Friday, June 8, 2007

Cronenberg against interpretation

From Cronenberg on Cronenberg, published by Faber & Faber (also publishers of Burton on Burton)

"You can interpret anything in the light of a particularly dogmatic stance, whether it's Freudian or Marxist or whatever. You can rigorously apply these standards to any work or person or thing or newspaper or article, and then judge the artefact as wanting or not wanting. But is that really the function or criticism? I don't think so. Why should I be beaten over the head by what was written about me in The American Nightmare. What Robin Wood says is 'these are good film-makers who are reactionary'. I don't think that's what art's about, or what criticism is about."

"Dissecting my films to look for one little thing is killing them in the process. That's what I resent. That's what special-interest groups do: cut them apart. You hope that people will respond on many levels. If one level offends them and touches a political nerve, they have to be aware that if they focus on that - one element of the film to the exclusion of everything else - they'll have a very lopsided response to the film."

The remark on Robin Wood is one of my favorites since he's a preferred authority amongst Film Studies academics to cite for Marxist purposes. Both he and Cronenberg are Canadian.

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