Book review – The Artist as Monster: The Cinema of David Cronenberg

20 September 2002

Beard, William, The Artist as Monster: The Cinema of David Cronenberg, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 2001

William Beard’s extensive critical analysis of the cinema of David Cronenberg considers Cronenberg as a filmmaker with a strong authorial voice whose films make up a powerful body of work containing very specific re-occurring themes, attitudes and style. From Videodrome (1983) onwards Beard identifies the main theme of Cronenberg’s films as an existential-romantic ideal of “a pathfinding, transgressive [male artist/creator] figure delving into hidden or repressed realms where others do not wish to go”. (257) 

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25 February 2002

An annotation for the Melbourne Cinémathèque

In 1975 David Cronenberg assaulted audiences with Shivers, his third feature, introducing many of the interests and themes that would preoccupy his subsequent films. These themes include an exploration of the relationship between humans and technology, a fascination with the fragility and mutability of the human body, and the radical possibilities of transcending evolution by using science to drastically alter our bodies and minds.

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