Quick-Thoughts: David Cronenberg’s Directorial Debuts Stereo and Crimes of the Future (1969-1970)

Stereo (Tile 3B of a CAFE Educational Mosaic) (1969)

Wow, Cronenberg has been horny since the very beginning. 

Living is only one continuous experience, yet we search for more. David Cronenberg’s directorial debut sure is conceptually interesting: make a (pretty convincing) fake educational video that documents through narration and staged footage a scientific experiment which longs to see if we can intensify the order of human sociology by provoking more polygamous and sexually charged telepathy, therefore acting as thee seed to Cronenberg’s evolution as an explorer of the human’s psychological potential. Its craft has “student film” residue leaching all over it, but at that, residue left by one creatively gridlocked trainee with a likelihood to improve despite how desynchronized his cinematic expressions are of the curious ideas here. Sometimes one ought to experiment via an almost rough draft-like stratagem to learn how they really want to articulate themselves the next time. You probably don’t get a Shivers (1975) and subsequently a Crash (1996) without trying something like this first. 

We all start off overusing slow pans too lol. And black-and-white. 

Verdict: C

David Cronenberg Ranked

“Stereo (Tile 3B of a CAFE Educational Mosaic)” is now available to stream on The Criterion Channel.

Crimes of the Future (1970)

Cronenberg was technically once a feet model. 

Perhaps David Cronenberg’s first real shot in the dark at sequence seduction, where grimy sci-fi sound effect-based scoring transfixes us into the warped physical intimacy between its concupiscent, paraphilic characters, yet there unrolled in quite the slug of atmospheric experimentation. I mean, it isn’t bad mood-work per say, but it’s certainly not good enough to warrant a feature-length worth of it; I got over all the institution hopping by like the halfway point. With that said, this at least functions as another way for Cronenberg to further demonstrate his interest in foreseeing humanity’s artificially and thus dangerously provoked body transformation aims as it leads towards ethical leniences. Case and point, my feelings towards Stereo about apply here in terms of me being happy that test-drives like this were made so the soon-to-be auteur could work things out, but don’t expect to see me watching OG Crimes of the Future ever again. This one doesn’t even have a cute gimmick to it like his last too that my needy mind can latch onto. ;(

And the main character low-key sounds like HAL-9000. “I’m sorry *DAVID* I’m afraid I can’t do that.” Okay, I’ll shut the f**k up now…

Verdict: C-

David Cronenberg Ranked

“Crimes of the Future” is now available to stream on The Criterion Channel.

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