Monday, September 26, 2005

Cronenberg, Morentsen, Bello, Harris, Hurt...A History of Violence

Briefly: David Cronenberg's latest film "A History of Violence" is one of the best pieces of filmmaking I've seen in a while. It works well on so many levels as it deals with a social problem. The film itself is lean, there is no excess fat, everthing included is necessary to the story. Questions less of identity and more about social justice, and by extension commerce come into play. Also of note, the film was shot entirely in Canada. It is primarily set in a small town in Indiana, but it could be any middle class small town, not precisely in the U.S.A. either. Having said that, it still seems that the film is critiqing certain American ideals. Also of note is the violent inserts, during the cafe scene a man's jaw is shot off, this is to indicate the consequences of that violence, not to revel in it. The only antecedent to something of this type I can immediately think of is photographs of soliders in military hospitals during World War I (yes, its that graphic). The other point that a number of reviewers have made are the two sex scenes, one very gentle and the other quite rough, contrasting two sides of the same characters. The entire cast was very strong and the pacing just right for a film that addresses some tough social issues.

The team behind this film have been doing a number of press interviews, one with the director was recently printed in the Boston Globe, Maria Bello in the Montreal Mirror, and Viggo Morentsen was recently on Charlie Rose giving an excellent diagnosis of the current state of affairs in the U.S.A.

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