Archive for the ‘David Cronenberg’ Category

High-Rise: Wheatley vs Cronenberg

By • Dec 15th, 2015 •

Category: advertising, alternate worlds, architecture, Ben Wheatley, brutalism, David Cronenberg, drained swimming pools, dystopia, features, film, Lead Story, leisure, urban revolt, urbanism

High-Rise, Ben Wheatley’s much-anticipated adaptation of the J.G. Ballard novel, goes on general release in March 2016. The first trailer was released recently, bringing excitement to the boil, for not only does the trailer adapt Ballard, it also homages Cronenberg.

In Defence of the Virtual: A Secret History of Ballardian Film Adaptations

By • Mar 12th, 2012 •

Category: alternate worlds, CCTV, Chris Marker, David Cronenberg, features, film, Lead Story, Philip K. Dick, Shepperton, Solveig Nordlund, surveillance

Recently, it was announced that Christian Bale was returning to Ballard, set to star in Brad Anderson’s version of Concrete Island. But given the recent hype surrounding Vincenzo Natali’s proposed adaptation of High-Rise, and the non-appearance of that film, is this destined to be yet another ‘vapourware’ adaptation, joining the long string of phantom Ballard films ‘starring’ Jean Seberg, Richard Gere and Samuel L. Jackson? And is that such a bad thing?

Unique visual complexities: A review of Grande Anarca

By • Aug 19th, 2008 •

Category: Ambit magazine, animation, architecture, Chris Marker, David Cronenberg, film, Italy, literature, medical procedure, religion, reviews, short stories, Steven Spielberg, surveillance, Tarkovsky, urban decay

Jamie Sherry reviews a unique on-screen adaptation of Ballard’s work, now showing on BallardoTube: the Italian animation, Grande Anarca, based on JGB’s 1985 short story, ‘Answers to A Questionnaire’. Can the filmmakers succeed where other, big-name suitors have failed — decanting Ballard’s experimental literary narratives into a more linear cinematic language? Or does Ballard resist classification yet again?

Rick McGrath's Letter from Barcelona: The Exquisite Corpse, An Autopsy of the New Millennium

By • Jul 29th, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, autobiography, Barcelona, David Cronenberg, deep time, dystopia, enviro-disaster, features, gated communities, inner space, Lead Story, medical procedure, Salvador Dali, Shanghai, surrealism, visual art

Transmission from Barcelona stop Having a wonderful time stop I believe in nothing stop Lost in surreal image machine and deep-blue-drenched corridors stretching to infinity stop Startling comma perverse visuals stop Rare books and writing stop Exhibition a raging success stop JGB would be proud stop Full letter to follow comma Love Rick end transmission

Coming Never: Richard Gere as Blake

By • May 7th, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, America, Australia, David Cronenberg, features, film, Philip K. Dick, Steven Spielberg, surrealism, television, theatre

UPDATED. Aside from the films of Empire and Crash, Ballard has had almost all his novels optioned for the screen at some stage. Suitors include Richard Gere, Samuel L. Jackson, Jack Nicholson, David Frost and a trio of scantily-clad cavegirls.

The Car that Ate Bournville

By • Apr 30th, 2008 •

Category: Ballardosphere, David Cronenberg, suburbia, urban revolt, urban ruins, visual art

Out in the suburbs, the Birmingham-based Ballard exhibition Zodiac 3000 draws first blood…

1971: Year of the Drake

By • Apr 19th, 2008 •

Category: David Cronenberg, fashion, features, film, Iain Sinclair, Lead Story, science fiction, YouTube

Here’s a tribute to Gabrielle Drake, a co-conspirator of Ballard’s and the undisputed Queen of both outer and inner space. All hail 1971, the Year of the Drake.

'The Crashman': An Experiment in Applied Internet Ballardianism

By • Apr 8th, 2008 •

Category: censorship, David Cronenberg, death of affect, features, film, flying, Freud, humour, Lead Story, media landscape, Michael Moorcock, music, psychopathology, speed & violence, sport, war, WWII, YouTube

Drawing inspiration from J.G. Ballard’s exhibition of crashed cars in 1970, the Crashman presents his own festival of Atrocity films: aviation disasters set to musical soundtracks.

Simon Brook's Minus One

By • Mar 8th, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, David Cronenberg, film, humour, medical procedure, psychiatry, reviews, short stories, Steven Spielberg, the middle classes

In 1991 Simon Brook made a short film from J.G. Ballard’s obscure 1963 short story, ‘Minus One’. Enjoy this super-rare screening of Simon’s film.

On the phone to Ballard

By • Feb 2nd, 2008 •

Category: Ballardosphere, David Cronenberg, film

The Guardian’s Danny Leigh gets behind our Ballardian Home Movie competition.


By • Jan 17th, 2008 •

Category: academia, David Cronenberg, film, Jean Baudrillard, politics, reviews

A review of two academic articles written by Ben Noys on Ballard’s work, both analysing Ballard’s place in contemporary cultural production. This review also considers Mark Fisher’s recent Lacanian analysis of Basic Instinct 2, in an edition of Film-Philosophy edited by Noys, with its unearthing of intriguing Ballardian parallels.

'Accident' or 'Vulva'? The battle for your Ballardian dollar

By • Jan 11th, 2008 •

Category: advertising, Ballardosphere, body horror, David Cronenberg, fashion, speed & violence

What’s more Ballardian? A fragrance for women patterned after the smell of burnt rubber, brake fluid and excrement? Or a scent designed to evoke the smell of a woman’s vagina? You decide.

‘You are Hochhaus!’: Ballard in Berlin

By • Jan 9th, 2008 •

Category: architecture, Chris Marker, David Cronenberg, dystopia, entropy, fascism, film, gated communities, Germany, interviews, Steven Spielberg, urban decay, urban revolt, urban ruins, utopia, WWII

Dan O’Hara interviews the creators of Hochhaus, a German mixed-media radio play based on High-Rise. Transposing the novel to Berlin in 2013, it references Nazism, notably Speer’s social engineering through architecture, on its way to exploring Ballard’s relevance to speculative models of German life.

Come in no. 27, your time is up

By • Jan 6th, 2008 •

Category: Ballardosphere, celebrity culture, David Cronenberg, Jean Baudrillard

Ballard comes in at no. 27 in the Times list of the Greatest British Writers Since 1945. But one thing baffles me…

J.G. Ballard: The Visual Tribute

By • Dec 28th, 2007 •

Category: Australia, David Cronenberg, entropy, enviro-disaster, features, Lead Story, short stories, visual art

Here’s a selection of visual art I’ve recently come across, all directly inspired by or referencing themes in Ballard’s work.

'Meet you all the way, Rosanna yeah'

By • Dec 14th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, body horror, celebrity culture, censorship, David Cronenberg, death of affect, film, sexual politics, speed & violence

How strange is this: Rosanna Arquette, and Crash, popping up in all sorts of places. This film, Ballard’s story, still packs a powerful psychological enema.

Grave New World: Introduction, Part 1

By • Nov 5th, 2007 •

Category: academia, David Cronenberg, death of affect, dystopia, features, Iain Sinclair, Jean Baudrillard, Michael Moorcock, New Worlds, psychiatry, Salvador Dali, science fiction, surrealism, technology, urban ruins, William Burroughs, WWII

Dominika Oramus reads Ballard’s work as a record of the gradual internal degeneration of Western civilization: though we are not literally living amidst the ruins, the golden age is far behind us and we are witnessing the twilight of the West.

Cronenberg Still Rages

By • Oct 31st, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, David Cronenberg, film

From the New York Post: David Cronenberg, director of the smash “Eastern Promises,” is still mad at writer-director Paul Haggis for naming his 2005 Oscar-winning racial drama “Crash,” just nine years after Cronenberg had his own movie called “Crash,” about wackos who get sexually excited by car accidents. “I’ve told [him] that he was a […]

Jeff Bartlett: Man for Our Times

By • Oct 9th, 2007 •

Category: body horror, David Cronenberg, death of affect, features, film, speed & violence

Some people get their kicks from braving a mob of blood-crazed shoppers to attack the nearest mannequin. But if that doesn’t appeal, why not exact virtual revenge? Keith emails to inform of one of the very best things online: a little feature over at ConsumerReports.org called the ‘Crash Test Selector’. It’s a series of films […]

Crash: It's that Low Mechanical Hum in the Background

By • Sep 26th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, David Cronenberg, film, speed & violence, terrorism, theatre

The resonance of Crash refuses to dissipate. Firstly, John emailed to inform me of a new Washington Times interview with David Cronenberg, in which the Baron of Blood makes this rather curious remark: There’s an eroticism involved, certainly in ‘Crash,’ and I really saw that in the beheading videos. They looked like homosexual gang rapes […]

Dream's Ransom: Steven Spielberg's Empire of the Sun

By • Sep 14th, 2007 •

Category: autobiography, David Cronenberg, features, film, filmography, flying, Shanghai, Steven Spielberg, WWII, YouTube

Christian Bale in Empire of the Sun (more at YouTube.) by Pedro Groppo EMPIRE OF THE SUN (1987) Director: Steven Spielberg Screenplay: Tom Stoppard, based on the novel by J.G. Ballard Starring: Christian Bale, John Malkovich Whereas the sensibilities of J. G. Ballard and David Cronenberg, who directed Crash (1996), seem to overlap and complement […]

Iain Sinclair's Ballard Biography

By • Aug 18th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, Chris Petit, David Cronenberg, film, Iain Sinclair, Michael Moorcock, psychogeography

I reread Iain Sinclair’s BFI book on Cronenberg’s Crash recently as research for my article on the Crash! short film. I have to say I am amazed the BFI ever agreed to publishing it in a series about ‘modern film classics’. Cronenberg and the film take back stage to Sinclair’s virtuoso reconstruction of Ballard’s life […]

Crash! Full-Tilt Autogeddon

By • Aug 10th, 2007 •

Category: architecture, Chris Petit, David Cronenberg, death of affect, features, film, filmography, Iain Sinclair, Philip K. Dick, posthumanism, psychogeography, speed & violence, William Burroughs

by Simon Sellars CRASH! (1971) Director: Harley Cokliss | Writer: J.G. Ballard Starring: J.G. Ballard & Gabrielle Drake I wasn’t satisfied by just writing SF stories, you see. My imagination was eager to expand in all directions.” J.G. Ballard. ‘From Shanghai to Shepperton’, 1982. Leached away by the camera lens, the dimension of depth is missing […]

UFOpunk: Mac Tonnies' Strange Blue World

By • Jul 3rd, 2007 •

Category: alternate worlds, Bruce Sterling, cyberpunk, David Cronenberg, interviews, paranormal, posthumanism, science fiction, William Burroughs

Mac Tonnies is a Kansas-based writer of post-cyberpunk science fiction (recently published by the redoubtable Rudy Rucker). He’s also the author of the book After the Martian Apocalypse, a speculative search for life on the Red Planet, as well as the originator of a ‘cryptoterrestrial’ philosophy that ambitiously seeks to explain (with ‘balanced skepticism’) a […]

Ballardosphere Wrap-Up: Part 6

By • Jun 10th, 2007 •

Category: academia, architecture, Ballardosphere, David Cronenberg, dystopia, film, gated communities, leisure, utopia, visual art, William Burroughs

+ IDEAL, RADIANT In his excellent paper, ‘Ballard’s Banlieue Radieuse’, delivered at the Ballard conference, Owen Hatherley locates JGB’s Vermilion Sands stories as a vision at right angles to the dystopian tradition in which Ballard is normally housed — the Vermilion collection posits, Hatherley writes, ‘an actual, liveable future utopia that is eminently possible’. And […]

Ballardian Cinema: The Business of Strangers

By • Apr 14th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, David Cronenberg, film

Still from The Business of Strangers (dir. Patrick Stettner; 2002). During my search for ghosted Ballard film productions — vapourware movies based on Ballard books — it struck me that I should instead be continuing my search for what Chris Darke terms the ‘Ballardian poetic’ in cinema, which he defines as: …a valuable resource for […]

Collapsing Bulkheads: the Covers of Crash

By • Mar 12th, 2007 •

Category: advertising, Ballardosphere, David Cronenberg, fashion, features, visual art, William Burroughs

by Rick Poynor ‘Missing the point’: (detail, Livre de Poche edition, 1973; design: Atelier Pascal Vercken). NOTE: This is an edited version of an essay published in Designing Pornotopia: Travels in Visual Culture by Rick Poynor, Laurence King Publishing, 2006. First published in Eye no. 52, Summer 2004. Reproduced with permission. J. G. BALLARD’S Crash […]

Gerund Hunting: Amis vs Ballard

By • Dec 23rd, 2006 •

Category: Ballardosphere, David Cronenberg

In an extraordinary, microcosmic review (behold: “the Amis full stop makes itself felt”; “these particular gerunds…allude to the male jaw”; “that dismissive ellipsis”) of Martin Amis’s new book, House of Meetings, Daniel Soar, an editor at the London Review, ends with an examination of Amis’s fixation with J.G. Ballard: Why is Martin Amis so angry? […]

The Politics of Enthusiasm: An Interview with Geoff Manaugh

By • Nov 7th, 2006 •

Category: America, architecture, boredom, David Cronenberg, dystopia, Iain Sinclair, interviews, psychology, Steven Spielberg, utopia

by Simon Sellars Photo by Emiliano Granado. Used with permission. Geoff Manaugh is a writer and essayist whose work has appeared in Contemporary, Space & Culture, Blend, Lumpen, Inhabitat, WorldChanging, the Oyster Boy Review, the Urban Design Review, Subtopia, Vector, things magazine, and The Allen Ginsberg Audio Collection (a short essay in the CD liner […]

David Cronenberg’s Alien — Novelization by J.G. Ballard

By • Oct 25th, 2006 •

Category: body horror, David Cronenberg, features, parody, pastiche, sexual politics

———————————————————————————— Lyle Hopwood uncovers a lost Ballard work, apparently the only surviving fragment from JGB’s novelization of David Cronenberg’s film of Alien, before the studio infamously got cold feet and replaced Cronenberg with Ridley Scott and Ballard with Alan Dean Foster. ———————————————————————————— It’s only the cat, Ripley. Squatting in the brine strained from the ore […]

Inter-Porn Symp

By • Sep 7th, 2006 •

Category: Ballardosphere, David Cronenberg, fashion, film, sexual politics

Over at k-punk a few months back, Mark posted a radical thesis that positioned Basic Instinct 2 as the unofficial sequel to Cronenberg/Ballard’s Crash: [Catherine] Tramell returns in the second film as a camp vamp whose persona owes more to Ballard than to film noir. Catherine is a name Ballard has often used, and Basic […]

'When in doubt, quote Ballard': An interview with Iain Sinclair

By • Aug 29th, 2006 •

Category: architecture, Chris Petit, David Cronenberg, film, flying, Iain Sinclair, interviews, Michael Moorcock, New Worlds, politics, psychogeography, Shepperton, Steven Spielberg, utopia, William Burroughs

Interview by Tim Chapman Iain Sinclair at the Barbican. Photo: Tim Chapman, © 2006. Iain Sinclair has been acclaimed as one of Britain’s most visionary writers and as an incomparable prose stylist. His early writing, notably Lud Heat (1975) and White Chappell, Scarlet Tracings (1987), was rooted in his adopted home of East London. It […]

Atrocity Exhibition/Throat Sprockets

By • Jul 20th, 2006 •

Category: Ballardosphere, David Cronenberg, film, medical procedure

Thanks to TimC for pointing me towards this very positive review of Weiss’s Atrocity Exhibition film, published in Sight & Sound. Interestingly, the fellow who wrote that review, Tim Lucas, also wrote a novel called Throat Sprockets (1994), which was described thusly: “The focused description of scenes, of the medical exactness of throat architecture recalls […]

Critical Mass: Sound, Story and Music in David Cronenberg's Crash

By • Jun 29th, 2006 •

Category: Australia, Brian Eno, David Cronenberg, features, film, music

As part of our Ballardian Music series, Cat Hope looks back at Howard Shore’s soundtrack for the David Cronenberg adaptation of Crash. —————————————————————————————————————- Cat Hope is an Australian musician and academic, based in Perth, Western Australia. Besides performing in the bands Lux Mammmoth and Gata Negra, she also performs solo noise music using bass guitar. […]

‘No-One Dances in Ballard’: An Interview with Mike Ryan

By • Jun 15th, 2006 •

Category: architecture, Ballardosphere, Brian Eno, David Cronenberg, Dubai, Futurists, Ian Curtis, interviews, music, Steven Spielberg, William Burroughs

by Simon Sellars I think I’m the only person I know who doesn’t own a record player or a single record. I’ve never understood why, because my maternal grandparents were lifelong teachers of music, and my father as a choirboy once sang solo in Manchester Cathedral. But that gene seems to have skipped me.” —————————————————– […]

JG Ballard: Autopsy of the New Millennium

By • Jun 2nd, 2006 •

Category: Ballardosphere, David Cronenberg

JG Ballard expert Rick McGrath reports on a Ballard exhibition to be held at Barcelona’s Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona from July 2007 (they’ve resisted the temptation to call it ‘The Atrocity Exhibition’). Have a look at the PDF of the exhibition catalogue (it says 2006 but it’s been rescheduled to next year) — […]

"Thirsty Man at the Spigot": An Interview with Jonathan Weiss

By • May 2nd, 2006 •

Category: academia, America, Australia, Chris Marker, Chris Petit, consumerism, David Cronenberg, dystopia, film, humour, Iain Sinclair, interviews, sexual politics, Steven Spielberg

by Simon Sellars Victor Slezak as ‘T’ in The Atrocity Exhibition Ballardian presents an exclusive interview with Jonathan Weiss, director of The Atrocity Exhibition, the film based on the J.G. Ballard collection of ‘condensed novels’. ———————————————————————————————————————- NOTE: This is a revised and expanded version of the original interview. The new additions are a reworked introduction, […]

Contrite Haggis Backs Down Over Ballardian Naming Furore

By • Mar 13th, 2006 •

Category: Ballardosphere, David Cronenberg, film

Perhaps wary of David Cronenberg’s veiled threat to snare him in a bear trap and skin him alive for dissing JG Ballard, Paul Haggis, director of the ‘other’ Crash, has this to say after his Oscar win (as reported by Martin Knelman): “After his double triumph at the Academy Awards last Sunday, you might expect […]

Crash Wins Best Picture Oscar!

By • Mar 7th, 2006 •

Category: Ballardosphere, David Cronenberg, film

He may have missed out for History of Violence, but he did win for Crash…. In a huge Academy Awards boilover, we witnessed a rare victory for auto-eroticism and body horror, so let’s hear it for David Cronenberg and J.G. Ballard! Congratulations chaps! As was reported last year: David Cronenberg says he ‘hates’ the decision […]

Crash Bonsai Revisited

By • Feb 19th, 2006 •

Category: Ballardosphere, David Cronenberg, sexual politics, speed & violence

Porn sites love Ballard; I swear our site statistics turn up the oddest links. Enough to make a clean-living chap like me faint from shock. A hardcore fetish site called Goregasm linked to our ‘JG Ballard: Live in London‘ article. Upon following the link back, I discovered a corner of the web that was fairly […]

J.G. Ballard's Medical Fetish

By • Feb 8th, 2006 •

Category: Ballardosphere, Bruce Sterling, David Cronenberg, medical procedure, sexual politics

What we’ve hinted at on Ballardian (ie JG Ballard’s Enlargement Phalloplasty; Why I Want to fuck John Howard), some people have ‘examined’ (ooh, err…nurse!) in a…ahem….’full frontal’ (ooh, vicar!) no-holds barred fashion. I picked up from our stats that a site called Fetish Fish has linked to our Bruce Sterling/JG Ballard interview in a piece […]

Cronenberg in Crash Naming Furore

By • Oct 18th, 2005 •

Category: Ballardosphere, David Cronenberg, film

According to the New York Post, David Cronenberg, director of Crash, has this to say about the title of Paul Haggis’s new film, Crash: I thought it was very disrespectful, not just to me, but to J.G. Ballard who wrote the book ‘Crash’ in 1973, which is very famous. In France, they refuse to call […]

Pervscan on Crash

By • Oct 7th, 2005 •

Category: Ballardosphere, David Cronenberg, film, sexual politics

Over at the esteemed Pervscan

J.G. Ballard Live in London

By • Oct 7th, 2005 •

Category: archival, censorship, consumerism, David Cronenberg, dystopia, film, gated communities, interviews, psychology, psychopathology, science fiction, sexual politics, Shanghai, television

Photo by Simon Sellars This transcript was first published in Sub Dee Magazine (no. 5 Summer 1997), a print project I was involved in long before Ballardian. At the time, J.G. Ballard’s career was in the ascendancy after what was perceived to be an average period in his writing. Cocaine Nights had just been released […]

The Killer Inside: Ballard on Cronenberg

By • Sep 27th, 2005 •

Category: Ballardosphere, David Cronenberg, film, non-fiction, psychopathology

From the Guardian, Friday September 23, 2005 “David Cronenberg’s films are full of images that make us recoil in horror. But what we are really trying to hide from is the whole messy business of being alive. By JG Ballard” “Are we all, without realising it, taking part in a vast witness protection programme? Did […]

The Nature of Subcultures

By • Sep 26th, 2005 •

Category: Ballardosphere, David Cronenberg, film, sexual politics, speed & violence

Another interview with Cronenberg puffing ‘A History of Violence’, with a different take on ‘Crash’ – Q: When Crash came out, a lot of people took it literally and thought it was stupid — how can you get turned on by a car crash? — instead of thinking of it as a metaphor. I mean, […]

Cronenberg seduces

By • Sep 1st, 2005 •

Category: Ballardosphere, David Cronenberg, film, sexual politics

Good interview with David Cronenberg in Canada’s Toro Magazine, including a brief exchange on Crash – What happens when you get an actor who says no to a piece of direction? I’ve never had that. There was a problem, wasn’t there, with Elias Koteas doing a gay scene in Crash? Yeah. But he did it. […]

A fantasist and cult doom peddler

By • Aug 23rd, 2005 •

Category: Ballardosphere, cult-doom peddling, David Cronenberg, film

A loon writes…

JG Ballard Meets Helmut Newton

By • Aug 7th, 2005 •

Category: Ballardosphere, David Cronenberg, photography, sexual politics, surrealism

From the Guardian, August 7, 2005. The King of Kinky "Helmut Newton was a photographer who never saw the point of not overstating the obvious: in one infamous shoot, he placed a horse’s saddle on a beauty posing in riding jodhpurs on a bed on all fours; in another the women sported medical corsets and […]

JG Ballard: Delightfully Vulgar

By • Jul 31st, 2005 •

Category: Ballardosphere, David Cronenberg, sexual politics, sport

From Metro, July 25-Aug 2 2005. Silicon Alleys: Machine Love by Gary Singh “THERE’S NO BETTER way to celebrate the inaugural San Jose Grand Prix Champ Car race than to quote legendary British author J.G. Ballard. You see, his 1973 novel Crash is so delightfully vulgar that David Cronenberg just had to finally make a […]