Tag: david cronenberg

Eastern Promises, 2007

Eastern Promises directed by David Cronenberg is a 2007 story that focuses strongly on the intricacies of life in a Russian mafia family. It tells the story of a young British nurse named Anna (Naomi Watts) who comes across an orphaned baby, a discovery that threatens the patriarch (Armin Mueller-Stahl) of a London-based Russian crime syndicate. Viggo Mortensen plays a Russian driver named Nikolai, appearing on-screen with extensive and detailed criminal tattoos covering much of his body; the effect was reportedly so realistic that one day after filming he frightened people at a local bar because the tattoos were visible.

When Anna discovers a diary kept by a young woman named Tatiana, who is connected with the Russian family, it endangers both her life and that of the infant’s. It is revealed that what likely happened was the Russian patriarch’s son Kirill (Vincent Cassel) fathered the child after raping Tatiana; surrounding the dramatic story is the life of Nikolai as he attempts to ascend into ever higher levels of the mafia family.

The acting is of the highest caliber and, as expected, Cronenberg’s direction is nearly flawless. The twin plots of the film complement each other well and the realism is said to be extremely accurate. Mortensen spent time with Russian convicts to learn about their culture and how extensive tattooing often tells the life story of Russian criminals. The supporting cast leaves nothing to be desired and the pace of the movie leaves the viewer clutching the arms of their chairs with tension as the stories race to their thrilling conclusion. Eastern Promises may not have the mind-warping changes found in his earlier films, but in this reviewer’s opinion, it is still one of the three best pictures he has ever directed. What more is there to say? Now that you know a movie of this quality awaits you there is only one thing left to do: go watch it!

eXistenZ, 1999

eXistenZ is director David Cronenberg‘s 1999 film that is his strangest and most disturbing yet. It was overshadowed during its release, but has picked up a bit of a cult fan-base since it was released on DVD.

A world-famous, celebrity virtual reality game designer named Allegra Geller (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is unveiling a demonstration of her newest game at a private, focus group meeting. The game works off of a biological, non-sentient machine called a pod, which plugs into a bio-port, looking very much like an organic opening at the base of a person’s spine. Ted Pikul (Jude Law) is a marketing guy from the game’s company and when the game session is about to begin, a late-comer unveils a weapon made entirely from bone and which shoots teeth (thus rendering it invisible to metal detectors) and attempts to assassinate Geller, Pikul is the one who rushes her from the scene, injured, but alive and the two of them try to unravel what is going on and whether or not the game has survived the attack also.