Written on the skin - Page 2

Body horror– meister David Cronenberg forges Eastern Promises

In Eastern Promises, Cronenberg juxtaposes the quest of Anna (Naomi Watts) to find the relatives of a dead Russian girl's infant with Nikolai's search for acceptance within the family of crime boss Semyon (Armin Mueller-Stahl).

On its slick gray and black noirish surface, Eastern Promises doesn't resemble offerings like 1979's The Brood, 1983's Videodrome, 1986's The Fly, or 1996's Crash, films that bound Cronenberg's name to that of the phrase body horror. But one can't help but glimpse the filmmaker's themes in the starry ciphers on Mortensen's form.

So what does Cronenberg think of so-called body horror today? "I think nothing!" he exclaims with a comic snort. "It does seem kind of ridiculous. When you think of it, horror is about mortality, and it's about mortality seen as a very physical event. That's what, to me, horror films are about. To me, the genre is about the body, really."


Opens Fri/14 in Bay Area theaters


Also from this author

  • Women with movie cameras

    Cheers to CAAMFest's crop of female Asian American film directors

  • Spiking the box office

    THE YEAR IN FILM: Looking back at a triumphant year for African American films

  • Not from around here

    French synth-pop giants Phoenix and Daft Punk tap into the alien within

  • Also in this section

  • Flynn and out

    Hollywood-scandal tale 'The Last of Robin Hood' comes up short

  • High fly

    A baseball legend comes to life in 'No No: A Dockumentary'

  • Cruel stories of youth

    'Rich Hill' and 'Me and You' offer very different (but equally compelling) coming-of-age tales