of the writing process, and of all artistic creation.
Sunday, February 5, 6:00 p.m.
Dir. David Cronenberg. 1993, 101 mins. With Jeremy Irons, John Lone, Barbara Sukowa. Puccini’s opera Madama Butterfly, about a French diplomat who falls in love with a Chinese opera singer—unaware or in denial that the object of his obsession is a man—was the basis of the play by David Henry Hwang, adapted by Cronenberg as a haunting story about love, sexual identity, and social taboos.
The Dead Zone
Saturday, February 11, 3:00 p.m.
Dir. David Cronenberg. 1983, 102 mins. With Christopher Walken, Brooke Adams, Martin Sheen. This suspenseful adaptation of a Stephen King novel about a teacher who awakens from a coma with psychic powers becomes a portrait of the artist as visionary and outsider.
Saturday, February 11, 6:00 p.m.
Dir. David Cronenberg. 1999, 97 mins. With Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jude Law, Ian Holm, Willem Dafoe. In this science-fiction adventure, Cronenberg revisits his obsession with humans and technology through an appropriately gamelike exploration of video games. A game designer finds that the boundaries between physical and virtual reality are not as clear as they might appear.
Sunday, February 12, 3:00 p.m.
Dir. David Cronenberg. 2002, 98 mins. With Ralph Fiennes, Miranda Richardson, Gabriel Byrne. Ralph Fiennes plays a middle-aged man living in a home for the mentally ill in London after a 20-year institutionalization for schizophrenia. Adapted from the novel by Patrick McGrath, this chamber drama is an exquisite and moving study of the tenuous nature of reality.
Sunday, February 12, 6:00 p.m.
Dir. David Cronenberg. 2007, 100 mins. With Naomi Watts, Viggo Mortensen, Vincent Cassel, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Sinéad Cusack. This intense psychological thriller is about a mysterious Russian immigrant tied to a London crime family, and a woman investigating the case of a teenager who died during childbirth. With its thematic focus on personal and cultural identity, and its exploration of violence and the male psyche, Eastern Promises makes a fascinating companion piece to A History of Violence, which also stars Viggo Mortensen.
Museum of the Moving Image
36-01 35 Avenue - Astoria
Tickets are free with Museum admission unless otherwise noted.