Archive for August 19th, 2016


by Adam Ferenz

August 15, 1986. 96 minutes. Written by Charles Edward Pogue and David Cronenberg. Directed by David Cronenberg. Starring: Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz.

Director David Cronenberg’s reworking of the 1950s B-classic, The Fly, is a tale for the times, at once a straight body horror, yet infused with themes that are very modern. There is a sense of isolation, of dread, and infection, which is ever present. The story is about a man who loses his humanity because of his obsession, because of a plot in which an advanced genetic experiment goes very wrong. The film, as it unfolds, appears to at first be a morality play about not messing with the delicate balance of nature, but is instead a meditation on choice, consequence and chance. In this sense, it can be viewed as a warning, or an examination, about behaviors, in particular, sexual conduct.

The film itself is technically superb, with the makeup being a legendary achievement which has lost none of its potency in now thirty years of release. The acting is very effective, with Goldblum perfecting the role he has continued to play for the rest of his career. He was never better than this film. Neither was Geena Davis, who runs the emotional gamut, as does John Getz as Stathis Borans, Veronica’s ex. A note must also be made of the sets, in particular the telepods, Seth Brundles’s invention, which have an almost amniotic sac shape, merged with the design of a honey dipper. The photography is kept dark but not poorly lit, a world of shadows that never lacks clarity, with the film almost all in medium range. When the film changes to close-ups or long shots, it is very noticeable. What this achieves is a sense of a very controlled yet dangerous world. (more…)

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