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A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE

DAVID CRONENBERG's reputation as an authentic auteur has been firmly established by his uniquely personal body of work including the films for which he wrote the screenplays: Shivers, Rabid, Fast Company, The Brood, Scanners, Videodrome, The Fly, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch, Crash and eXistenZ. The films he directed from screenplays by other writers are The Dead Zone, M. Butterfly and, most recently, Spider and A History of Violence

His films have won him awards and recognition around the world, among which is an Honorary Doctor of Law Degree from the University of Toronto, which he received in June 2001. He has been an Officer in France's prestigious "Order of Arts and Letters” since 1997. In 1999, he presided over the Jury at the Cannes Film Festival.

Retrospectives of his work have been held in Japan, USA, UK, France, Brazil, Italy, Portugal and Canada. Books on Cronenberg include The Shape of Rage – the Films of David Cronenberg, The Artist as Monster: The Cinema of David Cronenberg and Cronenberg on Cronenberg in addition to a collection of interviews published by Cahiers du Cinema.

Born on March 15, 1943 in Toronto, Cronenberg studied at the University of Toronto, where he became interested in film and produced two shorts in 16 mm, Transfer and From the Drain, graduating in 1967. His first films in 35 mm were Stereo and Crimes of the Future, both shot in the late ‘60's. In these works, Cronenberg established some of the themes and preoccupations that would characterize much of his later work.

In 1975, Cronenberg shot his first commercial feature Shivers (aka They Came From Within or Parasite Murders), which became one of the fastest recouping movies in the history of Canadian film. His next feature, Rabid, starring Marilyn Chambers, went on to make $7-million on a production investment of little more than $500,000, providing Cronenberg with an impressive track record after just two pictures by 1977. He then directed the drag-racing film Fast Company, inspired in part by his own passion for cars and racing.

He moved on to direct The Brood in 1979, starring Oliver Reed and Samantha Eggar, an artistic breakthrough for Cronenberg, which led him to larger-budgeted and more ambitious films. Scanners, which centered on the telepathic powers of an underground element of society, was aimed at a wider audience than his earlier horror/fantasy films and became his biggest hit yet. The week it opened, Variety listed Scanners as the number one box-office film in North America.

Cronenberg's next film, Videodrome, starring James Woods and rock star Deborah Harry, released in early 1983, moved out of the cult realm into the mainstream cyberpunk market. Blurring the boundaries of reality and consciousness, the film is a high-tech, nightmarish satire involving violence, sexuality and biological horror, all by now familiar Cronenberg themes.

The Dead Zone followed in 1984, based on the best-selling novel by Stephen King. Financed by Dino de Laurentiis, released by Paramount and starring Christopher Walken, Brooke Adams and Martin Sheen, the film is an allegorical good-vs-evil story revolving around the fate of a man cursed with power to see into the future of those he touches. The most mainstream of Cronenberg's films, The Dead Zone still retains the director's identifiable style and design and went on the earn three out of the five Avoriaz Film Festival prizes of that year as well as seven Edgar Allen Poe award nominations in the U.S.A.

Mel Brooks then approached Cronenberg to direct The Fly for Twentieth Century Fox, starring Geena Davis and Jeff Goldblum. The Fly was a huge popular and critical success for Cronenberg, earning many accolades, including an Oscar for Best Special Effects/Makeup and a shared jury Prize at the Avoriaz Festival. A remake of the 1958 horror classic, Cronenberg's The Fly was a reconceptual

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