“Most people have a certain understanding of what a horror film is, namely, that it is emotionally juvenile, ignorant, supremely non-intellectual and dumb. You know, just basically stupid. […] A lot of people think of film, in general, as an escape, an escape to entertainment. But I think of horror films as art, as films of confrontation. Films that make you confront aspects of your own life that are difficult to face. Just because you’re making a horror film doesn’t mean you can’t make an artful film. Tell me the difference between someone’s favorite horror film and someone else’s favorite art film. There really isn’t any, you know. Emotions, imagery, intellect, your own sense of self—all of this can be included in a horror film.” — David Cronenberg
The Fly (USA, 1986)
Love this poster for Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch
I have no rules. For me, it’s a full, full experience to make a movie. It takes a lot of time, and I want there to be a lot of stuff in it. You’re looking for every shot in the movie to have resonance and want it to be something you can see a second time, and then I’d like it to be something you can see 10 years later, and it becomes a different movie, because you’re a different person. So that means I want it to be deep, not in a pretentious way, but I guess I can say I am pretentious in that I pretend. I have aspirations that the movie should trigger off a lot of complex responses. David Cronenberg
Eastern Promises (2007); dir. David Cronenberg
Sometimes birth and death go together.
I watched Little Ashes, in which Rob plays a young Salvador Dali; I watched Remember Me; I watched the first Twilight movie. And I watched — interestingly enough, I suppose, because people wouldn’t expect it — but you watch interviews with the guy on YouTube, you know. I want to get an idea of his sense of humor, his sense of himself, the way he handles himself, his intelligence — all of those things you can’t really tell from watching an actor play a role in a movie. I suppose in the old days you meet the guy and hang out, and go to a bar or whatever — [laughs] — but these days nobody has time for that, or the money, and so you do it some other way. And once I’d done all that stuff, I thought, This is the guy I want. I thought, He’d be terrific and I actually think he’s a very underrated actor — and it would be my pleasure to prove that by casting him.
- David Cronenberg on Robert Pattinson
David Cronenberg reading on the set of Videodrome
These series of notes are actual comment cards from a test screening of David Cronenberg’s VIDEODROME.
“I loved the way that he was very attentive and very sensitive to what the other actors were doing, which meant that his performance would become very, very modulated and subtle and curvy and have many twists and turns to it.”