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 should die. His films always has some kind of bodily transformation and this transformation kills the old flesh, to overcome the limits of human body and becomes the new flesh which is more powerful and beautiful, which is beyond the the flesh for future.
His films generally have a connection with technology. Technology brings the change and creates a different future, also it becomes or will become a part of human as Cronenberg said In his interview “I see technology as being an extension of the human body,” (Blackwelder 1999). However he tends to see the dark sides of technology.
Andrew Sarris (1962, p.562) explains one of the auteur theory’s premise as having a distinct style. A film should have some clues about the director’s way of thinking. Cronenberg’s films contemplate technology and its possible effects on humankind, also questions the reality. Also his films have story connections with each other. As he said in an interview “They’re almost like chapters in an ongoing book” (Blackwelder 1999). So, his films consistently explores his view of human body and psychology as well as the possible effects of technology in this new era. We can see these subjects on all his films made in before 2000s. After that he made films about human psychology as well but not about the body.
As Wollen discuss, there are two main ways to work on auteur theory; focusing on recurring themes or mise en scéne (1998, p.51). Although Cronenberg films have a distinct visual style, this blog will focus on mostly his thematic motifs like bodily transformation, questioning reality; and the meanings behind his stories. Unlike most other directors discussed in auteur theory, Cronenberg writes his own screenplays as well as directing them and this adds his films another aspect.
As anaylsis method, this blog will focus on Cronenbergian themes and story structure. As Wollen said (1998, p.71), “What the auteur theory does is to take a group of films – the work of one director – and analyse their structure.” Considering this statement, analysing Cronenberg’s films and finding similarities-shared visions, or if there are differences comparing them will be the main structure. Finding his worldview and the details that makes his films Cronenbergian will be the ultimate goal.