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David Cronenberg Calls 'The Dark Knight' Movies "Boring," Says Christopher Nolan's Best Film Is 'Memento'

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by Kevin Jagernauth
August 15, 2012 4:51 PM
209 Comments
  • |

For those of you have queued up to see "The Dark Knight Rises" three or four times now, and are ready to proclaim it as a filmmaking masterwork, David Cronenberg has got a news flash for y'all. “A superhero movie, by definition, you know, it’s comic book. It’s for kids. It’s adolescent in its core,” Cronenberg recently told Next Movie. “That has always been its appeal, and I think people who are saying ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is, you know, supreme cinema art, I don’t think they know what the fuck they’re talking about.” Looks like the director brought some burn sauce with him from Canada on his press rounds for "Cosmopolis."

Perhaps he's still a bit upset about "Eastern Promises 2" getting scuttled, or maybe just the mood in Hollywood these days put him off, but the filmmaker didn't hold back, proclaiming that one of Nolan's earliest movies is still his best. "Christopher Nolan’s best movie is ‘Memento,’ and that is an interesting movie. I don’t think his Batman movies are half as interesting, though they’re 20 million times the expense," he said. And he's not entirely wrong. In fact, in our recent retrospective of Nolan's films, we said that "it could be argued that it's the director's most complete film to date."

However, Cronenberg does admire one aspect of Nolan's expensive tentpoles. "What he is doing is some very interesting technical stuff, which, you know, he’s shooting IMAX and in 3-D. That’s really tricky and difficult to do. I read about it in ‘American Cinematography Magazine,’ and technically, that’s all very interesting," he said, before adding a last jab. "The movies, to me, they’re mostly boring.”

Now, before every fanboy loses their mind and thrashes their keyboards with rage, Cronenberg isn't entirely wrong here. Superhero movies have been, for the most part, been "adolescent" aiming for a big mainstream audiences that includes making sure kids want to see it. We'd agree that something like "The Avengers" -- a big, critically acclaimed earner -- isn't "cinema art." Successful? Hell yeah. Something that goes beyond being mere entertainment (even if highly accomplished)? Not really. But we generally tend to think that Nolan is delivering something a lot richer than your standard comic book fare, but Cronenberg is free to disagree.

But the director isn't Captain Bringdown on everything about the genre, and does say he would like to be involved....just not as a director. “Honestly, as a crew member or an actor, to be part of a huge industrial enterprise like that — ’cause that’s what it is when you’re spending $250 million — would be interesting. And also, it’s not taking up two years of your life or three the way it does when you’re directing. So if you can dip in for two months or three months, why not? And make a lot of money and have some fun. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that," he said.

Anyway, you can see if Cronenberg raises cinema art himself when "Cosmopolis" opens on this Friday.

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209 Comments

  • Akash Vijay | July 28, 2014 1:44 AMReply

    Maybe David should focus a little less on criticizing other filmmakers' movies and make a decent one himself. Cronenberg randomly slammed Kubrick in an interview. I hated that Basterd ever since.
    And I know what he's trying to say. He's having trouble accepting comic book films as serious material. I felt the same way for a long time. But my word, Nolan's Batman films won me over. The Dark Knight in particular explores deeper and darker philosophical themes than most hollywood films dream of. It's a sprawling crime epic that explores the innate flaws surrounding the basic foundations of society and the lies that we have built to hide them. He may like Memento more but does he really have to rant on about the rest.

  • Bits | June 21, 2013 5:59 AMReply

    Though I liked Batman Begins.. TDK and TDKR are incredibly overwrought and rather a chore to get through. I have trouble understanding what age group these movies are made for. They are dark and moody yet very superficial. Lots of comic book movies are like this, consider V for Vendetta for example.
    TDKR felt like one of those movies that are a running gun battle all the way through.

    Personally I prefer the 60's Batman movie starring the only real Batman, Adam West!

  • Manulito | April 14, 2013 4:38 AMReply

    As a huge fan of the batman-comics, I have to say, that Nolan's Batman character ist quiet boring. Yeah, he has his "inner struggle", with these philosophical monologues about responsibilty and what not. But that's about it. Many writhers, like Frank Miller or Alan Moore, played with the idea of Batman/Bruce Wanye actually being kind of mentally ill and being a sociopath. Nolan's Batman is just too slick and a good guy, who maybe takes it a bit too far. But that's not interesting. Burton's Batman was supperior, because Keaton played Wayne as an akward loner, and Batman as a guy, who had a smile on his face, when punishing his biggest foe.

  • Alexander | February 8, 2013 7:46 PMReply

    I just finished watch TDKR the 2nd time. Like my 2nd viewing of Prometheus it confirmed my initial impulses that even though there are sequences I really like within both films, both are boring and flawed. I enjoy big budget cinematic spectacles. I'd liked BB and TDK very much I must admit although I agree with Cronenburg that they not art. The DKR though was bloated and I suffered fatigue watching.

  • mentd | February 3, 2013 11:11 AMReply

    Christopher Nolan is a prime example of the current generation's need to worship something but nothing worthy existing. Memento was mediocre at best and TDK movies are flat out tedious and boring, I had to shut TDKR off after 2 hours of praying for it to end then pausing to realize there was nearly an entire hour more to go. Nolan relies on the lie that just because you film on film you're somehow an auteur. But he can't direct for shit and his pacing sucks, film looks great but you still have to know what you're doing to make it work.

  • Robbie | June 11, 2013 12:35 PM

    MENTD, this is what a normal, amture adult would have said- I don't like the Nolan Batman films at all for these following reason_ _ _ but I get that they're popular. They're just not my cup of tea.

    This is what you said- Nolan sucks is the worst of all time. Anyone who enjoys his movies or movies like that is an idiot and emotionally stunted because I say so. If I don't like something, no one on Earth is allowed to like it without me thinking less of you. I am the end all be all of cinema.

    You really need to get back your grip on reality.

  • mentd | February 3, 2013 11:15 AM

    It's quite amazing how a man given such high budgets can make such boring fare.
    And "kiddie movie" is spot on! I'm so sick of this PG-13 fare being sold as "dark" or "adult".
    The 13 in PG-13 means "13 year old friendly" and Batman is a cartoon character.
    You can put dark in front of that all you want but it's always going to be child fare.
    Films like this want kids to feel like they're seeing something dark, to feel like they've
    seen an actual grown-up movie but they haven't and anyone who is into this crap is
    stunted emotionally and intellectually.

  • D | November 10, 2012 2:46 AMReply

    Agree 100% with cronenberg. Memento is the best movie of the last 20-30 years if not ever, it is a modern classic and a masterpiece of cinema, I've only seen BB, but it was one of the worst films I have ever seen, with awful dialogue, overly long, un-dramatic and lacking in suspense the entire film and the single worst fighting scenes i've seen in any movie of any grade from any era. It had some good acting from Caine and Oldman (who wasn't in the film nearly enough).

    Cronenberg is spot on, Comic books are juvenile, disposable trash meant for 12 year olds. Can we please go back to the time when if you were an adult and so much as mentioned that you liked comic books or comic book films, you were instantly shunned and outcast by your social group, your parents would laugh at you etc... please?

  • Jim | June 11, 2013 12:17 PM

    D, please don't talk about things you know absolutely nothing about. Many comic books are only meant for readers 18 and up. Graphic novels, ever heard of them?

  • Jim | June 11, 2013 12:16 PM

    Many of the comics are incredibly violent and emant for adults. Read some of Frank miller's stuff.

  • Kam | June 11, 2013 12:15 PM

    mentd, the ego on your is absurd. Yeah, Nolan doesn't know what he's doing, that's why he's one of the most criticall and financially successful directors in the world. Great logic. Also, anyone liking something you don't means they are stunted emotionally and intellectually? You really need to get over yourself and deflate your ego.

  • Kam | June 11, 2013 12:13 PM

    mentd, this may come as a shock to you, but movies aren't made purely for you to enjoy. They're made for the masses. The masses don't find the batman films boring. They enjoy the hell out of them and those movies get reviews and make a ton of money. Now if you want to see a really bad, boring film, watch Cosmopolis. Absolutely awful.

  • D | February 15, 2013 12:22 AM

    Full Metal Jacket is one of my least favourite Kubrick films, the first act is fantastic but for me it falls apart after that, probably because I found the battle scenes so unconvincing, Apocalypse Now and Platoon are far superior war films. Blue velvet is a pretentious piece of crap, Akira has amazing visuals but a horribly converted story, the thing was an awesome Thriller/horror, but hardly best film materiel, Toy Story is great, but I just don't consider Kids films as best film contenders, and I don't watch anime, but I do really want to start watching Myazake(?) as I've heard nothing but good things. Love Blade runner and Goodfellas, both exceptional films, but Memento just stuck a chord with me more than any recent film I've seen. There are many better movies from the 60's-70's and maybe a few from the 80's, It is still top 5 in my opinion. Glengarry Glen Ross and Pulp Fiction come to mind as 90's contenders.

  • Bassbait | November 12, 2012 2:17 AM

    Memento, best movie ever? Best movie of the last 20 to 30 years? Far from true in both instances. Well I know it's opinion, but 30 years ago was 1982, so starting from there, we've got Full Metal Jacket, Blue Velvet, Primer, Akira, My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Toy Story, The Thing, Blade Runner, Goodfellas...

    really the list goes on for quite a while. Memento may be good, but it's no Full Metal Jacket.

  • Saurav | October 15, 2012 2:15 PMReply

    Nolan is a great storyteller but Batman movies are more of documentaries :)

  • The Ritty | October 5, 2012 3:54 PMReply

    Love all the nolan/Batman hate...TDKR was pure crap aside from an entertaining last 30 mins...

  • Jordi Panzram | September 30, 2012 9:04 PMReply

    I love Nolan's work, but it is true that Memento is his best film. I really didn't care about Dark Knight Rises. I saw it once and have no intentions of seeing it again, same with Batman Begins. The Dark Knight, however, is the best superhero movie to date.

    And I love Cronenberg. I've yet to see Cosmopolis, I've been putting it off in favor of reading the book first...plus, I can't stand that Twilight fag.

  • Jase | October 15, 2012 1:16 PM

    Batman Begins was the best of the three! Why does nobody ever say Batman Begins? :/

  • Scott | September 4, 2012 3:07 AMReply

    What do you expect from a Maple Leafs fan? Bitter and angry.

  • Scamper | August 29, 2012 4:10 PMReply

    All Nolan's Batman Movies are dumb, right wing trash. George Bush would love them.

  • SRUTADIPTA | November 21, 2012 4:02 PM

    grow up kiddo...n leave watching films...

  • Relic | August 27, 2012 9:17 PMReply

    I have to mostly agree with Cronenberg. I just saw Dark Knight Rises today, and it was more an endurance test than a movie. A few good moments, and Michael Caine was excellent as usual. It tried so hard to be deadly serious and epic, it just bogged down under its own weight.

  • nating51 | August 23, 2012 11:01 AMReply

    Dark Knight Rises is by far the most overrated movie of the decade. It's full of right-wing propaganda (for the children-minded!), anti-occupy rethoric filled with muscles and terrorism; it gives the image of cops always good, unarmed and so brave, and the protestors evil, mad and definitely wrong. By the way, it's even a monumental BORE, as Cronenberg outlined (a pointy mind if there's one), and the fights in the streets seems like a dance rather than a war, not mentioning that ugly wrestling scene from Bane and Batman.

  • Daniel | August 22, 2012 12:42 PMReply

    How has nobody pointed out the irony yet?

    ...A History of Violence is a comic book movie. 0_O

  • Seanieb | September 28, 2012 3:44 AM

    I think it needs to be pointed out that Cronenberg is overrated...

  • maghox | August 22, 2012 7:29 PM

    There is no irony. It is not a superhero movie. I agree 100% with Cronenberg. Nolan is overrated.

  • Ryan | August 21, 2012 10:23 PMReply

    If Cronenberg thinks that comic books are adolescent to their core he doesn't know what the fuck he's talking about. Even if they were, that doesn't preclude them from being "supreme art." Anyone who thinks that comics are for kids hasn't been read one in 30 years. And anyone who thinks that a movie can't be based on a comic book character and be art is obviously allowing an opinion based on ignorance to prejudice them against the work in question.

  • Kam | June 11, 2013 12:19 PM

    More stupidity from mentd. Cronenberg isn't half as successful as Nolan. Cronenberg hasn't made any masterpieces. None.

  • MENTD | February 3, 2013 11:19 AM

    Nolan couldn't make a film like Cronenberg's Scanners, The Fly, A History of Violence or Eastern Promises if his life depended on it. Cronenberg has made multiple masterpieces...
    Nolan sucks.

  • Sho | December 2, 2012 10:28 AM

    You can always tell a crazed fan boy by the flat out insults they spew to anyone who disagrees. It's not that comic movies can't be art, It is that crazed fans have treated them much higher than much better movies. When, in the end, they are common action movies. And honestly not very "artful" at all.

  • Will | August 21, 2012 1:10 AMReply

    Regardless of how well informed Cronenburg is right, and Ad Hominem arguments like, "he's not well informed about Nolan suing 3D or not," or, "He's made some bad films," won't change the fact that he's almost right. I'd also question how well informed someone is when the judge a film's greatness by how many people have gone to see it.

    Personally I thought the first of his Batman films was the best, it had a strong story line and was well paced and edited. The second Batman could have been brilliant, but the editing let it down badly, and despite Heath Leger's incredible performance as The Joker, he was given dialogue in places which just worthy of such fine acting. While Christian Bale does a Bruce Wane brilliantly, his Batman is uninteresting - or boring if you're David Cronenberg. The Batman films are all very good, they are very entertaining. But are they masterpieces? Most definitely not, and I guarantee time will not show them to be masterpieces either.

    Pop culture has elevated Nolan, and created the kind of fans who wouldn't dare criticise Nolan's work in any way, and they will accuse anyone who does of being a hater, when all they're being is objective. Memento IS Nolan's best film, that truly is a masterpiece. Inception was also elevated way above it's station, that was also above average, but still no masterpiece.

  • James H | August 20, 2012 2:39 PMReply

    They're comic book movies about a man in a bat costume...is there anyone seriously claiming they're anything more than popcorn thrillers and a bit of fun? Because that would be hysterical...profound or important they are not!

  • Aaron Lathrop | August 20, 2012 10:51 AMReply

    "What he is doing is some very interesting technical stuff, which, you know, he’s shooting IMAX and in 3-D"

    Christopher Nolan has never shot a movie in 3D; he hates 3D. That right there tells me that he's only half informed and the rest of the article is clear that he is coming to the films predisposed.

  • mentd | February 3, 2013 11:21 AM

    No it shows that Cronenberg actually doesn't like Nolan at all but was trying to find something nice to say to lighten the blow of reality he spoke when he said kiddie fare sucks basically.

  • BT | August 20, 2012 9:09 AMReply

    Let the contrarian hipster backlash against Nolan commence.

    Superhero films are immature, but an ouevre composed largely of films obsessing over sexual horrors is not, apparently?

    "The Prestige" alone is better than 5 or 6 Cronenberg filmographies.

    And Nolan has never made a 3D film. He's been very vocal in his dislike for the format. Knowing what the hell you're talking about is always helpful when criticizing a colleague's work.

  • Kam | June 11, 2013 12:21 PM

    mentd, you really need to get over yourself. Stop acting as if your opinion is always the right one and no one is allowed to like something you don't. You got beat up a lot during your school days, didn't you?

  • d | August 22, 2012 5:01 PM

    That's not quite what I meant. What I mean is that, these days, the word is being used to describe almost anyone/anything "bad." In this case, you're using it to describe anyone who doesn't agree with the supposed "majority opinion." Plenty of smart, non-hipster, and older people dislike the Batman movies. So what do hipsters have to do with anything? "Every single filmmaker active in the Western World today - no matter his talents or artistic ambitions - is a capitalist." This is patently false. Filmmaking in the Western World is a lot bigger than you think it is. And I don't deny Herzog and Cronenberg want to be successful -- sure they do. They want to be able to work with decent budgets. But there are clearly easier ways to be successful than to make things like My Son My Son What Have Ye Done and Cosmopolis. Their goal, first and foremost, seems to be to make good, uncompromised movies. "Casting Robert Pattinson in your movie is a purely financial decision, not an artistic one." I don't think that's true -- of any actor, however limited their skills. I don't doubt that went into Cronenberg's decision (he wanted to get the movie made, after all), but he also happened to be perfectly cast. Have you seen the movie?

  • BT | August 22, 2012 9:50 AM

    You may be right about the encroaching meaninglessness of the word "hipster." If only because their "cultural" and "philosophical" mindset (mind the scare quotes, please) is increasingly becoming the default setting for young Americans. I happen to think that's a bad thing... Thus, while ther term may lose its meaning as the ranks of those whom it describes swell and become the mainstream, those of us born before 1980 - and especially those of us who've seen our childhood neighborhood's beloved mom and pop shops turned into yoga schools and overpriced organic markets - will always harbor an abiding animus for these pampered, ostentatious twits and their ideologies, no matter their impending ubiquity. See? I'm something of an expert on bitter old men myself.

    I became disabused of the myth of the anti-commercial artiste long ago. Every single filmmaker active in the Western World today - no matter his talents or artistic ambitions - is a capitalist. Casting Robert Pattinson in your movie is a purely financial decision, not an artistic one. That's true of David Cronenberg... Hell, it seems it's even true of Werner Herzog. They all want to be successful... why would any of them not want to be as successful as possible? To suggest that Cronenberg is somehow above that seems a tad naive. My own impressions are based on what I observe: He calls superhero films immature, yet he made a (very financially successful) movie about a man who turns into a fly. He calls comic books immature, yet he made "A History of Violence." He condescends to give Nolan the backhanded compliment of "shooting in IMAX and 3D," while anyone even barely cognizant of the industry knows that Nolan is the most vocal opponent of the 3D fad. Maybe the people calling the Batman movies "supreme cinema art" aren't the only ones who "don't know what the fuck they're talking about." Scratch that. He clearly knows what he's talking about, he's just being disingenuous. And bitterness and jealousy are as likely explanations for his attitude as any I have heard or can think of.

    And for what it's worth, calling the Batman films "supreme cinema art" may indeed be an exagerration... But perhaps the same can be said for calling a movie about a mad scientist who turns into a fly a sober meditation on the AIDS crisis. However I don't recall Cronenberg making as big a stink about it. Hmm.

  • d | August 21, 2012 11:07 PM

    BT, the word "hipster" seems to be starting to lose all meaning. People who dislike a movie a lot of other people like are not, by definition, hipsters. I like the Batman movies, but when all over the Internet people are proclaiming that it is, you know, "supreme cinema art," it should be easy to see why there would be some backlash. About Cronenberg being a "bitter, jealous old man," I don't get that impression at all. He just likes to speak his mind in interviews. If his goal was to be as successful as Nolan, he wouldn't be making movies like Cosmopolis.

  • BT | August 21, 2012 2:09 PM

    As a native of a New York neighborhood that's been gentrified beyond recognition by unholy hosts and legions of them, I am sorry to say that I am as knowledgeable as anyone in the world can possibly be about what "contrarian hipsters" are. Am I using the term loosely here? Maybe. But there's defenitely a distastefully familiar whiff of their stink in the air when I hear people lament that a certain filmmaker was so much better back before everybody liked him.

    And of course, it's silly to argue at length about something as ultimately subjective as the merits of one director over another, but my main point remains: For a filmmaker as respected (not by me, but by many) as David Cronenberg to damn a colleague with the faint praise of "shooting in IMAX and in 3D" when said colleague's fight against studio pressure to shoot his film in 3D was so public and widely reported bespeaks a woefully dubious arguing posture. It makes it look like he's a bitter, jealous old man bitching about the works of a younger, more successful colleague. And, well, if it quacks like a duck...

  • d | August 21, 2012 3:51 AM

    Hey Alan, what did I say that wasn't true?

  • Alan | August 21, 2012 3:27 AM

    Hey D, next time you rant, you would do better to read BT's advice: "knowing what the hell you're talking about is always helpful when criticizing a colleague's work."

  • d | August 21, 2012 1:38 AM

    Yeah, because anyone who doesn't see him as "the next Kubrick" or even comparable to Cronenberg must be a "contrarian hipster." Do you know what either of those words mean and don't you think you're using them a bit loosely? And you think this backlash is just now starting? It's been going on ever since fanboys all over the Internet branded The Dark Knight an untouchable classic and started flipping out over any review that failed to acknowledge it as such.

  • rekzkarz.com | August 20, 2012 4:35 AMReply

    Thank you Cronenberg!

    Yeah, that movie sucked it! I thought *ALL* the Dark Knight movies sucked it. Technically some of the shots might've been alright, but the plots, the fights, and the overall scripts sucked. The casting sucked too, with a few significant exceptions who I won't list.

    Flaws? Well, from my blog let me copy/paste my list (WARNING: MOVIE SPOILER):
    "The autopilot doesn't work" x4
    "Only a little kid climbed the wall" and your spine is broken -- oops, you're ok.
    "the bomb will go off" ... in 8 months (!!!) - but luckily, with 10 seconds to spare, Batman saves the day.
    Batman can kick the crap out of hundreds of thugs -- except a girl with a knife...?
    Batman's spine is busted, but hang him from a rope & give him a spinal karate chop? Haya!! Fixed. Thanks.
    Batman's got no cartilage, badly healed bones, scar tissue, etc etc. But put this leg brace on, there -- fine...!
    Batman scares the crap out of baddies -- just put this black eye makeup on...

    etc.
    rekzkarz.com

  • Saurav | October 15, 2012 2:18 PM

    I totally agree with you.

    Avengers movie was anytime better than batman saga.

  • Brad | August 19, 2012 10:24 AMReply

    Admittedly Cronenberg has made some great movies. 'The Fly', 'A History of Violence' & 'The Dead Zone' are all fantastic films. But you must remember he has also made some real stinkers. 'Naked Lunch' & 'Crash' in my opinion are dreadful films. What I'm saying is that taste in films is down to the individual. Some may like those films & that's fair enough. Does this make Cronenberg an authority on what a good film is. No. Because that is his taste. He should know that & be a little bit more respectful. I personally think that Nolan's Batman films are fantastic & according to the Box Office so do a lot of people. So before getting into a battle of opinion. Mr Cronenberg should look at who has watched his films compared to who has seen Christopher Nolan's Films. Not Smart... In fact career suicide.

  • mary | September 1, 2012 5:14 AM

    Career-suicide? Don't be ridiculous! None of those Batman fans have probably seen a one Cronenberg film. When he was asked by Oliver Stone if he minded being such a marginal director, he replied that it depends on how big an audience you want. It is a tragedy that we need 250 mil to create a film.

  • d | August 21, 2012 1:41 AM

    "career suicide." LOL yeah ok

  • Brad's a moron | August 20, 2012 6:12 AM

    You are literally retarded.

  • Freakster | August 18, 2012 9:06 PMReply

    Yip I was just thinking this today in the proverbial shower. All the batmans blow (the latest, less, it's the least offensive in the Nolanblows genre). Incontraception blows. The electromagnetic magician thing almost blows. I hope he's happy because Memento rocks.

  • Wow | August 26, 2012 1:03 AM

    oh my god....do you actually think those puns are clever.

  • Dell_C. | August 17, 2012 4:45 PMReply

    Cronenberg has gotten boring, too, so there. Last one I wholeheartedly enjoyed was "eXistenZ" (1999). But yes, Nolan blows, but for "Memento."

  • d | August 18, 2012 10:29 PM

    "TDKR is boring." -David Cronenberg // "Cronenberg is boring." -dell_c.

  • dan | August 17, 2012 12:13 PMReply

    I think most directors probably feel the same way as Cronenberg, and not because they are "jealous". Cronenberg makes a movie a year and is considered a legendary director in the film community. He ain't starving. Nolan isn't an elegant storyteller, his late films have been pretentious and overblown, and TDKR was, yes, boring. It was long and tedious and noisy and mindless. I'm sorry, it was NOT politically relevant; it was politically intertextual for the sake of fraudulent respectability. Memento was gimmicky, but never less than fascinating. His Dark Knight movies -- along with Inception -- are the cinematic equivalent to looking into an automated factory floor. It's big, it's loud, there are hundreds of shiny machines churning, crunching and spinning. It's awe inspiring, and yet, there is not a human soul to be found. Not one. Nolan has been compared to architect, and I think the comparison is fair and not complimentary. He builds monstrous contraptions with literal layers and levels, and parallel edits like a madman, but cares not for the human beings that may reside there. Cronenberg, an auteur concerned with the convergences of body and spirit, turned The Fly's body-horror veneers into a deeply felt and tragic love story. Nolan will never make anything half as good. People that think TDKR is cinema reaching its potential aren't real students of film. They're comic book fans who love to see a comic book movie made ambitiously and seriously, if ultimately fumbled. If in ten or twenty or thirty years any Nolan movie cracks Sight and Sounds Top 100 movies, I'll admit, "Yes, Nolan fanboys, you were right."

  • Kam | June 11, 2013 12:27 PM

    Dan, you really do live in your own world, don't you. No one in the film community considers Cronenberg to be a legendary director. He's marginal. That's it. His last few films have also been quite bad. Cosmopolis was awful. All the negative things you said about Nolan's films are also a matter of you speaking your mind. You won't find many people who agree with you to say that Nolan's films are awful. There's a reason Nolan is one of the most successful directors in the world, and you're a guy on the internet.

  • Alan | August 17, 2012 9:19 PM

    "I'm sorry, it was NOT politically relevant; it was politically intertextual for the sake of fraudulent respectability." It was written before the Wall Street protests: the story BECAME relevant, not because it attempted to latch onto the current issues, but because it addressed universal themes.

  • Leone | August 17, 2012 9:44 AMReply

    dont make choose because Nolan is gonna lose, especially with the convervative message of TDKR, besides of being a great movie.

  • Alan | August 17, 2012 1:50 AMReply

    I know this might sound a little reductionist, but I think that there are two kinds of contemporary auteurs: those who work within the studio system (Nolan, Fincher, de Toro) and those who prefer to go independently (Cronenberg, Gilliam, Cox). The former get bigger budgets and are offered material first, whilst the later enjoy greater creative freedom: there are benefits and disadvantages to both choices. Both approaches are valid. However, I am increasingly instances in which the more independent filmmakers are whining about the studio filmmakers, attacking their more financially successful peers. Gilliam can’t open his mouth without whining about another director, and Cronenberg increasingly hates on other directors. Earlier, Cronenberg complained about ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ and now he is complaining about ‘The Dark Knight Rises’. He has the right to complain, but his complaints are bizarre and often misinformed about the subject matter. Take his TGWTDT criticisms: “it had a really weird tone to it, that every man in the movie was a misogynist or a rapist, literally.” Huh? There are lots of problems with the source material, but this is not one of them. The two biggest male roles in the first film are Craig and Plummer: both play kindly men who want to PROTECT women, not hurt them. Yes, there are misogynists in the story, but there are plenty that aren’t (hell, even typecast baddies Steven Berkoff, Goran Visnjic and Alan Dale play nice guys). His complaints about TDKR are similarly strange, and involve a poor or misinformed understanding of the material. Nolan has never used 3D, and his assertions that superhero films can’t be elevated smacks of intellectual snobbery. The fact that he can be so misinformed about the visual element of the productions but assert that others are wrong (“I don’t think they know what the fuck they’re talking about”) is an act of ridiculous, misguided arrogance.

  • Alan | August 17, 2012 9:18 PM

    DAFADFDAIFAD, yep, I understand that it was an answer to a question: it was just a misinformed answer, that's all.

  • dafadfdaifad | August 17, 2012 4:12 AM

    Cronenberg was actually explaining why he turned down Dragon Tattoo. It was an answer to a question.

  • Jeff | August 16, 2012 5:10 PMReply

    Yeah Nolan should really stop it with the dumb 3D. My local theater only showed it in 3d and i had to pay 5 dollars extra to see a boring movie in boring 3D, 5 boring dollars ill never get back.

  • Kam | June 11, 2013 12:28 PM

    Just goes to show you how many losers like Jeff are bashing Nolan just for the sake of bashing him. He has has never made a 3d movie, but if an artsy farty like Croneberg says he makes boring movies in 3d, sock puppets like Jeff with say the same thing.

  • Johnny | August 19, 2012 2:21 PM

    Uhhhh, there's absolutely no way you saw any Nolan movie in 3D. No Nolan movie has ever been in 3D.

  • Andrew | August 18, 2012 4:44 PM

    ?Nolan isn't interested in 3D, that's why none of his films are shot in 3D. If you watched it in 3D it wasn't his fault, all movies seem to come out in 3d now-a-days.

  • Sean | August 16, 2012 4:20 PMReply

    If Kubrick or Welles were to say the same thing, would the public/bloggers/fanboys say what they are saying about Cronenberg?

  • Alan | August 17, 2012 1:11 AM

    Huh?

  • Daniel.D | August 16, 2012 2:57 PMReply

    Nolan should really stop filming in 3D.

  • Alan | August 17, 2012 1:11 AM

    That was a joke, Matt.

  • Matt | August 17, 2012 12:55 AM

    To all the people bitching about Nolan shooting in 3D, get your facts right before mouthing off. Not one of Nolan's films are in 3D. He has specifically said he hates 3D and will not make movies in that format. Not one person on planet Earth has seen a Batman film in 3D. For God's sake, wake up! And Cronenberg is just a grumpy old man who making weird, limp movies. Of course he doesn't like Nolan's Batman films. They're making money and his films are not. He's a dried-up director who just needs some publicity so he's slagging off the biggest film of the year to get it. The public have spoken. More people like The Dark Knight films than 'A History of Violence'.

  • ME | August 16, 2012 2:13 PMReply

    A troubling disturbance I notice in reading these comments, many of which fanatically defend Nolan's Batman movies , is that everyone has to be disagreeable to disagree. Opinion is no longer considered a virtue of freedom but a vice of non-conformism. Half of you are ready to crucify Cronenberg just because he stated his thoughts about Comic-Book movies. I think he makes a valid point. I think Comic-Book movies are a parody of life raised to a pretentious degree to impress with their use of artificial elements, i.e., thunderous technology, huge stunts, big explosions, and powerful, burlesque characters (or caricatures, more specifically) that bring to oneself a sense of male/female ego-boosting.

    Let's see how long it takes until I receive my verbal stoning.

  • Kam | June 11, 2013 12:30 PM

    Me, just read mentd's comments about anyone who enjoys the occassional Batman film. He's insulting them all and acting like a pompous brat.

  • Alan | August 17, 2012 1:18 AM

    He has the right to comment, but also the responsibility to comment accurately. Suggesting that Nolan uses 3D makes Cronenberg seem uninformed, which is made worse by his suggestion that people who disagree with his assertion must not know what they are talking about. That's arrogant.

  • M | August 16, 2012 8:39 PM

    Well said.

  • Lucy | August 16, 2012 6:30 PM

    Well said Me! I actually enjoy Nolan's Batman films but I do think what you said has a lot of truth.

  • Brandon | August 16, 2012 1:23 PMReply

    Are you sure youve seen all 3 batman movies buddy

  • Mikky | August 16, 2012 11:53 AMReply

    Cronemberg have every right to say his opinion. By the way they know each other very well so it's not up to us to judge. I think he is right.

  • Katia | August 16, 2012 8:59 AMReply

    Contrary to what Cronenberg said, Nolan has never shot in 3D and is not a big fan of the format.
    I agree with some of the criticism on The Dark Knight Rises, but he (the one passing judgement) should know what he's talking about.

  • Dave | August 16, 2012 9:14 AM

    I can't believe that this point is being overlooked, Nolan's never even shot a film in 3D!!! Cronenberg comes off as a pretentious uneducated moron. Get a clue! www.moviecriticdave.blogspot.com/

  • Mark | August 16, 2012 8:10 AMReply

    Cronenberg is 100% correct. Nolan's Batman films are his least interesting films, and Memento is the best film he has made. The Dark Knight Rises was turgid.

    Great Cronenberg films: Scanners, Videodrome, The Dead Zone, The Fly, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch, eXistenZ, Spider, A History of Violence, Eastern Promises.

    Great Nolan films: Memento, The Prestige.

    Here endeth the lesson.

  • leon | March 5, 2013 10:09 PM

    a lot of people keep saying this but surely everything is opinion, no? surely it is only uninteresting if you PERSONALLY are uninterested in the subject matter. i happen to find a film about a man who is impulsed to dress like a bat and fight crime as interesting as any arty David Cronenberg film.

  • farrel | August 18, 2012 5:15 PM

    Ankur: But Hollywood movies aren't the only movies in existence (not even half). Audiences craving substance ought to consider seeking out independent or foreign films, instead of waiting for Hollywood to spoon-feed it to them.

  • Ankur | August 18, 2012 3:15 PM

    Oh please Great Nolan films: Memento, The Prestige, The Bat Trilogy and Inception are amongst the best. Nolan has finally done what many film goers have been craving for substance. Inception was not just about dreams within dreams and rotating hallways it was about a person trying to get a grasp hold on reality, the batman trilogy have their own ideas spanning from chaos, good vs evil, fear, symbol vs the man. I do agree that Memento was the most interesting since it does it take some risks, however to disregard the Bat Trilogy and Inception, is as one commenter put it intellectual snobbery. And I love Cronenberg as much as I love Nolan, they've both done what many and myself included love to see cinema, elevate a genre from what it should be.

  • Alan | August 17, 2012 9:25 PM

    YEVGENY, I agree: eXistenZ was the first film to feature an ambiguous ending about reality. EVER. EVER. EVER. EVER. EVER. And I think you oversimplified the ending to Inception for the purpose of comparison: whilst eXistenZ concludes with a philosophical question (which is the same question that he asked in the first scene, which meant that the drama went nowhere), Inception finishes with the character making an active choice to live in the present. Nolan makes films about people and Cronenberg makes films about ideas.

  • Yevgeny | August 17, 2012 7:47 AM

    eXistenZ:
    Protagonists enter a virtual reality game, modelled on the real world but in which anything can happen, given that they're in a game. Once in the game they enter a game-within-a-game and mind-bending shenanigans ensue. The film cuts back and forth between the levels of the game, and there's some unexplained 'overspill' between realities which even the game architect struggles to understand. The film ends cleverly with the viewer questioning whether the characters are still in a game.
     (1999)

    Inception:
    Protagonists enter an induced dream state, modelled on the real world but in which anything can happen, given that they're in a dream. Once in the dream they enter a dream-within-a-dream and mind-bending shenanigans ensue. The film cuts back and forth between the levels of the dream, and there's some unexplained 'overspill' between realities which even the dream architect struggles to understand. The film ends cleverly with the viewer questioning whether the characters are still in a dream.
    (2010)

  • Maria | August 17, 2012 5:21 AM

    And how long have they both been working in the industry? Your lesson was silly. I consider Memento, The Prestige, Inception and TDK to be great films and TDKR was still a very good movie if you think it was turgid go to the cinema more often. I guess these days if you need attention just mention Nolan, seems to work.

  • Alan | August 17, 2012 1:19 AM

    "Cronenberg is 100% correct."

    " "What he is doing is some very interesting technical stuff, which, you know, he’s shooting IMAX and in 3-D. That’s really tricky and difficult to do. "

    Yep, 100%.

  • Tmi | August 16, 2012 8:05 AMReply

    I don't know why I say this, but I never understood why people think, that to give a critical comment into someone's work has to mean they have to 'do it better' themselves. That's utter bullshit. Why is everyone now comparing Cronenberg and Nolan here? Why is he not allowed his opinion? What does f.ex. Cosmopolis have anything to do with him thinking of Nolan as a bore?

    I am glad someone gives a comment, because normally no-one does. And to say: "I think people who are saying ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is, you know, supreme cinema art, I don’t think they know what the fuck they’re talking about.” is just fine, because that's pretty much the truth.

    And now that I am labeled as a Cronenberg fanboy, I will say, I am not. Oh, and the Dark Knight Rises really was the ultimate bore. The hero's journey was there, nothing new, nothing surprising, nothing brave. If we call that ultimate cinema art, I guess someone has to reinvent the whole medium.

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