David Cronenberg

  • David Cronenberg, Crimes of the Future, 2022, 2K video, color, sound, 108 minutes. Saul Tenser (Viggo Mortensen) and Caprice (Léa Seydoux).


    DAVID CRONENBERG’S Crimes of the Future is a stunning film: visually, emotionally, viscerally, and narratively. It is both hallucinatory and intensely real—an echo chamber of Cronenbergiana colliding with a city whose three-thousand-year history can be mined but never contained. It sounds ridiculously simple, but it is Athens, as location and inspiration, that makes Crimes a new direction for Cronenberg, even as it is possibly his magnum opus. The movie, which takes its title and thankfully little else from one of the director’s early experimental films, is set in an indeterminate future that

  • David Cronenberg, Crash, 1996, stills from a color film in 35 mm, 90 minutes. Gabrielle (Rosanna Arquette).

    David Cronenberg

    J. G. BALLARD AND I did an onstage interview at the Cannes film festival the day after Crash was shown there in 1996, and it caused a huge controversy. It was very touching for me to read the transcript of that press conference again recently and to be reminded of the interplay between us, because I was really being attacked by a lot of people, and I had Ballard sitting up there, and we were really shoulder to shoulder. At one point a Finnish journalist jumped up and said I had destroyed the book and what I had done was an atrocity and hadn’t gone far enough and the movie was terrible, and


    “The deviant technology of the car-crash provided the sanction for any perverse act.”—J.G. Ballard

    SO CONCLUDES JAMES BALLARD, the conveniently named narrator of J.G. Ballard’s novel Crash, while contemplating a tryst with the story’s already damaged homme fatal, Vaughan, a brutal and charismatic ex-scientist whose current “project” documents grisly collisions between human flesh and Detroit dashboards. Just as Ballard found a green light for his darkest imaginings in the peculiar resonance of the car crash, David Cronenberg discovered in this “deviant technology” a new way “to show the unshowable,” resulting in his most disturbing film to date. For those intimate with Cronenberg’s