Venice Festival Adds David Cronenberg Master Class

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David Cronenberg

The director, set to receive a lifetime achievement honor at the fest, will also host a screening of 'M. Butterfly,' which he considers one of his most personal films.

Director David Cronenberg, who will be the recipient of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement Award at the Venice Film Festival, will also give a master class at the event, organizers said Thursday.

He will also host a screening of his 1993 film M. Butterfly following his awards ceremony on the Lido on Sept. 6. While not his most successful film, Cronenberg considers it one of his most personal films. The film is loosely based on true events, with the screenplay written by David Henry Hwang, based on his play of the same name.

M. Butterfly stars Jeremy Irons as a French diplomat who in Beijing in 1964 falls in love with a Madame Butterfly singer from the national opera played by John Lone. He sacrifices his own family and career for the singer and the child he is convinced she has borne him. He later discovers she is not only a spy for the Chinese government, but also a man, all the while unaware, or choosing to be ignorant, that in traditional Chinese opera, most roles are performed by men. 

M. Butterly is a melodrama about the self-destructive aspects of illusion and also about metamorphosis, a theme often seen in Cronenberg's works. 

The director's master class with festival attendees will take place in the afternoon of Sept. 5. 

The 75th Venice Film Festival takes place Aug. 29-Sept. 8.