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The Works Of David Cronenberg Film Studies Essay

The dissertation reviews works of David Cronenberg circa 1976-1999 in relation to Truffaut's ideas of the auteur to show the relevance of auteur theory in today's cinematic local climate. The dissertation will look at Cronenberg's continuing themes, subject matter such as biology, the use of pests as a supernatural push, body horror, and themes of subconscious delusion and repression. These designs are consistent in Cronenberg film practice, and can form the basis of identifiable attributes for factor in defining modern-day autership. It will look into both of attributes of the discussion comparing the evidence from options that believe directorial auterism is a viable concept and those who feel film making is a collaborative process and therefore a director can never truly take ownership of a piece of work.

In this chapter the dissertation will also look at Cronenberg's "Rabid" which is the director's second feature film. The genre is a Horror film and relies heavily using one of the staple styles of the vampire sub-genre Infections which in cases like this a strain of rabies being offered from person to person through the exchange of bodily fluids. The plot is easy girl comes off motorbike, gal has pioneering yet risky surgery, surgery turns lady into bloodthirsty vampiress The recurrent topics are ones of body changes (surgery), faceless medical organisations, sexuality and penetration, especially in the manifestation of any phallic, knife-like probe that emerges from lead celebrity Marilyn Chambers' armpit to stab and infect her victims. The dissertation will discuss the various aspects that define the film like the celebrities and their shows, staging (Director of Picture taking) the narrative and the script and look to associate them back again to Truffaut's rules to highlight key elements.

Dissertation section 3: The Fly (Dir. David Cronenberg (1986)

A scientist invents a teleportation device and accidentally teleports both himself and a take flight at the same time. This regrettable event brings about the scientist becoming part man part take a flight. The film is a tale of blind ambition, a love history in addition to a tale of metamorphosis. The persistence in Cronenberg's selection of film team (Director of Picture taking, composer etc) will be regarded at length and compared to his previous motion pictures along with the other recurring styles mentioned in the launch.

Dissertation chapter 4: CONCLUSION

In this section the dissertation will compare the continuing themes between the films in relation to Truffaut's theory of autership. This relationship between your content of both motion pictures and Truffaut's work aim to show that, Cronenberg can in fact be classed as an auteur.

Chapter 2


Rabid is a 1977 film both written and directed by David Cronenberg. It is regarded as a sequel to his 1975 film "Shivers" both films offer with the topics of disease and sexuality. The film explains to the storyplot of "Rose" Cronenberg has mentioned that he known as her Rose as a metaphor on her behalf innocence. Rose is performed by American pornographic celeb Marilyn Chambers and explains to of her newly acquired flavour for blood that appears after pioneering life conserving surgery after troubled a horrific motorbike crash. Your skin graft surgery that Rose undergoes triggers a mosquito like probe to appear in her armpit which she then uses to drink the bloodstream of her victims. The probe itself is very phallic and is also sheathed in something that resembles a vagina adding to the metaphor of this being a way of dispersing sexual disease. The disease in cases like this is described as a rare pressure of rabies.

The opening views of the film are occur the "Keloid" clinic. The director appears to have intentionally used this as a name for both clinic and the head medical expert "Doctor Dan Keloid" as Keloid is a biological term for a kind of scar. There is a discussion about shareholders being considering putting money in to the clinic between the members of personnel to help create a franchised group of cosmetic surgery "resorts" which although taken in 1977 seems to reflect the present day day frame of mind to plastic surgery. It mirrors the blase approach of people to undergo potentially life intimidating surgery in the name of personal appearance. The character of Lloyd Walsh (Roger Periard) is introduced into the history by saying that, "I've already acquired my ears done twice, i'm just here to get my eye done. . . " there may be evidently nothing wrong with the hand bags under Lloyd's sight. The talk of franchisation is transposed with the images of any couple over a motorbike, Rose and her partner, Hart Read (Frank Moore). The series on the bike is very similar however you like to sequences in the 1969 film "Easy Rider". Close ups on the drivers foot changing gear are interspersed with shots of the bike weaving along country lanes. This editing approach is a horror film staple with quick reducing from activities that seem to be quite banal reducing to some other action that is building undoubtedly into catastrophe and assault. The tension helped to build through sound, Howard Shoreline as the composer for Rabid has used strings and travelling synthesizer noises and increasing in level. As the street motorcycle winds through the united states lanes we see that a third set of protagonists are brought into the scene in the form of a camper vehicle with a family group in. As the camper van drivers realizes his oversight in taking a wrong flip he becomes the van around blocking the street.

Close up on Rose as she realizes they are simply going to crash. (Rabid 1977)

Inevitably the few on the motorbike swerve and Hart gets tossed clear from the wreckage; Rose however eventually ends up underneath the bike which bursts into flames getting rid of her terribly. The arena then cuts back again to the Keloid clinic where one of the patients in a healthcare facility has observed the crash and alerts the medical personnel. They promptly decide to adopt the ambulance and help the crash victims. The use of the location where the clinic is defined helps the audience to realize that without this help then Rose would surely perish. Cleverly, Cronenberg has placed the clinic in the center of the countryside. It is clearly in the center of winter as there are no leaves on the trees and shrubs and the domains are akin to barren waste surface. The center itself is a frigid, faceless building with darkened home windows and is encircled by forest. That is regular with Cronenberg's use of faceless organizations such as shadowy multimedia companies and in cases like this a medical establishment. A healthcare facility is apparently the present day day exact carbon copy of Dracula's castle or some other horror film haunted house staple. Monaco claims that:

"To experience a Horror film was cathartic, the elements are well known: there was litany to each popular genre. Portion of their pleasure lay down in viewing how these basic elements would be cared for these times" (Monaco, 1981)

Suffice to state that whenever we watch films from the horror genre we are expecting discovering these certain location and figure stereotypes although regarding Rabid, Cronenberg has changed the haunted castle with the mad professor into a far more modern setting with the use of the Keloid clinic as a key location. The mad teacher has now changed from being that of Dr Victor Frankenstein or Doctor Moreau to 1 of experimental plastic surgeon Dr Dan Keloid. The use of the faceless medical organization is steady throughout Cronenberg's body of work throughout the seventies and eighties.

Upon the introduction of Rose into the clinic for life saving treatment, Cronenberg appears to have prophesized the present day surgical technique of stem cell research and given Dr Keloid the capability to neutralize skin tissue from Rose's thigh and then utilize this to grow epidermis grafts that replace the broken structure that is influenced by the crash. This yet again is another horror film staple; this experimental almost maverick frame of mind becomes the medical equivalent of a figure deciding to walk down the dark alley when there's a serial killer on the loose. Throughout this time around Rose remains in a coma. The editor Jean LeFleur has used a static title stating "one month later" to show the passage of time and the fact that Rose has been around a great shock induced coma for a long period.

"Changes in time and space invite audiences to make an instantaneous comparability between two particular points with time. Changes in time and space may draw the existence of central conflicts or focus on important phases in character development" (Pramaggiore, M. and Wallis, T. , 2008)

To show the development of a figure that is actually immobile and unable to communicate without the utilization of something similar to dream sequence for case would be challenging to the director. It seems that what initially seems to appear to be a potentially lazy plot device in the use of a title to show the passage of time actually becomes a reasonable tool showing the introduction of Rose's character. It really is at this point that Rose awakens from her coma. It's advocated to the audience that by Rose unflinchingly getting rid of the Intravenous drip from her arm that something may not be right. Fellow patient Lloyd Walsh discovers Rose lying in her clinic bed thrashing around her breasts uncovered. Rose boasts to have no recollection of the mishap but complains of being cold and wishes Lloyd to adopt her for warmness. Beard says that;

"Metanarratively there is a kind of male-sexual-fantasy skit happening, with Lloyd as the male audiences stand-in: man unintentionally comes upon beautiful young female semi-naked in a clinic room; his protection as a voyeur is assured by the girl unconsciousness; when she does indeed awaken, she begs him to hold her because she actually is chilly- another chance for covert erotic satisfaction" (Beard, 2006)

This area of the picture can be construed as Rose's awakening of her dormant blood vessels lust and her way of using her sexuality to attract her victim into physical contact so she can prey on them. Yet another way of looking at it is that this field is Cronenberg's dark sense of humor arriving to the fore. Casting a porn film celebrity in what viewers would consider as a relatively mainstream film and then putting her in a scenario not too dissimilar to the plot of any seventies porn film could be observed as amusing. The scene plays out with an ironic twist of fate; the male visitors privately of Lloyd want to see this beautiful girl let Lloyd have sexual intercourse with her, it is however Lloyd that is the person who gets penetrated with a phallus.

"Rose hits with her armpit spike, and the picture once again is sexualized (again metanarratively) and in an unpredicted way that reverses the functions of erotic attacker and sufferer" (Beard, 2006)

Rose then feeds on Lloyd's blood vessels, and Lloyd having no recollection of the starts to wander the hospital looking for help. He has no recollection of what has occurred to him and since there appears to be no evidence of Rose having been awake whatsoever the assumption is that Lloyd has had a stroke and fallen. However when the staff enter Rose's room everything is in disarray and one of the nurses tells Doctor Keloid she is convinced Lloyd has tried to molest Rose. Your choice was created to send Lloyd to the overall infirmary in the town after they took some blood examples. This decision is a turning point in the storyplot and shows how Cronenberg has hitched together several different horror staples; a vampire movie has shows a few of the traits of becoming a zombie film too. The thought of a single contaminated person being repaid into the basic population unaware of the disease they are really carrying after an incorrect diagnosis from the physician, furthering the spread of disease is something that has been used time and time again in film making. Metaphorically speaking the condition could be thought of as a sexually transmitted infection as the situation in which it was exceeded had definite erotic undertones. After Rose has given on Lloyd they lay down in what appears to be some type of post coital bliss.

Rose disorders Lloyd and feeds on his bloodstream, she strokes his locks and they lay down back down on the foundation. (Rabid, 1977)

After Lloyd is sent to the overall infirmary in the city, Dr Keloid looks at Lloyd's blood sample through the microscope and realizes that something is amiss. The blood sample is shown through the idea of view of the doctor and the bloodstream skin cells are being attacked by other mutated cells. This representation of the disease is comparable to observing a sperm fertilize an egg except regarding the condition the sperm like disease is not fertilizing a cell but consuming it instead. This imagery is comparable to the get spread around of the condition throughout the populace shown down the road in the film.

Cronenberg stated that,

"Rabid was about the pass on of disease, how a complete city is finally almost brought to his knees by way of a std. My imagery is commonly very body focused. I think I'm enthusiastic about transformation as well, but not within an abstract spiritual sense or at least not at first, but in an extremely physical sense".

In the case of Rabid it appears Cronenberg is not worried about only the physical transformation of the protagonists, but also it seems the change of society all together. Maybe it's assumed that within Rabid, Cronenberg is responding to the changing behaviour of society and that the end of the free love attitude of the sixties and seventies is changing. Making love is no longer safe he appears to be saying. The ultimate landscape of the film shows Rose dead on the pavement. Federal government soldiers which may have been incurred with controlling the populace and keeping the pass on of the condition in order find her and toss her into the back of a garbage vehicle. Muir (2006) proposes that Cronenberg is merely developing a stab at women and implying that it is women who will be the service providers of disease which the final landscape with Rose getting thrown away emphasizes his thoughts on promiscuity within women equating those to famous brands garbage.

Rose, inactive, is thrown away into the garbage pickup truck. (Rabid, 1977)

Chapter 3 The Take a flight.

"I'm stating I'm an insect who dreamt he was a man and enjoyed it, however now that dream is over and the insect is awake. "- Seth Brundle (The Journey, 1986)

"The Fly" is a 1986 film aimed by David Cronenberg and produced by Mel Brooks. The film is a remake of the 1958 film of the same subject aimed by Kurt Neumann which is subsequently predicated on the short report by George Langelaan. The Journey was Cronenberg's biggest cinematic success to date. The director has completely re-imagined the film of the fifties and transformed it into a love story between two heroes. The film targets Cronenberg's repeating obsession with the horror of our body. The scientist Seth Brundle (enjoyed by Jeff Goldblum) and magazine journalist Veronica Quaife (played out by Geena Davis) are the primary characters involved in the story. Goldblum performs one of the archetypal Cronenberg staples, the mad scientist. Unusually for Cronenberg the scientist is a likeable persona, slightly uncomfortable but ultimately captivating. As is the norm for the director, Brundle works for a faceless scientific organization Bartok Technology Business who are financing Brundle's work. The pair fulfills at a press event placed by Bartok. Brundle convinces Veronica that his work changes the course of human history. Wisker (2005) states that Cronenberg's fascinations lay in the perversions of research being manipulated by corporate and business interests and exactly how humans, in the beginning unaware, are sucked in to the danger resulting in devastation. That is especially the circumstance regarding the persona of Veronica Quaife though it seems that in this scenario, both parties engaged possessed the best intentions and both were unaware of the horror that was to follow. When Brundle asks Veronica to come and look at the project he is working on both heroes has ulterior motives, Brundle wishes sex and Quaife wants a tale for particle journal. Brundle's job is one of teleportation; he's on the verge of understanding teleportation via the utilization of two "pods". Brundle and Veronica get back to his workshop, when they occur beyond your building he lives in the building is dark made of brick and does not have any discerning features as will be the majority of Cronenberg's choice of location throughout his career. The dark building where inside the viewer knows that scientific horror waits. In Rabid (1977) it was the utilization of a plastic surgery clinic, a flat stop in Shivers (1976) and in The Take a flight it is an old red brick mill type building.

Muir (2007) promises that Veronica's influence on Brundle's work is one of humanization, primarily it sometimes appears that Brundle gets the single minded concentrate of an insect already, in one particular world Veronica appears in Seth's closet only to come across five pieces of the same clothes. Brundle expresses that is purely so he'll not need to expend energy worrying unnecessarily about what he is using, thus allowing him to focus completely on his work. Veronica shows Brundle about "Flesh" and about recover comes feelings that seem to obtain eluded Brundle throughout his manhood; feelings of love and interest are intermingled with anger jealousy over Veronica's suspected continuation of a marriage with her former lover. This isn't the situation however and we learn early on that veronica would like nothing more to do with Stathis (John Getz) who also is actually her boss at the journal. It is this drunken and jealous rage that leads Seth to choose to make use of his teleportation pods to move himself. As proven to the audience previously transporting living flesh hasn't gone well to state the least, at first the transportation of any baboon led to the baboon being transformed inside away. Metaphorically speaking the baboon event coincided with the advantages of Veronica into Brundle's life, figuratively speaking it was not simply the baboon that was switched inside out but also Seth's life.

Brundle will try teleporting a baboon with destructive results (The Fly, 1986)

Without the launch of Veronica it is assumed that uncalculated risk wouldn't normally enter into Brundle's research however fueled by alcohol and jealousy he decides to transport himself in the pods. Whilst going into the travel pod Brundle fails to notice a soar has entered together with him. As the door seals the audience realize, so is Brundle's fate.

It is at this point that Cronenberg's film becomes a story about the frailty of individuals flesh and as with the major body of his work a metaphoric story of disease, reduction and the relationship between individuals and machine. As Brundle leaves Pod "B" he feels more alive than he has before unaware that the computer has fused, over a hereditary level, both himself and the take a flight together directly into what Seth refers to as, "Brundlefly". Seth's patterns gradually becomes more animalistic; he becomes more sexually ambitious, stronger and displays more risky action. Brundle thinks that he has somehow purified himself, by going right through the machine and being pieced back again together he somehow believes that the computer has better him. It becomes clear to Veronica that maybe things aren't quite right with Seth after the breakthrough of coarse black locks growing out of Seth's back. After Veronica has the hairs medically evaluated it transpires that they are insect hairs. Seth is denial and tells Veronica that, "I've become free, I'm released and you also dislike it".

Hairs sprouting from the trunk of Seth Brundle (The Soar, 1986)

When Veronica points out that Seth is not well he retaliates by heading to a club with the sole reason for finding another woman to have sex with. in a world which seems to encapsulate both Brundle's new found animalistic masculinity and his wanting to take his anger and injured from another being he enters into an arm wrestling match. He bets the men one hundred dollars and the hand of the lady at the club who is with the men. Brundle begins to arm wrestle, white almost sperm like smooth seeps from his palm as he wrestles the man. With little work, Seth breaks the larger man's arm and strolls off with the lady. Cronenberg just as before punishes promiscuity like he has done in previous motion pictures such as Shivers and Rabid. Regarding Brundlefly a combination of promiscuous tendencies and risky methodical procedure contributes to Brundlefly becoming diseased in a very recognizable way. The transformation of Brundle into Brundlefly at least at first appears to replicate the physical characteristics of AIDS. Derry state governments that:

"In Cronenberg's, movie the experts early on manifestation of physical change resemble the skin lesions of Kaposi's sarcoma, the cancer tumor so common in the early stages of AIDS-related immune dysfunction. As these changes enhance him into something monstrous-looking that even his lover recoils from". (Derry, 2009)

Lesions on Brundle's face, similar to Kaposi's sarcoma (The Journey, 1986)

Derry is making the idea that within the framework of any horror film Cronenberg is requesting a serious question on if we as a culture can show compassion for the degradation of individuals who are suffering from devastating disease. By disregarding or failing woefully to embrace these folks credited to revulsion are we becoming monsters ourselves? Veronica shows us that she is a strong and compassionate identity by comforting Brundlefly even though to the viewers he has become a repulsive monster. Cronenberg has said that:

"The AIDS interconnection is very superficial. I see it (The Fly) as discussing mortality, about our vulnerability and the tradgedy of human damage" (Cronenberg)

This may well be the case but in the context which the film premiered it seems without doubt inevitable that viewers would web page link the film with the Products paranoia of the nineteen eighties. Seth Brundle says in the film that, "I appear to be suffering from an illness with a purpose, wouldn't you say". Inside a social context at the time HIV and Supports were misinterpreted diseases with too little education, especially from the government and open public misinformation and rumours adding to the fear thought by the public. Cronenberg has yet again tapped in to the fear of the undiscovered. Speculation about the film's invisible meanings and metaphors certainly helped gain open public interest for the film also to garner huge field office success for the director. In a single particular dream sequence there is world concerning a pregnant Veronica giving birth in the hospital. The medical expert, who in cases like this is the one and only the director himself, pulls what the audience are led to believe an infant from Veronica's womb. Amidst the screening the audience, as well as veronica see for the first time that this is no normal baby and she's given delivery to a baby/maggot cross. This reflects worries of the public during the Helps crisis, what if my unborn baby is infected? What if somehow my baby differs?

Cronenberg's cameo as a surgeonas he pulls the maggot baby from Veronica. (The Take flight, 1986)

Jјrgen Mјller, Herbert Klemens (2003) Claim that, along with several other videos of the eighties, The Travel is dealing with the theme of a person, in this case Brundle, looking for the "Lost Secret" the necessity for a person to be something they aren't. In the case of The Travel Cronenberg has handled on this theme but as is standard for the director the theme is based around the fact that if anyone tries to transgress the restrictions set by nature they'll be found guilty of hubris, punishment in the case of Seth Brundle is creeping dissolution. Once he has believed how perfect a specimen he is often as a man, once he has achieved this greatness really the only possible way for the character going is down.

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