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Sun September 6, 2015

Hardcore Cronenberg

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at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) Screening Room (see times)
Hardcore Cronenberg

In an exciting, three month series, YBCA presents the films of David Cronenberg. Known for provocative and challenging films, Cronenberg is a master of science fiction, thrillers, and horror with a cult following. For over four decades, his work has investigated ideas that disturb identity, systems, and the natural order. With the publication of his first novel, Consumed, and a superb new film recently released, Maps To The Stars, it is time to celebrate Cronenberg with this series of ten of his greatest, and most extreme, works.

Shivers
Thu, Jul 9, 7:30 PM & Sun, Jul 12, 2 PM
In Cronenberg’s first feature film, Starliner Towers is just another high-rise apartment building until something begins to go terribly wrong. A horrifying parasite has taken hold, infecting everyone. Normal people are becoming deranged, committing uncontrollable acts of mindless violence. There's nowhere to hide and no escape from the terror. David Cronenberg’s first feature mostly showed in inner-city grindhouses and drive-ins, and set in motion many of the themes he would continue to explore throughout his career. (1975, 87 min, DCP)

Dead Ringers
Thu, Jul 16, 7:30 PM & Sun, Jul 19, 2 PM
Perhaps David Cronenberg’s most perfectly realized film, this is the unnerving story of identical twin gynecologists—suave Elliot and sensitive Beverly, bipolar sides of one personality—who share the same practice, the same apartment, and the same women. When a new patient challenges their intense bond, they descend into a whirlpool of sexual confusion, drugs, and madness. Jeremy Irons’s tour-de-force performance as both twins raises disturbing questions about the nature of personal identity. (1988, 116 min, 35mm)

Videodrome
Thu, Jul 23, 7:30 PM & Sun, Jul 26, 2 PM
“This 1983 shocker comes about as close to abandoning a narrative format as a commercial film possibly can: James Woods plays the programmer of a sleazy Toronto cable channel who stumbles across a mysterious pirate emission—a porno show called “Videodrome” that features hideous S&M fantasies performed with appalling realism. Knowing a ratings winner when he sees one, Woods sets out to find the producer and quickly becomes involved with a kinky talk-show hostess (Deborah Harry), expanding rubber TV sets, a bizarre religious cult, and—almost incidentally—a plot to take over the world.” - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader (1983, 87 min, 35mm)

The Fly
Thu, Jul 30, 7:30 PM & Sun, Aug 2, 2 PM
A young scientist transforms himself into a fly in an experiment gone horribly wrong. “Cronenberg’s masterful remake of The Fly ranks among the most disgusting films ever made by a major studio… Jeff Goldblum adds great emotional depth to his usual spaced-out otherworldliness. Take away all the big shocks and special effects, and The Fly is about nothing more or less sensational than death itself, a process that Cronenberg realizes with excruciating visceral power.” – Scott Tobias, The Onion A.V. Club (1986, 100 min, 35mm)

The Brood
Thu, Aug 6, 7:30 PM & Sun, Aug 9, 2 PM
A twisted masterpiece of psychological horror, Oliver Reed and Samantha Eggar star in this unsettling thriller about how misdirected rage can literally take on a life of its own. Behind the walls of his secluded Somafree Institute, Dr. Raglan (Reed) experiments with "psychoplasmics," a controversial therapy designed to help release pent-up emotions in his patients. He keeps his star patient Nola (Eggar) in isolation, but as she vents her fury during their sessions, brutal murders befall the people she's angry with outside the institute… (1979, 92 min, 35mm)

Crash
Thu, Aug 13, 7:30 PM & Sun, Aug 16, 2 PM
Take a psychosexual journey into oblivion with James Spader and Holly Hunter in David Cronenberg’s take on J.G. Ballard’s “unfilmable” cult novel Crash. Spader stars as a bored film director who explores new realms after a near-fatal car accident introduces him to a world of sexually obsessed car crash enthusiasts. Unsatisfied by his marriage, Ballard joins Dr. Helen Remington (Hunter) and begins to explore the eroticism of the car and the sexual violence of auto accidents. (1996, 100 min, 35mm)

eXistenZ
Thu, Aug 20, 7:30 PM & Sun, Aug 23, 2 PM
Video game designer Allegra Geller (Jennifer Jason Leigh) has created a virtual reality game called “eXistenZ.” After a crazed fan attempts to kill her, Allegra goes on the run with Ted (Jude Law), a young businessman who falls into the role of bodyguard. In an attempt to save her game, Allegra implants into Ted's body the video game pod that carries a damaged copy of “eXistenZ,” setting in motion a series of experiences that blur the lines between fantasy and reality. (1999, 97 min, 35mm)

Spider
Thu, Aug 27, 7:30 PM & Sun, Aug 30, 2 PM
Released after decades in a sanitarium, a schizophrenic (Ralph Fiennes) moves into a halfway house and retreats into the darkness of his haunted mind. “Spider immediately conjures a sense of self-contained delusion and sustains that mood for 98 astonishing minutes. More poetic than clinical in its approach to schizophrenia, suffused with existential dread, this evocation of psychological torment is both sensationally grim and exquisitely realized.” – J. Hoberman, Village Voice (2002, 98 min, 35mm)

A History Of Violence
Thu, Sep 3, 7:30 PM & Sun, Sep 6, 2 PM
Starring Viggo Mortensen and Maria Bello, with outstanding performances by Ed Harris and William Hurt, A History of Violence is, “a masterpiece of indirection and pure visceral thrills, Cronenberg's latest mindblower is the feel-good, feel-bad movie of the year. The story of a seemingly average American family almost undone by cataclysmic violence, the film takes place in a surreal and mercilessly brutal land, Anytown, U.S.A., that has been repeatedly soaked in blood only to be repeatedly washed clean. The great kick of the movie - or rather, its great kick in the gut - comes from Mr. Cronenberg's refusal to let us indulge in movie violence without paying a price.” – Manohla Dargis, The New York Times. (2005, 96 min, 35mm)

Maps To The Stars
Sat, Sep 5, 7:30 PM & Sun, Sep 6, 4 PM
“Hilariously funny and, dare I say it, yes, pernicious. I love this film more than I love my own mustache.” – John Waters

David Cronenberg’s latest film is one his darkest works, a journey into the black heart of a Hollywood family chasing celebrity, one another and the relentless ghosts of their pasts. The result is a modern Hollywood Gothic, a brutal comedy about the ravenous need for fame and validation - and the yearning, loss and fragility that lurk in the shadows underneath. Starring Robert Pattinson, John Cusack, and, in an amazingly risky and fearless performance, Julianne Moore. (2014, 111 min, DCP)
Hardcore Cronenberg

In an exciting, three month series, YBCA presents the films of David Cronenberg. Known for provocative and challenging films, Cronenberg is a master of science fiction, thrillers, and horror with a cult following. For over four decades, his work has investigated ideas that disturb identity, systems, and the natural order. With the publication of his first novel, Consumed, and a superb new film recently released, Maps To The Stars, it is time to celebrate Cronenberg with this series of ten of his greatest, and most extreme, works.

Shivers
Thu, Jul 9, 7:30 PM & Sun, Jul 12, 2 PM
In Cronenberg’s first feature film, Starliner Towers is just another high-rise apartment building until something begins to go terribly wrong. A horrifying parasite has taken hold, infecting everyone. Normal people are becoming deranged, committing uncontrollable acts of mindless violence. There's nowhere to hide and no escape from the terror. David Cronenberg’s first feature mostly showed in inner-city grindhouses and drive-ins, and set in motion many of the themes he would continue to explore throughout his career. (1975, 87 min, DCP)

Dead Ringers
Thu, Jul 16, 7:30 PM & Sun, Jul 19, 2 PM
Perhaps David Cronenberg’s most perfectly realized film, this is the unnerving story of identical twin gynecologists—suave Elliot and sensitive Beverly, bipolar sides of one personality—who share the same practice, the same apartment, and the same women. When a new patient challenges their intense bond, they descend into a whirlpool of sexual confusion, drugs, and madness. Jeremy Irons’s tour-de-force performance as both twins raises disturbing questions about the nature of personal identity. (1988, 116 min, 35mm)

Videodrome
Thu, Jul 23, 7:30 PM & Sun, Jul 26, 2 PM
“This 1983 shocker comes about as close to abandoning a narrative format as a commercial film possibly can: James Woods plays the programmer of a sleazy Toronto cable channel who stumbles across a mysterious pirate emission—a porno show called “Videodrome” that features hideous S&M fantasies performed with appalling realism. Knowing a ratings winner when he sees one, Woods sets out to find the producer and quickly becomes involved with a kinky talk-show hostess (Deborah Harry), expanding rubber TV sets, a bizarre religious cult, and—almost incidentally—a plot to take over the world.” - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader (1983, 87 min, 35mm)

The Fly
Thu, Jul 30, 7:30 PM & Sun, Aug 2, 2 PM
A young scientist transforms himself into a fly in an experiment gone horribly wrong. “Cronenberg’s masterful remake of The Fly ranks among the most disgusting films ever made by a major studio… Jeff Goldblum adds great emotional depth to his usual spaced-out otherworldliness. Take away all the big shocks and special effects, and The Fly is about nothing more or less sensational than death itself, a process that Cronenberg realizes with excruciating visceral power.” – Scott Tobias, The Onion A.V. Club (1986, 100 min, 35mm)

The Brood
Thu, Aug 6, 7:30 PM & Sun, Aug 9, 2 PM
A twisted masterpiece of psychological horror, Oliver Reed and Samantha Eggar star in this unsettling thriller about how misdirected rage can literally take on a life of its own. Behind the walls of his secluded Somafree Institute, Dr. Raglan (Reed) experiments with "psychoplasmics," a controversial therapy designed to help release pent-up emotions in his patients. He keeps his star patient Nola (Eggar) in isolation, but as she vents her fury during their sessions, brutal murders befall the people she's angry with outside the institute… (1979, 92 min, 35mm)

Crash
Thu, Aug 13, 7:30 PM & Sun, Aug 16, 2 PM
Take a psychosexual journey into oblivion with James Spader and Holly Hunter in David Cronenberg’s take on J.G. Ballard’s “unfilmable” cult novel Crash. Spader stars as a bored film director who explores new realms after a near-fatal car accident introduces him to a world of sexually obsessed car crash enthusiasts. Unsatisfied by his marriage, Ballard joins Dr. Helen Remington (Hunter) and begins to explore the eroticism of the car and the sexual violence of auto accidents. (1996, 100 min, 35mm)

eXistenZ
Thu, Aug 20, 7:30 PM & Sun, Aug 23, 2 PM
Video game designer Allegra Geller (Jennifer Jason Leigh) has created a virtual reality game called “eXistenZ.” After a crazed fan attempts to kill her, Allegra goes on the run with Ted (Jude Law), a young businessman who falls into the role of bodyguard. In an attempt to save her game, Allegra implants into Ted's body the video game pod that carries a damaged copy of “eXistenZ,” setting in motion a series of experiences that blur the lines between fantasy and reality. (1999, 97 min, 35mm)

Spider
Thu, Aug 27, 7:30 PM & Sun, Aug 30, 2 PM
Released after decades in a sanitarium, a schizophrenic (Ralph Fiennes) moves into a halfway house and retreats into the darkness of his haunted mind. “Spider immediately conjures a sense of self-contained delusion and sustains that mood for 98 astonishing minutes. More poetic than clinical in its approach to schizophrenia, suffused with existential dread, this evocation of psychological torment is both sensationally grim and exquisitely realized.” – J. Hoberman, Village Voice (2002, 98 min, 35mm)

A History Of Violence
Thu, Sep 3, 7:30 PM & Sun, Sep 6, 2 PM
Starring Viggo Mortensen and Maria Bello, with outstanding performances by Ed Harris and William Hurt, A History of Violence is, “a masterpiece of indirection and pure visceral thrills, Cronenberg's latest mindblower is the feel-good, feel-bad movie of the year. The story of a seemingly average American family almost undone by cataclysmic violence, the film takes place in a surreal and mercilessly brutal land, Anytown, U.S.A., that has been repeatedly soaked in blood only to be repeatedly washed clean. The great kick of the movie - or rather, its great kick in the gut - comes from Mr. Cronenberg's refusal to let us indulge in movie violence without paying a price.” – Manohla Dargis, The New York Times. (2005, 96 min, 35mm)

Maps To The Stars
Sat, Sep 5, 7:30 PM & Sun, Sep 6, 4 PM
“Hilariously funny and, dare I say it, yes, pernicious. I love this film more than I love my own mustache.” – John Waters

David Cronenberg’s latest film is one his darkest works, a journey into the black heart of a Hollywood family chasing celebrity, one another and the relentless ghosts of their pasts. The result is a modern Hollywood Gothic, a brutal comedy about the ravenous need for fame and validation - and the yearning, loss and fragility that lurk in the shadows underneath. Starring Robert Pattinson, John Cusack, and, in an amazingly risky and fearless performance, Julianne Moore. (2014, 111 min, DCP)
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Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) Screening Room
701 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

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