Blood & Donuts (1995)

Blood & Donuts
Director: Holly Dale
Writer: Andrew Rai Berzins
Cast: Gordon Currie, Louis Ferreira, Helene Clarkson, Fiona Reid, Frank Moore, Hadley Kay, David Cronenberg
Seen on: 24.10.2021

When a wayward golf ball hits Boya’s (Gordon Currie) sleeping place, the vampire awakes from his 25 year slumber and decides to see what humanity has been up to. He hails a cab, driven by Earl (Louis Ferreira) who has a habit of getting into trouble. As Boya gets settled into the present day, Rita (Fiona Reid) who he used to see 25 years ago, feels their connection re-awakening. Meanwhile, Boya saves Earl from local thugs, and as a thank you, Earl brings him to the donut shop he frequents. There, Boya meets Molly (Helene Clarkson) and sparks fly. But fitting into this world as a vampire is not that easily done.

Blood & Donuts is not great, but it does have a kind of low budget and a little dusty charm that makes it rather endearing, even if not everything about it works.

The film poster showing Boya (Gordon Currie) sitting in a bathtub, a razor in hand.
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Falling (2020)

Director: Viggo Mortensen
Writer: Viggo Mortensen
Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Lance Henriksen, Sverrir Gudnason, Laura Linney, Hannah Gross, Terry Chen, Gabby Velis, David Cronenberg, Henry Mortensen
Part of: surprise movie at the Viennale
Seen on: 26.10.2020

Content Note: domestic violence/abuse, sexism, homomisia, racism

John (Viggo Mortensen) is bringing his father Willis (Lance Henriksen) to his home, where his husband Eric (Terry Chen) and their daughter (Gabby Velis) are waiting for them. Willis has trouble remembering things, adding another thing that complicates the father-son relationship. Having Willis over certainly makes John reflect on what it was like growing up with the younger Willis (Sverrir Gudnason) and his mother Gwen (Hannah Gross). And the question remains: can the two find a way to bridge the chasm between them.

Falling is Mortensen’s directorical debut – and it certainly doesn’t feel like a debut, it is so self-assured. But I have a hard time getting excited about what feels like the billionth film about a man working out his daddy issues.

The film poster showing a boy cradling a dead duck. A man is standing behind him with his hand on the boy's shoulder. They are standing in front of a flowery wallpaper.
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Maps to the Stars (2014)

Maps to the Stars
Director: David Cronenberg
Writer: Bruce Wagner
Cast: Julianne Moore, Robert Pattinson, John Cusack, Mia Wasikowska, Evan Bird, Sarah Gadon, Olivia Williams, Carrie Fisher

Agatha (Mia Wasikowska) just arrived in Hollywood and is chauffeured around by Jerome (Robert Pattinson). But it quickly becomes clear that it isn’t her first time in the city, even if she hasn’t been in a while. She gets a job as an assistant to ageing actress Havana (Julianne Moore) who is obsessed with her mother (Sarah Gadon), also an actress who died at a very young age. For that she is in therapy with Stafford Weiss (John Cusack) whose unconventional methods are also selling pretty well as books. Stafford’s son Benjie (Evan Bird) is a child actor himself and has just been released from rehab, despite being only 13 years old. Now he and his mother Cristina (Olivia Williams) try everything to get his career back on track. But things in Hollywood are treacherous indeed.

Maps to the Stars was an interesting look at Hollywood with a stellar cast. It does make me wonder how much of it is actually realistic (since it is touted as such an honest look at Hollywood) but pushing that aside, it is definitely a smart, engaging film.


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The Fly (1986)

The Fly
Director: David Cronenberg
Writer: David Cronenberg, Charles Edward Pogue
Based on: George Langelaan‘s short story
Cast: Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz

Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) is a scientist working on a super-secret project with which he would like to impress journalist Veronica Quaife (Geena Davis). At first she is skeptical but when he actually beams her stocking across the room, she believes him and they start working together – she is documenting his progress and process, he is fueled by her attention. But then Seth takes on a little too much and transports himself. That experiment goes very wrong since a fly got into the pod with him and now their DNA is mixed up and Seth starts to transform.

The Fly was awesome, its classic status fully justified. The cast is excellent, the make-up and effects are pretty great and the story is cool. I was transfixed from beginning to end.



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Nightbreed: The Cabal Cut (1990/2012)

Nightbreed: The Cabal Cut
Director: Clive Barker, Russell Cherrington
Writer: Clive Barker
Based on: Clive Barker‘s novel
Cast: Craig Sheffer, Anne Bobby, David Cronenberg, Doug Bradley
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Aaron (Craig Sheffer) dreams of Midian, the place were all the monsters go to live in peace and forgiveness. He believes that this place is real and his girlfriend Lori (Anne Bobby) is worried about him, that’s why he’s seeing a psychotherapist, Dr Decker (David Cronenberg). But Decker uses Aaron’s lability to blame the murders Decker himself commits on Aaron, pushing Aaron to look for Midian. And he does find it and gets in touch with the monsters living there. But it’s actually not that clear who the monsters really are in this story.

I haven’t actually seen Nightbreed, so I can’t say anything about the differences between the original version and the Cabal Cut, apart from what I heard about it. But looking at the movie without all the history attached to this cut, I did think that it ran a little too long. But it was intriguing and I’m very willing to delve a little deeper into the world.

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Cosmopolis (2012)

Director: David Cronenberg
Writer: David Cronenberg
Based on: Don DeLillo‘s novel
Cast: Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, Sarah Gadon, Mathieu Amalric, Jay Baruchel, Kevin Durand, K’Naan, Emily Hampshire, Samantha Morton, Paul Giamatti, Philip Nozuka

Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson) is young and rich and drives through New York in his limousine trying to get a haircut. But since the president is visiting the city, traffic is pretty clogged up and this takes a lot longer than anticipated. Eric starts taking several meetings in his car but bit by bit his life is crumbling apart, as Eric purposefully loses money and sabotages himself.

Holy fucking shit, this movie is extremely bad. I thought that Cronenberg would outweigh Pattinson’s total lack of charisma, but unfortunately the script is a single excercise in what-the-fuckery that depends on said non-existant charisma and so the entire film is set up to fail.

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A Dangerous Method (2011)

A Dangerous Method
Director: David Cronenberg
Writer: Christopher Hampton
Based on: Christopher Hampton’s play, which is based on John Kerr’s book
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen, Vincent Cassel, Sarah Gadon

Carl Gustav Jung (Michael Fassbender) is a young psychologist much in awe of Sigmund Freud‘s (Viggo Mortensen) work. When Jung gets a new patient, the young Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley), he starts a psychoanalysis with her and he also begins to correspond with Freud about the case. But Jung soon discovers his attraction to Spielrein (and vice versa) and when Otto Gross (Vincent Cassel) encourages him to give in, he can’t really resist.

A Dangerous Method is an almost perfect movie, interesting, not afraid of depth, but never gets too overbearing. Additionally, it has a good cast and it’s entertaining. Chapeau once again, Mr. Cronenberg.

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