New user? Register here:
Email Address:
Password:
Retype Password:
First Name:
Last Name:
Existing user? Login here:
 
 
Reviews

Videodrome

Jeremy Clarke

Videodrome

Directed by David Cronenberg

BD/DVD combi, Cert 18; 89 mins

Writer-director David Cronenberg's Videodrome (1982 and just released in a stunning, extras-laden BD/DVD package) likewise prefigured the internet. A Cathode Ray Mission provides shelter for social derelicts who sit in their own private booths watching TV screens which look to modern eyes like an internet café. On one level, broadcast media are presented as a vessel for disseminating sex and violence; on another, 'The New Flesh' and emerging technology proves key to human communication and evolution while a conspiracy plot involves mysterious multinational corporation Spectacular Optical. Cronenberg's early underground efforts Stereo (1969) and Crimes of the Future (1970), on the package's second disc, come from the same Canadian hippie counter-culture sensibility that produced Greenpeace and it's not hard to make the connection between HTCTW's anti-authoritarian activists and James Woods' small-time, dodgy cable TV exec pitted against shadowy forces much bigger than himself. From the discs' wealth of supplementary material, it's clear that while Cronenberg had a script written before shooting Videodrome, he never quite felt it finished and was constantly rewriting and changing it on the set right up to the last day of shooting. There are parallels with Greenpeace's journey from anti-nuclear protest to saving whales without knowing where it would all end. One film is documentary, one is fiction. Both, in their different ways, are prophetic cultural landmarks and essential cinematic viewing