Awesome Cronenberg triple-feature this Good Friday!

banner_the_dead_zone  …Who’s down with that?! Three awesome eighties classics from the ex-Baron of Blood, showing as a killer triple-feature this Good Friday at the Cinematheque! The Dead Zone, The Fly, and Dead Ringers. Following the commercial failure of his masterpiece Videodrome, David Cronenberg would not direct another original story for 16 years (and even then it would only be that one more time). He would begin his ongoing trend of adapting existing material by tackling a classic Stephen King novel, The Dead Zone, at one point taking King’s own screenplay from him and brutally re-working it for the cinema. Cronenberg’s idea was: In order to be faithful to the book, we have to betray the book — and even screenwriter Jeffery Boam admitted (of King’s screenplay), “I think he missed the point of his own book”. King has not said much of this adaption over his career (at least he wasn’t as critical of it as he’d been with Kubrick’s version of his Shining novel), and even 31 years later it still stands out as a stellar cinematic telling of one of King’s best books. Following this, Cronenberg came across a remake screenplay by Charles Edward Pogue (who also wrote the underrated, in my opinion, and giallo-esque  Psycho III) – and promptly re-worked nearly the entire screenplay, while retaining the lead credit for original writer Pogue, as Cronenberg said in the book Cronenberg on Cronenberg: “There was no question that Chuck Pogue should get the first credit, there wouldn’t be a Cronenberg version if there hadn’t been a Pogue version”. What might be slightly unfortunate to his legions of Canadian fans was that The Fly was the film that culturally pushed Cronenberg intothe side of the American horror filmmakers. Although The Fly was shot in Toronto and not actually meant to take place in any locatiuon-specific setting, when it came down to the artistic details (check out the dollar bills in the infamous arm-wrestling scene), Cronenberg would make the call to keep it American, or at least, American-looking. Following this, though, he brought it back to Toronto with his take on the sort-of true story of identical twin gynecologists with twistedly obsessive and self-destructive behaviors (also based on a 1977 book by Bari Wood) that would really usher the cinema of Cronenberg into the nineties and into the international spotlight. Indeed, Dead Ringers is one of the many highlights of this auteur’s career. And his follow-up would then be the sensational take on a book nearly as famous for its un-filmability as for its author, William S. Burroughs – Naked Lunch, which plays through the Easter Weekend as well.

“Be afraid. Be very afraid”


4:30 pm The Dead Zone

6:30 pm The Fly (+ short film)

8:30 pm Dead Ringers


6:30 pm Dead Ringers

8:45 pm Naked Lunch


6:30 pm Naked Lunch

8:40 pm M. Butterfly


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