Introduction

Introduction

David Cronenberg has started making films in 1969, since then his style hasn’t changed much. His first films reflected his vision of body horror and gave him a chance to make his own films like Videodrome which is written and directed by Cronenberg himself. His films were distinctive and different from other body-horror films in that period of time, because of that his films had a success over other classical horror movies. Throughout his career, he made films in which their stories continue to develop. In Shivers, a scientist creates a parasite which turns human into a sex maniac, nurse Forsythe says “even old flesh is erotic” (Shivers, 1975) after some years, Videodrome’s motto becomes “Long live new flesh” and the protagonist claims old flesh…
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Bodily Transformation

Bodily Transformation

Bodily transformation is one of the most important main themes in Cronenberg’s films. A parasite changes people’s minds and bodies in Shivers (1975), a brain tumour creates hallucinations and physical defects and turn people into programmable slaves in Videodrome (1984), a malfunction turns the scientist into a fly in The Fly (1986), and a virtual reality game which is connected to human body organically in eXistenZ (1999). As McGinn said “One theme that stands out plainly is the responsibility of the scientist and the unforeseen consequences of technology”(2012, p.20). These consequences can be thought as bad results of science, however Cronenberg does not show them as bad things in his films. He tells the story as a third person and doesn’t imply scenes that reflects the situation…
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Sex and Ideology

Sex and Ideology

Cronenberg films always have a transmutation scene which the protagonist becomes something else, a superior flesh. According to Linda Williams, these transmutations feminise the character while they are changing (1999, p.37). For instance while Renn is watching Brian O’Blivion’s tape, an opening like a scar is created in his stomach and “Renn prods at his new opening with his gun, penetrates himself with the barrel, then watches as the vagina becomes a mouth and swallows the gun” (Williams 1999). These transmutations and body changes reminds the audience the act of sex, although they are not even erotic scenes. Another example, gamepod in eXistenZ connects human body through an organic phallus-like cable and to do this people need to have a bioport which is an opening…
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Representation of the External World

Representation of the External World

In Cronenberg films, external world is not really visible but there are some hints that express his vision. In Shivers, film starts with an advertisement and voice over which explains why a high-rise apartment is a great place to live in that era. This ad shows what society likes at that period, and it is kind of bourgeoisie because the building is in an island which is separated from other people, presumably poor people. People live a great lively life in there, until the parasite spreads. Although Cronenberg does not really show his side, It is obvious that Cronenberg empathizes with the parasite and the scientist in Shivers who has created it. He claims that new bourgeoisie society is over-rational and maybe hedonistic because their unconscious drives them to…
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Questioning Reality

Questioning Reality

In Videodrome, after Renn has been affected by the video signal of videodrome he starts to hallucinate and lost his knowledge of reality. He sees some visions which he can’t decide whether they were true or not. Cronenberg likes to cut and connect real-world and hallucination scenes together, that is why audience is confused after a while just like Max Renn in the movie. Even if someone tries to track the story, It would be very hard to understand it clearly because he shows hallucination scenes in hallucinations. This technique is also used in eXistenz, which can be considered as the sequel of Videodrome. In eXistenZ, gamepods are popular amongst society like television in Videodrome. Throughout the story, Ted and Allegra join and play the…
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Conclusion

Conclusion David Cronenberg has his own vision of human and society, and he reflects his vision over his films throughout his filmography. As discussed earlier, he likes to think about popular demands in society and show their possible outcomes. Bodily modification is a must in his films. Old flesh must transmute and become a the great new flesh. This flesh is created mostly with the help of technology since his vision of future combines the technology and human body, organic and inorganic. Furthermore, these transmutations should make people more sexual. Revealing the repressed unconscious is an important theme in his films. So these very distinct contents build Cronenbergian features of his films which can be noticed without seeing the end titles-his names. But the most important thing is he makes…
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