Hey folks, Harry here... The ads on my site are driving me crazy. I absolutely can not stand the fact that I haven't seen the latest Cronenberg film yet. I watched the new DVD of THE FLY over the weekend - and the documentary on that disc - running 2 hours and 45 minutes may very well be the best geek documentary on the making of a major geek film in the history of DVD. I was just fascinated by the doc. Beyond all the make-up stuff - just the development of the material and the evolution of the film... it was fascinating. Needless to say, it has my Cronenberg 'gotta see more' buzz going, and though this film says it's opening this weekend - it isn't here in Austin yet! I see it this week though. ARGH!!!! MUST SEE NOW!!!
Last night I had the pleasure of seeing David Cronenberg's A History of Violence and I can't think of another movie I've seen this year, save Oldboy and Broken Flowers, that stands up to this massive gem of a film. With certain artists, it is obvious where they are going with an idea or concept, the allegory is implied plainly and for this their effort seems trite and the point is rendered powerless by their heavy-handed allegory. Not this film.
Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen) is a happy father and local business owner in a small fictional midwestern town where crime and punishment is not part of life. Personally, knowing this was a Cronenberg film, I had a shit-eating grin through every second of this calm-before-the-storm because I knew what was happening. This man, Cronenberg, was doing something that most directors aren't capable of. Not only is he setting up something ideal just to tear it down, he is taking his fucking time with it. Luckily, there is a point.
I knew before I saw this movie that it was an allegory for America. This character, Tom Stall, as the brilliant Ed Harris tells us in the trailer, is good at killing people. Really good, in fact. He had a shady past and it caught up with him. And about an hour into this movie you might think that David Cronenberg has made one of those films, one of those pieces of art, that is so obvious and heavy-handed that you have to disrespect him for his own sake, so that maybe he'll be more subtle with his theme next time. After an hour into this movie you will leave all that shit at the door because where this movie goes, and what it implies taking into account what we already know is its source of inspiration, is so fascinatingly complex it is of immeasurable importance that there is someone out there who is so gifted that they could boil down an empire into something so observable.
I know this film doesn't come out most places until next friday. But when it does run, don't walk. See A History of Violence.