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David Cronenberg

At A Glance

Born: March 15, 1943
Where: Toronto, ON

   

A professional risk-taker and innovator throughout his career, David Cronenberg has been able to use his fascination with the bizarre to create a big-screen world all his own. Born in Toronto on March 15, 1943, Cronenberg is a director, screenwriter, producer, and actor.

Cronenberg studied English Literature and Science at the University of Toronto. His friend, David Sector, turned him onto filmmaking, and while he was still a student, Cronenberg made two short films: "Transfer" (1966) depicting the stalking of a psychiatrist by a patient; and "From the Drain" (1967) a black and white film of two elderly men discussing a war while sitting in a bathtub in bathroom of a veteran's home. Both have become cult classics, not just for fans of the dark filmmaker, but in the independent film world as well. "Stereo" (1969) and "Crimes of the Future" (1970) garnered early critical attention and showcased Cronenberg's longstanding fascination with biological horror. But it was Shivers in 1975, with its depiction of an artificially created parasite that releases uncontrollable sexual desire, that launched his career as a horror and science fiction writer and director.

Cronenberg continued to develop his fascination with biological horror with films such as "The Dead Zone," "The Fly," "Naked Lunch," "Dead Ringers," and "Crash." And the critics agreed, as "Crash" was awarded the Prix Spécial du Jury for daring, originality, and audacity at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival. "Crash" also won two Genies for best-adapted screenplay and best director.

His last film of the Millennium was "eXistenZ (1999), the thrilling science-fiction flick, which delves into technology, video games, virtual reality and its relationship with reality. He was also invited to lead the jury at Cannes that same year.

"Spider" (2002) stars the wonderful Ralph Fiennes as a schizophrenic. It conveys a distortion of perception and reality as only a Cronenberg vision could, heightening the real horrors of this disease. He was awarded Best Director for "Spider" at the Genies and the Best Canadian Film Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. Cronenberg was also given the title of "Officier des Arts et Lettres" from France.

Cronenberg lives in Toronto with his wife, son and daughter.