Brandon Cronenberg Knows He Can’t Escape Comparisons To His Father David Cronenberg’s Work

In a way, the two Cronenbergs are actually fairly different as directors. Don’t get us wrong, David and Brandon do touch upon similar themes – the body as a vessel, sexuality as an alluring weapon, and how capitalism takes advantage of these two ideas are shared between them. Then again, they aren’t exactly the most original or untapped themes.

The thing that really sets the father and son apart, though, is the visual style in which these messages are conveyed. While not monochromatic, David’s work is purposefully bland. His environments, while appropriately populated, are shot as drably mundane, but this is actually far from a bad thing. In fact, in films like “Dead Ringers” and “Eastern Promises,” the accepted mundanity of his films’ environments highlight their discomforting strangeness until it just bursts at the seams in the end.

On the contrary, Brandon is more robust in his visual style. While not oversaturated with color, his worlds feel more lived in than his father’s. The problem, though, is that they aren’t actually populated. Through this false sense of normalcy, the younger Cronenberg is able to disarm audiences through his bizarre scenarios that should be viewed by dozens or even hundreds in its universe but aren’t. They’re playing for an audience of no one. Ultimately, the two frame and shoot space is ultimately the major thing that sets them apart from each other, but that might be lost on more casual viewers who only want to watch their films for their weirdness.

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