DAVID CRONENBERG – “STEREO”/”CRIMES OF THE FUTURE (1969/70)
It was quite a big deal to me and all the other film geeks I know that a few years ago, the Blue Underground DVD label released a special edition version of David Cronenbergâ€™s 1978 car-racing drama â€œFast Companyâ€ which also included on a separate disc his first two feature films, â€œStereoâ€ and â€œCrimes of the Futureâ€, which up until had never been available on DVD or VHS (â€Crimesâ€ actually had been included on the Criterion Collection laserdisc of â€œDead Ringersâ€, but how many people could actually afford the ridiculous prices those players and discs cost way back when?).
The two films, while short on narrative, both bear the unmistakable Cronenberg stylistic stamp: body horror, vaguely â€œofficialâ€ ficitional clinics, and a certain brand hazy dream logic that is unique to the man’s work; “Stereoâ€ just might be my favorite film in the Cronenberg canon altogether. Both films have no spoken dialogue from the characters: â€œStereoâ€ features just voiceovers from several different omniscient narrators, while â€œCrimesâ€ intersperses narration snippets with some electronic knob-twiddling and ambient sound effects. In each case, the narration is filled to the brim with pseudo-scientific jargon and detached delivery.
Recently, I was able to grab the audio tracks from the two films and make MP3s out of them. While the films both run about 65 minutes each, Iâ€™ve condensed the audio tracks to about half that length, because both films feature extended periods of silence inbetween the narration, as a stylistic choice.