One of the most singular auteurs of the horror and science fiction genres, David Cronenberg has wowed audiences with his depictions of body transformations and explorations of society, this collection of his early short and feature films shows a master learning his craft and exploring many of the themes that would dominate his most celebrated work.
Transfer (1966), Cronenberg’s first short film, is a surreal sketch of a doctor and his patient. From the Drain (1967) finds two men in a bathtub, which may be part of a centre for veterans of a future war. Stereo (1969), Cronenberg’s first official feature film, stunningly shot in monochrome, concerns telepaths at the Institute for Erotic Enquiry where patients undergo tests by Dr. Luther Stringfellow. In Crimes of the Future (1970) Cronenberg worked in colour and with a larger budget, where we find the House of Skin clinic director (Ronald Mlodzik, returning from Stereo) searching for his mentor, Antoine Rouge, who has disappeared following a catastrophic plague.
Cronenberg’s early amateur feature films, shot in and around his university campus, prefigure his later films’ concerns with strange institutions, male/female separation and ESP, echoing the likes of Videodrome, Dead Ringers and Scanners.
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