David Cronenberg

1999 Lifetime Artistic Achievement (Film)

In his explorations of biological terror, technology and sexual dread, filmmaker David Cronenberg draws into view the uncertainties and dark visions we call carry.

His work is characterized by a keen originality: he is a true "auteur-director" with a uniquely personal body of work. Using shocking special effects and, today, a more subtle exploration of character and motivation, his films invariably reflect his long-standing fascination with the darker side of human psychology and behaviour.

A deeply thoughtful, intellectual creator, he also has a fine and sardonic sense of humour. Commenting himself on the horror/fantasy quality of his writing, he admits that he turns to acting from time to time to keep his wits about him. "On the set... it's like a weird fantasy that I'm actually a director. Acting is an easy way to reconnect."

From his biggest hit, Scanners (telepathic powers of an underground society) to the controversial Crash (car crashes and eroticism) to the acclaimed Naked Lunch (how dangerous writing can affect the writer), his films have garnered awards and critical acclaim worldwide.

An Officer of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de France, this year he chaired the Cannes Film Festival jury, the first Canadian to be so honoured.