Monday, March 15, 2010

Insect Politician


David Cronenberg is 67 today.

This is an appropriate time to mention my favourite auteur, as I can't think of a better expression of his idea of the New Flesh than the visceral processes of procreation and childbirth (Other examples that spring to mind are the changes wrought upon the body due to cancer, and the increasingly mundane use of body-modification to transform ourselves in ever more bizarre ways).

Birth (and rebirth) is present in so many of Cronenberg's films: Nola Carveth giving life to her inner rage through the miracle of Psychoplasmic therapy. Tom Stall's reemergence as a new man - a hybrid of his two formerly separate identities. Unfortunate Seth Brundle, enduring his agonising journey of death and renewal that could be said to be three distinct rebirths: first as super-human, then as something less than human and finally as something utterly non-human.

The twitchy president of CIVIC-TV and a pair of brilliant twin gynecologists - all of these characters and more have been put through the wringer by Mr. Cronenberg and have come out the other side... changed. They're all here tonight at David's party, looking haunted and traumatised. It's not a very happy gathering, but it is the most fascinating and exciting party in town. So whether your poison is bug powder, Mugwump jism or the black meat; raise your glass and drink:

LONG LIVE THE NEW FLESH! LONG LIVE DAVID CRONENBERG!

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