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Close Up: David Cronenberg

David Cronenberg is a Canadian director, screenwriter and actor.

Interviewed by Bruce McDonald

Function: Why do you think you chose film?

David: Film has the potential to be an amazing art form, that will tax you to the very limits of your being and will draw on every resource that you can possibly muster; intellectual, historical, emotional, technological. I think you can learn the technology of filmmaking many ways, but if that’s all you learn you can’t make a movie. What are you going to make it about? I’ll tell you, you get the movies we’re seeing now that are all about movie making. You the Coen brothers who only make movies about old movies they loved. You get Quentin Tarantino who makes movies about movies that he saw working in a video store. You’re seeing movies that are remakes of other movies, or subliminal remakes of other movies. But it’s not about life. The intellectual depth and awareness of social forces you find in even a mediocre novel, you don’t find in some of the biggest movies around. If people only learn movies, they will only make movies about movies or that imitate movies. Most of what we’re seeing now is imitation. It’s simulation upon simulation upon simulation. If there is anything in my filmmaking, it comes from my life outside movies. I’m not a person who says, ‘My life is cinema’. Not at all. My life is not at all cinema.

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