David Cronenberg, progenitor of body horror and a favorite of art-house inclined genre fans the world over, may not be at it much longer. That’s not entirely by choice, reveals Viggo Mortensen in a Cannes interview with Variety, but rather a sad financial reality: The filmmaker is having more and more difficulty financing his projects.
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Cronenberg directed Mortensen to an Oscar nomination in “Eastern Promises” after first partnering with the actor on “A History of Violence.” The two collaborated again for “A Dangerous Method,” which also starred Michael Fassbender and Keira Knightley. “I can’t think of another around that long that stays as fresh,” said Mortensen, who’s in the South of France with his new film “Captain Fantastic.” “It’s ridiculous. Woody Allen makes a movie every year and other directors make whatever they want to. Here’s one of our greatest directors and he has so much trouble getting his movies made.” Cronenberg’s list of classics is long, from early standouts “Videodrome” and “The Fly” to “Crash” and “Spider.” But few of his films, with their exploding heads and eroticized car accidents, have done gangbusters at the box office.
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They have elicited decades’ worth of praise from fans, critics and scholars who consider the 73-year-old one of the most accomplished filmmakers of his era, however, which would make his retirement a loss to world cinema. There is a bit of a silver lining, however, as Mortensen says that the writer/director currently derives a good amount of joy from writing books. Cronenberg published “Consumed,” his first novel, in 2014.
Watch the trailer for Cronenberg’s latest, “Maps to the Stars”: