PRINT October 2009

David Cronenberg

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

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 Ballard interrupted and said, “No, actually, I think the movie goes further than the book.” He thought I’d used the book as a platform to push its concepts beyond what he had done a quarter century before. I thought I was just being faithful to the book, but, you know, it’s a different medium.

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