Nov 27, 2020
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France shows its love for Canada’s Cronenberg

Director David Cronenberg has a little sliding glass drawer, in an antique bed stand, where he keeps his ever-growing treasure trove of medals from France.

Wednesday night, after a gala awards ceremony in Toronto hosted by the French consul general, the Canadian auteur will add yet another trophy to the chest – France’s highest honest, the Legion d’honneur, which is being handed to the filmmaker for his wide-ranging contributions to French culture.

A cult figure in what he calls his “second country,” Cronenberg already has been named a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters, and is an honorary citizen in three municipalities (Paris, Cannes and Tourrettes-sur-Loup, a medieval village in which he lived for a year in the seventies).

“The drawer is made perfectly for French medals, actually,” Cronenberg said this week in an interview, joking that he has managed to accumulate so many “through bribery, of course. The usual way.”

Modesty aside, Cronenberg readily acknowledges the French have always been attuned to his unique brand of exploratory cinema, which includes his early harrowing horror flicks (Shivers, Scanners, the remake of The Fly) and violent psycho-dramas (Crash, Dead Ringers, Spider and, most recently, A History of Violence and Eastern Promises).

“The French have always understood the cinema as art,” says Cronenberg. “And they were the first in the world to do so. I came to France in the early seventies, at a time when Hollywood was still primarily thinking of film as a disposable consumer item. They were not even keeping a lot of the negatives of the films that were made. Once consumed they were gone.

“My relationship with France developed from there. They were strong and supportive of my films from the beginning. They understood genre filmmaking … and that just because a film was a horror [movie], it didn’t mean it was automatically cheesy and tacky. That even a horror could have some traction on its own, and be evaluated for what it was.”

Cronenberg, who admits he likes to take on projects that scare him, is now on the cusp of embarking on his biggest challenge yet – a mainstream Hollywood film featuring A-list stars.

“I have been working for some time on a script for MGM on The Matarese Circle [by the late Robert Ludlum],” he says. “I was at Tom Cruise’s house last weekend, and we were talking about it. I’ve also met with Denzel Washington about a different role. Neither one has signed yet,” he adds. “It’s not a go picture. Anything can happen. But we are all very hopeful. Everyone wants it to happen, including Tom and Denzel.”

So why take on a mainstream, commercial movie unlike anything he’s ever done in the past? The director says it’s simple: fear.

“It’s the same reason I did an opera [based on his film The Fly, which premiered last year at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris]. And it’s the same reason I did the Andy Warhol exhibit [Andy Warhol/Supernova: Stars, Deaths and Disasters 1962-1964, at the Art Gallery of Ontario in 2006].

“You don’t want to get too comfortable with the things you know you can do at least reasonably,” said Cronenberg, who adds that his wife and kids will be at his side when Francois Delattre, France’s ambassador to Canada, presents him with the Medal of Knight to the French National Order of the Legion of Honour.

“You want to try something that can fail, to keep your edge – to push you to try things you haven’t before,” says the writer/director, who is also working on an adaptation of Christopher Hampton’s play The Talking Cure.

“In the film world, [a project on the scale of The Matarese Circle] is one of the things I haven’t done – an actual big, studio movie with top stars.

“And let me tell you, it’s not easy to write a commercial spy thriller that really works. I’m finding that out for sure. It’s alternately agonizing and a lot of fun, depending on the day.”

Source: The Globe and Mail

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Front Page, Industry News

France shows its love for Canada’s Cronenberg

Director David Cronenberg has a little sliding glass drawer, in an antique bed stand, where he keeps his ever-growing treasure trove of medals from France.

Wednesday night, after a gala awards ceremony in Toronto hosted by the French consul general, the Canadian auteur will add yet another trophy to the chest – France’s highest honest, the Legion d’honneur, which is being handed to the filmmaker for his wide-ranging contributions to French culture.

A cult figure in what he calls his “second country,” Cronenberg already has been named a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters, and is an honorary citizen in three municipalities (Paris, Cannes and Tourrettes-sur-Loup, a medieval village in which he lived for a year in the seventies).

“The drawer is made perfectly for French medals, actually,” Cronenberg said this week in an interview, joking that he has managed to accumulate so many “through bribery, of course. The usual way.”

Modesty aside, Cronenberg readily acknowledges the French have always been attuned to his unique brand of exploratory cinema, which includes his early harrowing horror flicks (Shivers, Scanners, the remake of The Fly) and violent psycho-dramas (Crash, Dead Ringers, Spider and, most recently, A History of Violence and Eastern Promises).

“The French have always understood the cinema as art,” says Cronenberg. “And they were the first in the world to do so. I came to France in the early seventies, at a time when Hollywood was still primarily thinking of film as a disposable consumer item. They were not even keeping a lot of the negatives of the films that were made. Once consumed they were gone.

“My relationship with France developed from there. They were strong and supportive of my films from the beginning. They understood genre filmmaking … and that just because a film was a horror [movie], it didn’t mean it was automatically cheesy and tacky. That even a horror could have some traction on its own, and be evaluated for what it was.”

Cronenberg, who admits he likes to take on projects that scare him, is now on the cusp of embarking on his biggest challenge yet – a mainstream Hollywood film featuring A-list stars.

“I have been working for some time on a script for MGM on The Matarese Circle [by the late Robert Ludlum],” he says. “I was at Tom Cruise’s house last weekend, and we were talking about it. I’ve also met with Denzel Washington about a different role. Neither one has signed yet,” he adds. “It’s not a go picture. Anything can happen. But we are all very hopeful. Everyone wants it to happen, including Tom and Denzel.”

So why take on a mainstream, commercial movie unlike anything he’s ever done in the past? The director says it’s simple: fear.

“It’s the same reason I did an opera [based on his film The Fly, which premiered last year at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris]. And it’s the same reason I did the Andy Warhol exhibit [Andy Warhol/Supernova: Stars, Deaths and Disasters 1962-1964, at the Art Gallery of Ontario in 2006].

“You don’t want to get too comfortable with the things you know you can do at least reasonably,” said Cronenberg, who adds that his wife and kids will be at his side when Francois Delattre, France’s ambassador to Canada, presents him with the Medal of Knight to the French National Order of the Legion of Honour.

“You want to try something that can fail, to keep your edge – to push you to try things you haven’t before,” says the writer/director, who is also working on an adaptation of Christopher Hampton’s play The Talking Cure.

“In the film world, [a project on the scale of The Matarese Circle] is one of the things I haven’t done – an actual big, studio movie with top stars.

“And let me tell you, it’s not easy to write a commercial spy thriller that really works. I’m finding that out for sure. It’s alternately agonizing and a lot of fun, depending on the day.”

Source: The Globe and Mail

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Front Page, Industry News

France shows its love for Canada’s Cronenberg

Director David Cronenberg has a little sliding glass drawer, in an antique bed stand, where he keeps his ever-growing treasure trove of medals from France.

Wednesday night, after a gala awards ceremony in Toronto hosted by the French consul general, the Canadian auteur will add yet another trophy to the chest – France’s highest honest, the Legion d’honneur, which is being handed to the filmmaker for his wide-ranging contributions to French culture.

A cult figure in what he calls his “second country,” Cronenberg already has been named a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters, and is an honorary citizen in three municipalities (Paris, Cannes and Tourrettes-sur-Loup, a medieval village in which he lived for a year in the seventies).

“The drawer is made perfectly for French medals, actually,” Cronenberg said this week in an interview, joking that he has managed to accumulate so many “through bribery, of course. The usual way.”

Modesty aside, Cronenberg readily acknowledges the French have always been attuned to his unique brand of exploratory cinema, which includes his early harrowing horror flicks (Shivers, Scanners, the remake of The Fly) and violent psycho-dramas (Crash, Dead Ringers, Spider and, most recently, A History of Violence and Eastern Promises).

“The French have always understood the cinema as art,” says Cronenberg. “And they were the first in the world to do so. I came to France in the early seventies, at a time when Hollywood was still primarily thinking of film as a disposable consumer item. They were not even keeping a lot of the negatives of the films that were made. Once consumed they were gone.

“My relationship with France developed from there. They were strong and supportive of my films from the beginning. They understood genre filmmaking … and that just because a film was a horror [movie], it didn’t mean it was automatically cheesy and tacky. That even a horror could have some traction on its own, and be evaluated for what it was.”

Cronenberg, who admits he likes to take on projects that scare him, is now on the cusp of embarking on his biggest challenge yet – a mainstream Hollywood film featuring A-list stars.

“I have been working for some time on a script for MGM on The Matarese Circle [by the late Robert Ludlum],” he says. “I was at Tom Cruise’s house last weekend, and we were talking about it. I’ve also met with Denzel Washington about a different role. Neither one has signed yet,” he adds. “It’s not a go picture. Anything can happen. But we are all very hopeful. Everyone wants it to happen, including Tom and Denzel.”

So why take on a mainstream, commercial movie unlike anything he’s ever done in the past? The director says it’s simple: fear.

“It’s the same reason I did an opera [based on his film The Fly, which premiered last year at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris]. And it’s the same reason I did the Andy Warhol exhibit [Andy Warhol/Supernova: Stars, Deaths and Disasters 1962-1964, at the Art Gallery of Ontario in 2006].

“You don’t want to get too comfortable with the things you know you can do at least reasonably,” said Cronenberg, who adds that his wife and kids will be at his side when Francois Delattre, France’s ambassador to Canada, presents him with the Medal of Knight to the French National Order of the Legion of Honour.

“You want to try something that can fail, to keep your edge – to push you to try things you haven’t before,” says the writer/director, who is also working on an adaptation of Christopher Hampton’s play The Talking Cure.

“In the film world, [a project on the scale of The Matarese Circle] is one of the things I haven’t done – an actual big, studio movie with top stars.

“And let me tell you, it’s not easy to write a commercial spy thriller that really works. I’m finding that out for sure. It’s alternately agonizing and a lot of fun, depending on the day.”

Source: The Globe and Mail

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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