On the set of his early short film, From the Drain (1967), director David Cronenberg films Stefan Nosko, with the assistance of Sound Recordist Margaret Hindson, courtesy of David Cronenberg: Virtual Exhibition.
You’d expect a bit of strangeness from David Cronenberg‘s student films, but for most of its short length, From the Drain, which he made in 1967 while attending the University of Toronto, seems to deliver strangeness of an unexpected kind. Playing more like Waiting for Godot than his later vivid-to-the point of harrowing pictures like Crash, Videodrome, or The Fly, this thirteen-minute black-and-white film, only Cronenberg’s second, presents us with two fellows seated, fully clothed, in a bathtub. The situation looks bizarre, and as soon as the players start talking, it reveals itself as even more bizarre than we’d thought: evidently, one of these men has mistaken the tub for “the Disabled War Veterans’ Recreation Center.” The conversation continues without its participants leaving their porcelain confines, making a certain kind of sense on the surface but none at all beneath. This feels almost like the realm of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, which wouldn’t debut and begin exerting its vast influence on young comedic filmmakers until 1969. —From the Drain: a creepy comedy David Cronenberg made in film school
If you are a fan of David Cronenberg, then I would absolutely recommend checking Long Live the New Flesh: The Films of David Cronenberg (1986), Videodrome: Forging the New Flesh (2004), and David Cronenberg and the Cinema of the Extreme (BBC, 1997).
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