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David Cronenberg - Biography

David Cronenberg, is a Candadian Filmmaker and teacher. He was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on March 15, 1943. David Cronenberg is a well known film director whose career started in 1969. David Cronenberg is influenced by the works of William Burroughs and Vladimir Nabokov. David Cronenberg's films are concernered with questions of bodily transformations and infection. It is for the previous reasons, and his unique style that he is credited with originating the genre "body horror". David Conenberg's unique cinematic vision can be described as disembodied and often incorporate themes of flesh, parasites and horror caused by mutation or a medical affliction.

David Cronenberg’s father Esther (née Sumberg) was a musician. His mother, Milton Cronenberg, was a writer and editor. As a child David Cronenberg played classical guitar until he was twelve. As a young adult Cronenberg was already at work in the direction of body horror, sneaking away in his spare time to write spooky short stories. David Cronenberg grew up in a middle-class progressive Jewish family. David Cronenberg attended Harbord Collegiate Institute. He later started studying science at the University College, University of Toronto but ended up changing his degree and graduating in the literature department. David was married to Margaret Hindson from 1970–1977 and has been married to Caroline Zeifman since 1979.

The 1999 film by David Cronenberg, eXistenZ features the talents of movie stars Jude Law and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Surrealism influences the films artistic and narrative formation. The film is a psychological thriller that takes an introspective look at how humans and technology interact in the realm of the video game. Like many of Cronenberg's other films, eXistenZ displays strong elements of surrealism. As in Videodrome, Cronenberg gives his psychological statement about how humans react and interact with the technologies that surround them. In this case, the world of video games. The film recieved positive reviews and son several adwards at international festivals. In an interview about the film with Spliced Wire Cronenberg says, "I see technology as being an extension of the human body...It's inevitable that it should come home to roost."

David Cronenberg's work is influenced by the philosophy of René Descartes. David Cronenberg’s early career began with short films and art-house features. His art house films were Stereo and Crimes of the Future. After obtaining funding and from the Canadian government during the 70’s we see his films move to new frontiers. A fresh collaboration with Ivan Reitman also played a cruicial role in his artistic development. Moving from his body horror films he began to do films focused on automotive themes.

The film Shivers looks at the world from the perspective of a parasite. His next film Rabid (1977) was an international breakout film for Cronenberg helping him gain financial support for his next films. Rabid starred Marilyn Chambers, a former porn star. The film grossed seven million dollars and only cost $700,000 to produce. Dead Ringers (1988) and Naked Lunch (1991) really moved David Cronenberg to the next level as a Canadian director with the acclaim of international critics.

David Cronenberg says about violence:

When we talk about violence, we're talking about the destruction of the human body, and I don't lose sight of that. In general, my filmmaking is fairly body-oriented, because what you're photographing is people, bodies. You can't really photograph an abstract concept, whereas a novelist can write about that. You have to photograph something physical. So that combination of things suggests to me a particular way to deal with violence. And it's not a bad thing that people really understand what violence is. It's not, however, a politically correct thing I do. I'm not a big fan of political correctness. It's very detrimental to art in general. An artist's responsibility is to be irresponsible. As soon as you start to think about social or political responsibility, you've amputated the best limbs you've got as an artist. You are plugging into a very restrictive system that is going to push and mold you, and is going to make your art totally useless and ineffective.

David Cronenberg has been moving into the mainstream a bit in his more recent films such as the London mob drama ,Eastern Promises and the graphic novel adaptation A History of Violece. Cosmopolis continues this direction. David Cronenberg's film Cosmopolis star's Robert Pattinson of Twilight fame. Robert Pattinson will play 28 year old Eric Packer who is an assest manager. The film is an adaptation of Don DeLillo's 2003 novel.

David Cronenberg directed several feature films, including: Stereo (1969), Crimes of the Future (1970), Shivers (1975), Rabid (1977), Fast Company (1979), The Brood (1979), Scanners (1981), Videodrome (1983), The Dead Zone (1983), The Fly (1986), Dead Ringers (1988), Naked Lunch (1991), M. Butterfly (1993), Crash (1996), eXistenZ (1999), Spider (2002), A History of Violence (2005) and Eastern Promises (2007).

Cronenberg directed several television spots, commercials, and short films including: Transfer (1966), From the Drain (1967), Secret Weapons (1972), The Victim (1975), The Lie Chair (1975), The Italian Machine (1976), Camera (2000), and To Each His Own Cinema (Chacun son cinéma) (2007)

In 1999, Cronenberg was inducted onto Canada's Walk of Fame. In 2002, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada, and in 2006 he was awarded the Cannes Film Festival's lifetime achievement award, the Carrosse d'Or. Two of his films, Dead Ringers and Spider, were voted for in the 2002 Sight and Sound Poll. In 2004, Science Fiction magazine Strange Horizons named him the 2nd greatest director in the history of the genre, ahead of better known directors such as Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Jean-Luc Godard and Ridley Scott. In the same year, The Guardian listed him 9th on their list of "The world's 40 best directors". In addition, in 2007, Total Film named him as the 17th greatest director of all-time. In 2006, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the senior national body of distinguished Canadian scientists and scholars.

David Cronenberg was invited to the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, to teach an Intensive Summer Workshop.