David Cronenberg Talks 'Cosmopolis,' High Frame Rates, And 'Bullshit' Oscars

Cronenberg Cosmopolis Oscars HFR

You're in a good spot, though, now. You're in the Woody Allen zone – you keep your budgets low, you get enough dough back in Europe, the people in the US that dig it dig it and then you make the next one.

That's true, and every time I've tried to play with the studios it's never worked out. I don't blame them or me, it's the mix of sensibilities is not there, we don't fit. Listen, I see some big movies and I think “Oh, it would be fun to make that, challenging.” Then reality sets in and it's not going to happen. Your estimation of where I'm at with filmmaking is pretty accurate.

Cosmopolis is coming to Blu-ray and – OW! Oh, crap, the cat just jumped on me.

I like cats.

Yeah, he's adorable, but very heavy. Sorry, so... Cosmopolis on Blu-ray. Special deleted scenes on here?

I'm usually reluctant to include deleted scenes. They're deleted for a reason. I like the the magic. On A History of Violence I included one or two because they were unusual, but that's the only time I've done that. On the other hand, I really appreciate a good “making of” documentary. I find that film students and film fans who might otherwise never get on a film set might really see something if you, the creator, are honest. Of course, I'm not doing the “making of” myself — I'm too busy making the movie — but I do encourage the reality principle. I don't want the “making of” to just be a promotional spot. Similarly, when I do a commentary, as I've done for Cosmopolis, I don't bullshit. I don't just say how wonderful is to work with or how much fun we had at the wrap party. I talk about the making of that particular moment we're looking at.

Cosmopolis is all green or blue screen and interiors designed to look like exteriors, correct?

Yes. There were hybrid sets with street furniture, then beyond that was all green screen. It's amazing how convincing it is. For me, the best special effects are the ones that are invisible. I've created creatures, like for eXistenZ and other films, but mostly special effects are a wonderful tool for invisible things like that are very convincing that you couldn't have done before.

Have you seen the new High Frame Rate that Peter Jackson used for The Hobbit?

No, though you see it on television all the time. Sports shows are 60 frames. Those flawless slo-mo playbacks with no smearing. I haven't seen The Hobbit yet, but I do believe it would be nice to get away from 24 frames per second — even just to 30 frames per second. I don't have a nostalgic longing to stick with the smearing or strobing you get when you pan with a film camera. It's not nice. It comes from ancient technology that we don't need anymore. Even upping to 30 might get rid of that, I don't know why 48 as opposed to 50 or 60, frankly. In a weird way, 48, as double of 24, is still clinging to the old technology.

I believe Jackson said that he would have done 60 if he could, because James Cameron is talking 60 for the next Avatar, but when they were ready to go this is what was available. The thing that struck me, at least on The Hobbit, is how much you notice the artifice in other departments, the set construction, the makeup, the special effects.

This was a big fear with just HD on television. It's interesting, that there might be an increase in clarity, but to a fault.

Is your next project ready to go?

Finishing my novel right now, and I hope to be shooting Maps of the Stars in May, written by Bruce Wagner. However, it is an indie project which means, therefore, that it could fall apart.

Well, the novel is just you and the page, so you'll have no easy excuses there.

That's it. I'm hoping it is published at the end of next year.

Cosmopolis will be available on DVD and Blu-ray on January 1.

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  • Max says:

    Cosmopolis was definitely on my personal Worst Movies of 2012 list.

  • sharl says:

    And interestingly, on my "Best".

  • tina says:

    its a masterpiece

  • "My prostate is assymetrical." is now something I say whenever I feel an uncomfortable silence creeping up in a conversation.

  • Andrew says:

    I rented "A Dangerous Method" a little more than a week ago (merry xmas!) and watched it on an HD TV and it was ruined by the HD.
    And I don't know if it was because she was paler, or because her acting was so much more over-the-top, but Keira was almost unwatchable for the first 2/3 of the film - everything she did screamed "I'm acting!" and it didn't have to do with her, but with how the HD TV made her and the lighting seem so artificial. Fassbender fared much better, and I don't know if it's attributable to either his role, his acting, or the way he was lit.

  • Cruise Lover says:

    One of the best films I have seen for a long time some good areas for thought and discussion.


    I loved the cosmopolis but I am not sure why director like David work with Robert Pattinosn? he is in a fake relationship and on tabloids everyday like Kardashians! what s going on I cannot stand the guy at all! he is all fake ! life fake love fake he is disgust me the way he cant even go against cheating! its so annoying! I would like to see some serious actor working with rather than famewhore! do anything for money he is ok with even cheating what a great guy is this such a doormat! and he is working with serious amazing director! thats not really fare! whats gonna happen now LA set turn into keeping up with the Robsten! that what this world need! seriously! do not delete my comment there is a free speech in this world!

  • I loved the film "Cosmopolis",My Colleague Chris Felver who did a book "Beat" William Burroughs
    on the cover would agree with me i am sure.We are both from New York and San Francisco.I live
    in Sao Paulo Brasil and love it.Chris and i are trying to do a Beat Generation exhibit in Brasil. Chris
    has more knowledge on the Beats that anyone i have ever known.My son Jay Magidson wrote a
    book just published "In the Image of God" Which i think David would Love, or maybe his son.you can
    buy it on Amazon its surreal not because i am his father but its damm good.Back to Davids Movie
    how can you dislike this film.you have to be a very superficial person.Tina says its a masterpiece
    she is right.David keep working we are both over 70 so what Age is wisdom" i am an old junk
    yard Dog I like all your films you are a thinker.I respect that. Big Hug, Melton