Europa Cinema > 15:30


David Cronenberg


Wednesday 29/06/2022


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

Videodrome is in all respects the ‘manifesto’ of Cronenberg’s cinema: a paradigmatic, multi-layered and shocking film. As disturbing as a hallucination, but lucid and dense like a theoretical essay on the mass media world in which we find ourselves living. Rarely has the cinema reflected so deeply on itself, on its meaning, on its relationship with other media and the bodies of its audience… Cronenberg reflects on the emblematic intoxication which derives from the consumption of televisual images and the physical and anthropological modifications that the spread of TV is producing in the mechanisms of human perception. Thus, Videodrome assumes the unsettling form of a problematic questioning of the reproductive nature of images and the relationship of ambivalent fascination-repulsion that the human eye experiences when confronted by its dreams and nightmares, made real and continually reproduced on the TV screen.

Gianni Canova, David Cronenberg, Il Castoro, Milan 2000


That [idea] came from a lot of my own late-night television watching as a kid, and suddenly seeing signals come through… It was that experience that led me to posit a man who picks up a signal that’s very bizarre, very extreme, very violent, very dangerous. He becomes obsessed with it, because of its content, tries to track it down, and gets involved in a whole mystery… When I started to write that story, it suddenly started to shift. Max began to hallucinate, and impossible physical things started to happen to him. It went even further than in the movie; at a certain point he began to find that his life was not as he had thought: he was not who he’d thought he’d been. I had to pull back finally because it got so extreme it was too much for one film. The writing really did surprise me. If you’re going to do art, you have to explore certain aspects of your life without regard to a political position or stance. With Videodrome I wanted to posit the possibility that a man exposed to violent imagery would begin to hallucinate. I wanted to see what it would be like, in fact, if what the censors were saying would happen, did happen. What would it feel like? What would it lead to?

David Croneberg, Cronenberg on Cronenberg, edited by Chris Rodley, Faber and Faber, London 1992

Cast and Credits

Scen.: David Cronenberg. F.: Mark Irwin. M.: Ronald Sanders. Scgf.: Carol Spier. Mus.: Howard Shore. Int.: James Woods (Max Renn), Sonja Smits (Bianca O’Blivion), Debbie Harry (Nicki Brand), Peter Dvorsky (Harlan), Leslie Carlson (Barry Convex), Jack Creley (Brian O’Blivion), Lynne Gorman (Masha), Julie Khaner (Bridey), Reiner Schwarz (Moses). Prod.: Claude Héroux per Filmplan International, Guardian Trust Company con la partecipazione di Canadian Film Development Corporation (CFDC), Famous Players Limited. DCP. D.: 87’. Col.