Tuesday, December 13, 2011
6 titles, 75th in points with 11,293
Cronenberg is a mixed bag. On the one hand he’s noted for over the top horror fantasy films like The Fly and Videodrome. On the other, he can make some serious dramas, albeit a bit disturbing, such as Dead Ringers, A History of Violence, and Eastern Promises, which lean toward the realistic. Dead Ringers is, in fact, based on a true story and stars Jeremy Irons in a earth-shattering performance as twin gynocologists, one with a disturbing s/m streak. Not only it is hard to believe he didn’t win an Oscar®, he wasn’t even nominated, but he got his ‘apology’ Oscar® for his next (and much more average) performance in Reversal of Fortune. In his acceptance speech he said, “there are many of you out there who know I owe this to David Cronenberg”.
These are all the films of Canadian director David Cronenberg that made the top 1000 in our 2011 update of the Top Ranked 1000 Films on the Net, all polls.
1. Dead Ringers (1988) #308
2. Videodrome (1983) #482
3. History of Violence, A (2005) #612
4. Eastern Promises (2007) #700
5. Crash (1996) #863
6. Fly, The (1986) #943
7. Spider (2002) #1122
Both A History of Violence and Eastern Promises star Viggo Mortenson, the latter being his best performance as a seasoned Russian criminal with a history of prisons in his tattoos. He helps Naomi Watts in her search for the baby of a murdered Russian woman. Mortenson's performance in Promises netting him his only Oscar® nomination to date.
Cronenberg’s Crash is the much more interesting one; this one pre-dated the terrible best picture one that resembled a tv show, and was based on SF author J.G. Ballard’s novel (he also wrote Empire of the Sun based on his childhood). In this bizarre story, a group of car wreck survivors are turned on by auto crashes. I’d say this film is more notable for James Spader getting to make love onscreen to Holly Hunter, Rosanna Arquette, and Debra Kara Unger in the same film.
One thing is for certain, Cronenberg is definitely not for the squeamish. Crash and A History of Violence will be the easiest to take for newcomers to this bold, agressive director.
See the full list of top ranked 100 directors here: Top Ranked 100 Directors, 2011 Edition