David Cronenberg: Author or Filmmaker?
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Despite Cronenberg’s protestations that the film expresses the new freedom and creativity offered by new technologies, eXistenZ seems to be grounded in what non-game players think computer games are like. Ted is allowed to stumble through the game in a way that most games would punish with immediate extinction. ‘Centrifugal’ narratives and their effect on closure The spiral narrative structure that was discussed in the last chapter in relation to Crash, moves a stage further in eXistenZ to become
dismissal.’13 The three conditions that Todorov specifies for the fantastic to exist do occur in McEwan’s and Cronenberg’s flashback scenes, although both are part of a subjective narrative making the status of the vision ambiguous. The hero, though eccentric, is a recognizable part of human society; a sense of hesitation is experienced by a character within the fiction (the protagonist outside a window, fearing he has been be seen); and whilst the viewer may reject allegorical interpretations
repetition and also connects the narrative organization of the film with structures favoured by Vladimir Nabokov. Chapter 5 discusses eXistenZ (1999) in relation to the work of Nabokov in more detail, against a background of Sartrean notions of existentialism. A number of stylistic tropes are examined, including the artist as hero, motifs of game-playing, the use of mise-en-abîme, the significance of naming, self-consuming narrative structures and the markers of authorial intrusion in relation to
they were together, her will was made flesh. Under her lips, his features dissolved, becoming the red sea he’d dreamt of, and washing up over his face, that was itself dissolving: common waters made of thought and bone…’94 American Psycho (an unreliable narrator, sadistic video violence and parallel plot lines) Linda Kauffman is probably one of the few critics to have written on both Cronenberg and Brett Easton Ellis’ 1991 novel, American Psycho, but she misses the potential to make direct
DEAD RINGERS | 107 78. Serge Grünberg, ‘Sur les terres de Cronenberg’, Cahiers du Cinéma 446 (July-August, 1991), p. 38. 79. Leon Whiteson, Scanners: a novelisation based on the original screenplay by David Cronenberg (New York: Tower Books, 1991), p. 135. 80. Herman Melville, Moby Dick (New York: Airmont Publishing Company, 1964; originally published in 1851), p. 264. 81. Ibid. 82. Wood and Geasland, op. cit., p. 33 and p. 223. 83. Ibid., pp. 142-143. 84. Ibid., p. 212 and p. 11. 85. Ibid., p.