The Death of David Cronenberg (Caitlin Cronenberg/David Cronenberg, 2021, Canada)

The Death of David Cronenberg is a short film from 2021 directed by David Cronenberg. The film opens with a shot of a man on a bed in a room, under a white sheet. A man in a bathrobe approaches the bed. We see that the man in the bathrobe is David Cronenberg. Cronenberg looks at the man in the bed, who is revealed also to be David Cronenberg, looking sickly and on the verge of death. The film then turns back to Cronenberg, who walks toward the bed. We see Cronenberg himself in closeup this time, looking ghastly and perhaps already dead. Cronenberg leans in on the bed and gives the "dead" version of himself a couple of kisses on the cheek and forehead, and then lays alongside him. The film ends with a shot of the dead and living Cronenberg next to one another, side-by-side. 

While still a prolific auteur with a lot to say, as his last film Crimes of the Future shows, Cronenberg is approaching 80 years old. His wife passed away in 2017. Speaking on the film, Cronenberg reflected on his wife's death - who like the character in his film, also died in his house in a bed. "... it felt like when she died, party, like I died, and I still feel that." Cronenberg left the death dummy of himself in the house for a few days and would revisit it from time to time. The film itself was made as an NFT, and this is an interesting aspect of a film about a metaphorical death. On some meta-level, is the film supposed to be about the death of the artform of the film itself? While seemingly simplistic and lasting only one minute, The Death of David Cronenberg is a very thought-provoking exercise from a great director.


6/10

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