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(Credit: Toronto Film Festival)


David Cronenberg names one of his favourite movies of all time


A director characterised by his tendency toward mind-bending concepts and bulging practical effects, Canadian writer and filmmaker David Cronenberg has long been the overlord of sci-fi filmmaking, contorting the genre’s shape to manipulate its future. Famed for his pioneering approach to fleshy body horror, Cronenberg’s influence on late 20th-century underground cinema was unparalleled, with the blood, pus, and oozing gunk of his victims at the very heart of his fan’s deep appreciation. 

With the ability to tame any high-concept idea, the gunky DIY horror of Cronenberg’s early career would metamorphose into something far more realistic, raw, and explicit later down the line. Almost exactly at the turn of the new millennium, Cronenberg turned away from the body horror that had established his name in films like Videodrome and The Fly, focusing more instead on the world of crime in A History of Violence and Eastern Promises.

Shifting across genres, tones, and styles, Cronenberg has established himself as one of the most celebrated filmmakers of modern cinema, with his latest movie, Crimes of the Future, due for release in 2022. Starring the likes of Kristen Stewart, Léa Seydoux and Viggo Mortensen, Cronenberg’s new film is set in a strange world where performers publicly showcase the harvesting of organs. 

As a significant pioneer of the horror genre, there’s no surprise that Cronenberg is a great lover of film history, looking to masters such as William Friedkin, Wes Craven and Tobe Hooper to tell his terrifying tales. 

David Cronenberg’s 10 best films ranked in order of greatness

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In a recent conversation with Konbini, however, the director made reference to one particular favourite from the English filmmaker Nicolas Roeg. 

Speaking in the video, he revealed that the 1973 film Don’t Look Now was one of his many all-time favourites, stating, “This was a movie that really stunned me. I was really very impressed by it, because of that I was very intrigued by Nicholas Roeg, he was a cinematographer first and then he became a director”. 

Starring Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie, the classic film follows the travels of a couple going through a personal tragedy who head to Venice to take on the restoration of a church, only to be followed by their grief as well as the psychic warnings of two strange sisters. An impressionistic chiller, Roeg’s film builds uneasy suspense through particularly haunting, outlandish imagery, projecting the mind of an afflicted central character onto the surface of the film itself. 

“Just a very very strong movie,” Cronenberg tells Konbini, adding: “Very strange. very much about death but at first, you’re not aware that that’s really the subject matter, it’s really a love story. Just recently someone said ‘tell me a movie that is one of your favourite movies’ which is very hard to do because there are hundreds of movies that I love, but I did say Don’t Look Now”. 

Take a look at the trailer for the iconic Nicolas Roeg movie that Cronenberg calls one of his “favourite movies”, below.