The Top Directors Working Today: David Cronenberg

Cronenberg’s last two films gave him the strongest critical support of his career, but I feel like I got off the bandwagon a few stops back (somewhere after NAKED LUNCH and before CRASH.) I think A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE is okay, but severely overrated, as his style seems to have evolved from shockingly violent to surprisingly flat.

Nobody seems to have much to say about his early horror film period anymore. For most Cronenberg was deserving of attention after Videodrome, The Dead Zone and The Fly. I'm a big fan of The Brood and Shivers also has quite a few good moments.

Dead Ringers was where Cronenberg really took his directing to the next level. I wasn't a big fan, but I appreciated his attempting something more artistic. Naked Lunch is Cronenberg's one true masterpiece.

I think we're all exhausted attacking or defending A History of Violence. I hope any comments focus more on the body of work in general, as well as hopes for the future.

According to the poll on

7% think any time he makes a movie, there's a good chance it'll be a masterpiece.
33% think he is usually Great and certainly one of our Best Directors.
41% think he's solid, but only sometimes Great.
4% think he's Good, but he'll never be Great.
15% see nothing special about his filmmaking.

What you call flat, I call dry. I like the new direction.
-El Duderino

I think he's one of the great directors we have.

His early films were definitely shock films and then, he progressed into being this solid yet strange and fetishistic director. Then came Crash which I think, was the peak of his extremities. Then, he kinda restrained himself which leads to his recent crop of films. I think he's matured over the years and is getting better every time with each film on a technical level as well as storytelling. I'm anxious for what he does next.
-The Void99

Cronenberg is one of my favorite directors - his techno-fetish bent in his first wave of work (ending with Crash) established his individuality and his visual style, then he went and reinvented himself and abandoned his exploration of combining man and technology and started re-examining his own work and role violence plays in it and in society at large. For all its humdrum (I call it steady) pacing in Eastern Promises - the brutally raw bath house fight scene was inevitable and more shocking than a lot of his more violent films, the same with AHOV - I think he's trying to show that a realistic form of violence is still more jarring than the usual cinematic form that we have become so desensitized to. I like him because he has something to say w/o being "preachy" - showing, not telling.
-St. Martin The Bald


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