Early Cronenberg and the Anarchist-Apocalypse

Anarchist Studies - ISSN 2633-8270
Volume 32 Number 1 (2024)

Early Cronenberg and the Anarchist-Apocalypse
David Christopher pages 12-42


The anarchistic and apocalyptic vein in Canadian cinema, and even in the larger context of Canadian art in general, takes a particular turn with the films of David Cronenberg. Such early Cronenberg films as Shivers (1975) and Rabid (1977) betray an almost prurient desire for the destruction of bourgeois social harmony and the annihilation of patriarchal social relations in the context of apocalypse. Even Cronenberg’s earliest experimental films such as Stereo (1969) and Crimes of the Future (1970) make use of post-apocalyptic settings in building towards his more explicitly apocalyptic early commercial films to explore what might be identified as specifically anarchist social considerations. However, while the themes of anarchism and apocalypse permeate almost all of Cronenberg’s works, these are almost universally overlooked in favour of traditional analyses of his ‘Canadian weirdness’ or his unique brand of body horror. This article looks back to the origins of Cronenberg’s avant-garde anarchist-apocalyptic sensibilities to begin to recover their recognition in scholarship.

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To cite this article
David Christopher (2024) Early Cronenberg and the Anarchist-Apocalypse, Anarchist Studies, 32(1), 12-42

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