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Dennis Clegg is in his thirties and lives in a halfway house for the mentally ill in London. Dennis, nicknamed "Spider" by his mother has been institutionalized with acute schizophrenia for some 20 years. He has never truly recovered, however, and as the story progresses we vicariously experience his increasingly fragile grip on reality. Written by
Erwin van Moll <firstname.lastname@example.org>
David Cronenberg received the screenplay from Patrick McGrath out of the blue, with a note attached saying that Ralph Fiennes was interested in playing the part of Spider. After about four pages, Cronenberg had decided that he wanted to do the film. See more »
There is a reflection of a crewmember in the building window while Spider walks on Kitchener street. See more »
I was lucky enough to see a screening of this in Queens, where David Cronenberg spoke about the film afterwards. He may be the most intelligent filmmaker working today. This is such an incredibly complex film, with so many levels of interpretations and ambiguity, which most great films offer an audience. The acting is first-rate and Oscar-worthy in a literal sense, not a bulls*** Hollywood sense; the composition of the shots is beautiful; the story is flawless and engaging; the production design is perfect - I could go on, but you get the picture. What's unfortunate is so many critics are discussing this film as one about schizophrenia, which it really isn't, nor was it meant to be. As it turns out, it is an excellent representation of the schizophrenic experience. But Cronenberg intended it to be representational of the human condition, with all its mysteries, uncertainties and existential anxieties. What was never an uncertainty, however, is Cronenberg's skillful mastery of delivering genius.
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