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Film

David Cronenberg calls Kristen Stewart "shockingly good"

Once again gaining a foothold in the landscape of modern filmmaking after the release of his bizarre body-horror flick Crimes of the Future, David Cronenberg has re-established his dominance over the sci-fi genre where he built his career from. 

Characterised by his tendency toward mind-bending concepts and bulging practical effects, the films of Canadian writer and director David Cronenberg have long sat at the very pinnacle of sci-fi filmmaking, contorting the genre’s shape and manipulating its future. Famed for his pioneering approach to fleshy body horror, his 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 young fans’ deep appreciation. 

With the ability to tame any high-concept idea, the gunky DIY horror of Cronenberg’s early career, recognised for such classics as Videodrome, The Fly and Scanners, would metamorphosis into something far more realistic, raw, and explicit. Almost exactly at the turn of the new millennium, Cronenberg turned away from the body horror that had established his name, focusing instead on the world of crime with A History of Violence and Eastern Promises.

It was during this period of reinvention that Cronenberg would meet his recent collaborator, Kristen Stewart, telling the French news outlet Konbini: “I met her when she was still with Robert Pattinson. I was shooting Cosmopolis with Rob in Toronto, she came to visit. It was very lovely to meet her”. 

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Released in 2012, Pattinson and Stewart were still amid a public relationship at the time when the movie was still in production, with the romance having blossomed during the filming of the wildly popular tween Twilight movies.

“I didn’t really know where she would develop as an actor, how she would develop as an actor from her original Twilight movies,” Cronenberg further exclaimed before adding, “I think both she and Rob developed fantastically. They both became really good actors, of course, they’re not connected anymore, but she really was shockingly good in my movie Crimes of the Future. She really surprised me, I knew that she was good, but I didn’t know that she was brilliant”.

Naming the Olivier Assayas movie Personal Shopper as the film that inspired him to cast her in his new movie, Cronenberg heaps praise on the American actor. 

Starring Stewart alongside Léa Seydoux and Viggo Mortensen, the new movie takes viewers into a not-so-distant future where humans have evolved and metamorphosed to be a hybrid of flesh and technology. Still dealing in the biological realms of flesh and body horror, Cronenberg’s latest film diverges from his original 1970 feature film, though retains several thematic elements. 

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