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Author Topic: [A History of Violence] Sorcerer-esque Goodness  (Read 2085 times)
Eric J-D

Posts: 187

« on: April 12, 2006, 10:05:28 AM »

In much the same spirit as Ron's thread on Warren Ellis's Fell, this one is a bit of gushing about Cronenberg's latest film A History of Violence.  I'll admit up front to being completely fascinated by Cronenberg.  I make it a point to see everything he does whenever possible.  Note: this is not the same thing as thinking that everything he does is brilliant.  In fact, some of it is very uneven.  But even Cronenberg's uneven films are often more interesting and have more going on in them than many directors' polished films.

Okay, so on to the film itself.  This is a pretty stripped-down, spare story for Cronenberg.  If I were to recount the plot, you would probably laugh and think that something this simple couldn't possibly be either very interesting or very good.  It's a testament to Cronenberg's skill as a director and, perhaps even more so, to the power of the actors' performances that they infuse a story this simple with such vitality and intelligence.  Its an unsettling film in lots of ways, not least of which because it's Cronenberg, because it's explosively violent, and because it is Cronenberg doing his Artaud-level-best to make the violence as unsettling as possible.  But it is also far from a simple anti-violence film.  Without giving anything away, I think you can understand some of the reasons behind the violence even though the violence itself remains absolutely repugnant.

It is a fine, fine film.  And it is very Sorcerer-esque.  If I had to state its premise, it would be something like "What will you do to protect the life you have created?"  The answer and the cost it has on the principal characters is what makes it so compelling.

Watch it.



Posts: 128

« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2006, 02:24:04 PM »

It's a great example of Your Past as your Demon. One way of looking at it, his previous career/family/past life is his Demon offering a high level Cover. What I thought was interesting was the family reaction to the reemergence of the past. Well done, and shows what the stakes are for the protagonist.
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