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In honor of his most recent film “Crimes of the Future,” which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May, the Cosford Cinema is holding a mini-retrospective of some of director David Cronenberg’s most iconic movies.

The Canadian filmmaker is considered to be the cinema’s greatest purveyor of body horror, which is defined as horror that is derived from the destruction or deterioration of the human body.

But while many of Cronenberg’s films contain graphic violence and gore, his films are also replete with complex ideas about mortality, self and identity, the ways in which we are defined by our physical appearance and our omnipresent dread of death.

“Part of what I’ve tried to do in my films is to present you with something that seems ridiculous, repulsive and unbelievable, and by the end of the film, it’s become beautiful, believable, and maybe even inevitable,” Cronenberg told The Miami Herald in 1997.

“It’s like the existentialist contract that we all sign when we’re born without being aware of it: ‘Wait a minute, you mean we’re all gonna die? Are you serious? Everybody that I love, and my cat and my dog — they’re all gonna die?’ And the answer is ‘Yeah!’ And you say ‘Well, this is unacceptable!’”

By keeping his budgets low (at least by Hollywood standards), Cronenberg has guaranteed his creative freedom, carving out his own unique brand of movies that defies simple categorization and has brought him serious critical attention.

“What delights me is to make films that are not classifiable,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned, the categorization is a marketing problem, but it’s not a creative one. As a creative person making a film, it doesn’t matter to me whether it clicks into someone’s definition of horror, thriller, psychological drama. The only time I care is if it’s meant to be dismissive, like when they say, ‘Well, he’s a horrormeister who makes gorefests.'”

“It’s really unfair that the horror genre is a ghetto. There are a lot of filmmakers who started out making genre pictures — Coppola, Scorsese, Jack Nicholson — and then moved on to other things. That is a route that a lot of people have taken, and it still works. But I never really thought of it as a career strategy. It was actually what I wanted to do. That was where my heart was. And it still is.

“What I’m looking for when I’m making a film is a very deep pool that I can dive into,” Cronenberg said. “It is the plasma pool: I’m trying to get very deep into human experience and meaning. If you can do that, then you’re beyond politics and fashion of the time and advances in technology.

“That’s what art is: You might be painting with paints that might be made obsolete by some other technology later, but your paintings can still have power and meaning, if you’re really an artist and not just a decorative craftsman.

Here is the schedule for our retrospective of Cronenberg’s films. Each screening will be introduced by Bill Cosford Cinema manager Rene Rodriguez. Click on each title for information about the movie. Tickets are $10 plus tax for each individual screening. A series pass is $40 plus tax and is available here.



7:30 p.m.

A History of Violence (2005) 



7:30 p.m.

The Fly (1986) 



7 p.m.

Crash (1996)



7:30 p.m.

Shivers (aka They Came From Within) (1975)



7:30 p.m.

Dead Ringers (1988)



7:00 p.m.

Videodrome (1983)

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