All stories relating to David Cronenberg

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David Cronenberg name-checks Dilbert at the 2014 Canadian Screen Awards

David Cronenberg. (Image: Courtesy of the Canadian Screen Awards)

David Cronenberg. (Image: Courtesy of the Canadian Screen Awards)

The Canadian Screen Awards are a mystifying thing. Formed in 2012 out of a merger of the Gemini Awards and the Genie Awards, the new ceremony is still relatively unknown, even among Canadians. Last night’s glitzy CBC broadcast from the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts seemed designed to help change that, and perhaps it did.

Among the winners were some well-known Cancon treasures like Sook-Yin Lee, for her portrayal of Olivia Chow in Jack, and Tatiana Maslany, who took home a well-deserved statuette for playing half a dozen identical clones on BBC America’s Orphan Black. There was an award for Jason Priestley, for his work on Call Me Fitz, and there was even a little recognition for Toronto-shot The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, a fantasy movie appreciated by its tweenaged target audience but not nominated for any major awards in the U.S. Also, Michael Bublé won an award for hosting an awards show (the 2013 Junos), presumably because no Canadian award ceremony would be complete without him.

Host Martin Short kept the ceremony moving, and his self-deprecating humour was a nice antidote to the typical award-show self-importance. The highlight of the night, though, was when David Cronenberg took the stage to accept his Lifetime Achievement Award and, as a way of illustrating his ambivalence over accepting a prize for a career that isn’t finished, spent a chunk of his speech summarizing this Dilbert comic from 2001. (Even “The Dark Knight” likes to kick back with some cartoons from time to time, we guess.)

Read on for a list of the night’s winners, plus a gallery of photos of them holding their freshly minted statuettes.

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For David Cronenberg, turning 70 is like waking up as the Brundlefly

There's a little bit of Brundlefly in every one of us, apparently. (Image: Cronenberg: Canadian Film Centre)

There’s a little bit of Brundlefly in every one of us, apparently. (Image: Cronenberg: Canadian Film Centre)

Somebody needs to send David Cronenberg a candygram or something, because it seems like the 70-year-old Torontonian director is a little bummed about his advancing age. In an essay for the Paris Review, he draws an elaborate analogy between becoming a septuagenarian and turning into a horrifying beetle in the manner of Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis. Things get especially interesting when Cronenberg makes the obvious connection with his own 1986 body-horror film, The Fly, in which a scientist played by Jeff Goldblum inadvertently transforms himself into a man-sized insect.

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The Dark Knight: David Cronenberg’s creepy obsessions say as much about us as they do about him

The Dark Night: David Cronenberg’s obsessions say as much about us as they do about him

In a way, David Cronenberg put me in the hospital. Last January, I attended a screening of a documentary by the filmmaker Ric Esther Bienstock about the black market buying and selling of human organs, called Tales From the Organ Trade. Bienstock had asked Cronenberg to narrate because his own films traffic in what she called “intelligent discomfort.” His enlistment was a wink, a good match for the director known as the Baron of Blood. Cronenberg, with his nasally, Vincent Price pitch, guides the audience through gruesome images of organ-emptied torsos and desperately ill patients who rinse their blood in whirring machines while awaiting new kidneys. His looming presence, associated with films about the sexual penetration of open wounds (Crash) and talking half-alien typewriters (Naked Lunch) and TV screens pulsating like O’Keeffe vagina flowers (Videodrome), doesn’t exactly lighten the mood. I fainted, then vomited, then went to the hospital in an ambulance.

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Cronenberg Filmography: how one Toronto director changed filmmaking and turned actors into megastars

The Cronenberg Filmography: How one Toronto director turns actors into megastars

Cronenberg on the set of A Dangerous Method with Viggo Mortensen (Image: Sony Pictures Classics and Entertainment One)

Over a 40-year obsession with mutants, fetishists and freaks, David Cronenberg has transformed from avant-garde boy wonder into one of Canada’s most famous director (you can read our feature profile of him here). Below, a film-by-film guide that reveals how Cronenberg influenced filmmaking the world over—by turning actors into megastars, challenging ratings boards and earning Oscar nominations.

See our guide to the Cronenberg effect »

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QUOTED: Jeremy Irons, Oscar-winning actor, says he can identify with Rob Ford

 

“The great thing about being an actor is that you play all these strange characters and it allows you to relate to almost anybody. I’ve played over 60 different people and seen life through their eyes. So when I see something like your mayor, I think, yeah, it’s a tough call, but you’ve got to deal with it.”

Jeremy Irons, while being interviewed on George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight. The Oscar-winning actor was in town to discuss Cronenberg Evolution—the David Cronenberg retrospective at the TIFF Lightbox—but instead, he got Strombo to talk about the same thing everyone is talking about in Toronto right now: mayor Rob Ford. “The characters I played in Dead Ringers had many similar problems to the mayor,” Irons said of his dual role in the creepy 1988 flick, although “they were gynaecologists, not mayors.” It’s terrifying to think that one of Cronenberg’s most unsettling movies—about twin gynaecologists pulling bait-and-switch seductions on unsuspecting patients—may contain insight into the mayor’s current predicament.

To see the full interview, tune into George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight on CBC Television on Monday, November 18 at 7 p.m. or 11:30 p.m.

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Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of November 1–3

things-to-do-in-toronto

(Image: Geoff Gunn/Courtesy of TIFF)

In this edition of The Weekender, the annual Royal Agricultural fair opens, the TIFF Bell Lightbox mounts an eerie David Cronenberg exhibition and three more things to do in Toronto this weekend.

EXHIBITION

David Cronenberg: Evolution
Fans of the Toronto-raised pioneer of body horror flicks get a chance to see props and costumes commemorating his extensive thriller film roster, from early short Stereo to his big break, Videodrome. See here for our sneak preview of ambitious, thrillingly terrifying exhibition. Nov. 1–Jan. 19. $9. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., tiff.net

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SLIDESHOW: A preview tour of the new David Cronenberg Exhibit at the TIFF Bell Lightbox

SLIDESHOW: A tour of the new David Cronenberg Exhibit at the TIFF Bell Lightbox

For over three decades, Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg has disturbed and delighted audiences with his uncanny knack for exploring (and exploiting) our most unsettling fears. Starting November 1, Torontonians can take a terrifying peek inside the mind that gave us The Fly, Dead Ringers and Videodrome. Cronenberg: Evolution, the TIFF Bell Lightbox’s first large-scale touring exhibit, tracks Cronenberg’s development from his initial big-budget flick, 1981 science-fiction film Scanners, to last year’s Don DeLillo adaptation, Cosmopolis. Divided chronologically into three sections, the exhibition includes over 60 props, costumes and artifacts (many of them salvaged from Cronenberg’s house and garage), including the hive-like telepod from The Fly and the six-foot-tall humanoid Mugwump from Naked Lunch. The exhibit is one of TIFF’s biggest, most ambitious and certainly most grotesque. Here, 15 photos from the delightfully chilling retrospective.

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Best of Fall 2013: the six best art exhibitions in Toronto this autumn

Best of Fall 2013: the fall’s can’t-miss-it exhibitions
Best of Fall 2013 Art: David Bowie Is
1 | David Bowie Is
David Bowie released the song “Golden Years” in 1975, but only now, at 66, has he officially reached retirement age. The Thin White Duke doesn’t like to spend much time looking back, and so this exhibition—which was assembled with his blessing—does it for him. Curated by London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, and making its North American debut here, David Bowie Is presents a stunning multimedia exhibition of more than 300 objets from his incandescent career. It’s an absolute glamgasm, with Ziggy Stardust bodysuits, sketches, self-portraits, the elaborate props and set designs from the 1974 Diamond Dogstour and entries from Bowie’s personal diaries. Relentless reinvention has always been Bowie’s obsession; this is the first time his cultural mutability has been captured in one place. Sept. 25 to Nov. 27, Art Gallery of Ontario.

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Sarah Gadon is ready to heat up Hollywood

Some Like It Hot: Sarah Gadon

Dress, Tanya Taylor; earrings, Jean-Louis Blin, and ring, Robyn Rhodes, both available at Elle Hardware; shoes, Manolo Blahnik, available at Holt Renfrew. Photographed at Allan Gardens Conservatory

Sarah Gadon lies motionless in a bed, luminous as a light bulb against a backdrop of crisp white linen. Her lips are painted a rusty red, her blonde hair frozen in perfect ringlets. Even with her eyes closed she radiates intensity. It’s a scene from Antiviral, the post-apocalyptic morality tale from Brandon Cronenberg (son of David), and Gadon is playing the biggest movie star in the world. The film is about a futuristic society in which obsessed fans buy diseases from ailing celebrities in a desperate attempt to connect with them. Gadon’s character, Hannah Geist, is the object of their obsession. The idea’s not that far-fetched—over the past couple years, Gadon has leapfrogged from minor Canadian TV guest actor (recurring roles on Murdoch Mysteries, Being Erica and The Border) to auteur’s muse and Cannes regular.

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The Weekender: The Penelopiad, Canada’s Top Ten and five more events on our to-do list

Megan Follows stars in Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad (Image: Robert Popkin)

1. THE PENELOPIAD
Following last year’s acclaimed run, Nightwood Theatre’s production of The Penelopiad is back at Buddies in Bad Times. Written by Margaret Atwood as a response to Homer’s The Odyssey, this play’s all-female cast is led by Megan Follows (yes, of Anne of Green Gables fame), who stars as Odysseus’s wife Penelope as she waits for her husband to return home (an absence that stretches decades). Joining Follows is her Anne co-star, Patricia Hamilton, as well as a flock of actresses who form a dazzling Greek chorus. January 8–February 10. $37–$45. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St., 416-975-8555, buddiesinbadtimes.com

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TIFF Talk

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QUOTED: Brandon Cronenberg on what’s really behind all that TIFF red carpet gawking

I think celebrity obsession in our culture is a manifestation of a broader human impulse. If you look at, say, the saints, they were essentially elevated almost to the status of gods….I think that deification process and that fetishism is something that exists beyond our culture, this is just one manifestation of it.

–Filmmaker Brandon Cronenberg, director of Antiviral and son of David Cronenberg, talks celebrity obsession. [Grolsch Film Works]

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TIFF 2012 Insider’s Guide: top 10 places to eat

TIFF 2012 Insider’s Guide: where to eat

Amid the cocktail swilling and celebrity gawking, eating can be an afterthought during TIFF. Good news: there are plenty of excellent restaurants that let you do all three. Here, the glitziest places to dine, drink, and catch starlets cheating on their diets.

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TIFF 2012 Insider’s Guide: top 10 spots for boozing and schmoozing with stars

TIFF 2012 Insider’s Guide: where to party

TIFF can be the most exhausting event of the year—10 days of near constant drinking, schmoozing and stargazing, all, ostensibly, in the name of movies. Choosing the best parties requires insider intelligence and expert planning. Here, a highly discerning look at the festival’s hottest hot spots.

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The 50 buzziest films of TIFF 2012: we slice through the hype so you don’t have to

The 50 buzziest films of TIFF 2012
Single tickets for the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival go on sale this Sunday, September 2. And with a record 372 films being screened (146 of them world premieres), it can be daunting trying to figure out which ones are actually worth the $20 (or $40, for galas and special presentations) and hours in line. The solution: our guide to the 50 most talked-about movies at the festival this year, in which we scrutinize the advance hype (and the buzz from Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and Venice) to separate the must-sees from the flicks that only a mother could love.

See all our picks and rejects »

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CONFIRMED: Keira Knightley returns to TIFF to promote Anna Karenina

(Image: TIFF)

Last year, Keira Knightley attended TIFF to promote David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method, which quickly became one of the most buzzed about movies at the festival—as much for the action off the screen as on. The actress talked about her drinks of choice–both before (vodka) and after (champagne) her spanking scene with Michael Fassbenderwalked the red carpet in a whimsical dress from Elie Saab and made an appearance at the festival’s hottest party. Naturally, we don’t expect a show of such glamourous proportions this time around. Still, we’re anxious to see whether she can do the title character justice in director Joe Wright’s version of Anna Karenina.

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