By Mark Browning
For greater than thirty years, David Cronenberg has made self sufficient movies reminiscent of Scanners and A historical past of Violence which objective to disturb, shock, and problem audiences. He has additionally time and again drawn on literary fiction for concept, adapting subject matters from authors like William Burroughs, J. G. Ballard, and Patrick McGrath for the large monitor; David Cronenberg: writer or Filmmaker? is the 1st booklet to discover how underground and mainstream fiction have influenced—and might help illuminate—his labyrinthine films.
Film pupil Mark Browning examines Cronenberg’s literary aesthetic not just on the subject of his films’ seen resource fabric, yet via evaluating his videos to the writings of Vladimir Nabokov, Angela Carter, and Bret Easton Ellis. This groundbreaking quantity addresses Cronenberg’s narrative buildings and his specified belief of auteurism, in addition to his films’ stunning mental frameworks, all within the broader context of movie model stories. David Cronenberg is an important learn for someone attracted to the symbiotic courting among literature and filmmaking.
“David Cronenberg is a piece that makes an attempt to light up and get to the bottom of the relationship among the good Canadian auteur and his literary influences.”—Film Snob Weekly
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Extra info for David Cronenberg: Author or Film-maker?
Having demonstrated his killing ability in despatching Fogarty’s henchmen, Tom’s past as Joey rises to the surface and Mortensen undergoes a bodily change, seen in his hunched shoulders and wearied gait as he returns to the house, a process that gains momentum in the final phase of the film as he subtly shifts from an Indianan to a Philadelphian accent. Notions of authorship The level of personal and artistic identification that Cronenberg expresses in relation to Burroughs in particular (see chapter three) is reminiscent of the protagonist in Jorges Luis Borges’ short story ‘Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote’, who attempts not to copy Cervantes’ epic novel as such but to actually rewrite it word for word by immersing himself in all the influences that might have had an impact on the original author.
In the tension between modern and postmodern views of auteurism, it would seem clear initially that Cronenberg has positioned himself in the latter camp. All the literature he has adapted is drawn from the latter part of the twentieth century – Naked Lunch (1959), Crash (1973), Spider (1990) and A History of Violence (1997) and, certainly, according to Frederic Jameson’s definition in The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (1991), Cronenberg’s work includes features that might mark a text out as postmodern.
157 This book will be underpinned by the belief, shared by Cavell, that we do not illuminate a work by asking an author what their intention is, rather we discover the intention through interrogating the work. qxd 44 25/5/07 3:28 pm Page 44 | DAVID CRONENBERG: AUTHOR OR FILM-MAKER? Apart from the auteur-related difficulty in ascribing a clear ‘intent’ to a film, Cronenberg’s pronouncements on his own films also remain problematic. Even if a film could be ascribed to a single creative force, whether the author is the person best placed to understand or articulate what the meaning of a text might be, is debatable.