early short with all of Cronenberg's future hallmarks
"The Italian Machine" is an odd bit of Canadian television from director David Cronenberg, who would eventually graduate to much more notorious, hard-edged horror fare. This half-hour short follows a group of Three Stooges types (including actors he would later utilize in "Rabid" and "The Brood") obsessed with the art of motorcycling, who flip out when they discover an extremely rare Italian cycle has been purchased by an eccentric art collector; they then hatch a plot to steal the bike, posing as photographers for a techno-savvy modern-art magazine. "The Italian Machine" is a strange, fitfully funny short that, in spite of its light, frivolous tone, offers a window into themes Cronenberg would mine in his future efforts, such as man's fixation on technology, strange characters, and the human body as a vain, degraded vessel for 'art.' Much more tolerable than the director's early student films...
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