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The dystopian drama, which stars Viggo Mortensen, Léa Seydoux and Kristen Stewart, premiered in competition in Cannes last month, where it was an audience favorite. Critics hailed it as a return to form for Cronenberg, who is considered a pioneer of body horror and auteur sci-fi. From his earliest work, in Shivers (1975), Rabid (1977) and The Brood (1979), the Canadian director subverted B-movie horror tropes to tell disturbing tales of psychological torment Later films, including Scanners (1981), Videodrome (1983), Dead Ringers (1988), Naked Lunch (1991), and eXistenZ (1999), use the science fiction genre to provide a subversive critique of modern, technologically-driven society.
Cronenberg’s latter career has been shaped by his collaboration with Mortensen, with whom he has made four films, including A History of Violence (2005) and A Dangerous Method (2011), and Robert Pattinson, who featured both in Cosmopolis (2012) and Maps to the Stars (2014).
This will mark Cronenberg’s second visit to San Sebastian, after his London-set gangster drama Eastern Promises, also starring Mortensen, opened the Spanish festival in 2007.
The Canadian filmmaker joins an illustrious list of Donostia Award winners, who have included alongside Francis Ford Coppola, Agnès Varda, Hirokazu Koreeda and Costa-Gavras, among others.
The 70th San Sebastian Film Festival runs September 16-24, 2022.
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