Oftentimes, it can be enlightening to go backwards through a great filmmaker’s filmography and see when and how their cinematic voice began to form. In some cases, it’s readily apparent how much a filmmaker has changed from their first directorial outing to their most recent output; just compare Stanley Kubrick’s “Fear and Desire” and “Eyes Wide Shut.” In other cases, a filmmaker arrives fully formed (see: Quentin Tarantino). For today’s trip to the filmmaking past, Dangerous Minds has shared one of David Cronenberg’s earliest works, an episode of an obscure CBC series.
Originally aired as part of the CBC series “Teleplay,” “The Italian Machine” follows a group of devoted motorcycle enthusiasts who seek to liberate a priceless motorcycle from an art collector. By the time the episode aired, the Canadian director already had three feature films to his name, as well as the same number of TV assignments. What you’ll find when you watch the 23-minute-long episode is a self-assured and wholly Cronenbergian effort about motorcycle fetishists that foreshadows vehicular fetishists of a different sort in 1996’s deviant, non-Oscar-winning “Crash.”
Watch Cronenberg’s “The Italian Machine” below.