- CRONENBERG, DAVID
- CRONENBERG, DAVID (1943– ), Canadian filmmaker. Cronenberg was born in Toronto, Ontario. He showed an early interest in science, particularly the study of insects, and a skill for writing science fiction and fantasy short stories. He began experimental filmmaking while attending the University of Toronto, where he graduated at the top of his class with a degree in literature. He produced low-budget, psychologically intense horror films in the 1970s and mass entertainment horror/science fiction genre films in the 1980s. The release of Dead Ringers (1988) and The Naked Lunch (1991) increased Cronenberg's stature and gained him international recognition and awards. In 1999 he was chosen to chair the prestigious Cannes Film Festival jury. Cronenberg's themes explore society's collective unconscious and the boundaries of human physiology, sexuality, and psychology. Among film experts, he is considered a true auteur. His films defy easy classification; they shock, repel, provoke, and fascinate in equal measure. Throughout his career, Cronenberg wrote, directed, and produced many of his films. He also worked as an editor and cinematographer as well as acting in his own and other directors' films. He is among the very few directors who remained in Canada to make films yet achieved a solid international reputation. His films received numerous Canadian Genies as well as awards from the New York Film Critics Circle, the Cannes Film Festival, and the Toronto International Film Festival. In 1997 Cronenberg became an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters in France. Additional films he directed are Shivers (1975), Rabid (1977), The Brood (1979), Scanners (1981), Videodrome (1983), The Dead Zone (1983), The Fly (1986), M. Butterfly (1993), Crash (1996), eXistenZ (1999), and Spider (2002). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: W. Beard, The Artist As Monster: The Cinema of David Cronenberg (2001); D. Cronenberg and C. Rodley (ed.), Cronenberg on Cronenberg (1997); S. Grunberg, David Cronenberg (2004); P. Handling et al., The Shape of Rage: The Films of David Cronenberg (1983). (Paula Draper (2nd ed.)
Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.