David Cronenberg's A History of Violence

  • April 27, 2014 · 5:00 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

Comic Book Films:

I grew up in the 80-90s and I am amazed at how much geek culture has been assimilated into pop culture as of late. A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) is one of the biggest shows on HBO right now. You can buy a shirt featuring Tom Baker (Doctor Who) at Hot Topic. Videogames have become a billion dollar industry. The House of Ideas dominated the box office with films like The Avengers. It’s amazing to think that in a few years the general public might know the name of Jesse Custer

Since comic book films are all the rage these days, I thought I would share a few of my favorite films that are adapted from comics.



96 Minutes


David Cronenberg says his title "A History of Violence" has three levels: It refers (1) to a suspect with a long history of violence; (2) to the historical use of violence as a means of settling disputes, and (3) to the innate violence of Darwinian evolution, in which better-adapted organisms replace those less able to cope. "I am a complete Darwinian," says Cronenberg, whose new film is in many ways about the survival of the fittest -- at all costs. –Roger Ebert

A lot of you may have guessed that I have a strong affection for the work of David Cronenberg. Last October I spoke of my grievances with the horror genre since fear like most things is fairly subjective. Cronenberg’s earlier work bypassed this problem by focusing on a universal fear, the human body. It’s terrifying how susceptible we are to disease or injury. Cronenberg would explore these fears but over the years move away from his body horror roots. While Cronenberg’s films have changed over the years there are still two subjects that he likes to explore in all of his films, sexuality and violence. I never understood why sex and violence are such great taboos in film or why one should be more acceptable to be shown over the other. They are both part of our lives and are worthy subjects to explore.  They are also both linked to self preservation which is one of the reasons why I think Cronenberg is compelled to explore the subjects as much as he does.

A History of Violence is based on a Vertigo book of the same name written by Judge Dredd creator, John Wagner. It was loosely adapted for screen by my favorite Trailer’s From Hell guru and fellow lover of Donald Westlake, Josh Olson.  What I found the most compelling about this film is how violence affects the different people in the film. Cronenberg always asks hard questions with his films and I am looking forward to exploring some of those with the group.


This Showing will be a shown at the Headquarters which is smoke free, intimate environment with limited space. Since space is limited I would appreciate some notice (when possible) if you have rsvp'd but are not able to attend the showing. It would allow others to rsvp who might be able to attend.

A warning for anyone with bad allergies, we do have a dog residing here. Hopefully her presence won’t be too much of a deterrent.

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I look forward to seeing you there.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Organizer,

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  • mary

    Ido need a ride -- if anybody is going from SE. I live near Division & 34th.

    1 · April 14, 2014

    • Deborah Helen K.

      Mary, you're on my way if you ever need a ride in the future. [masked]

      April 29, 2014

    • mary

      Thank you very much for the offer, Deborah. Am at last driving again!

      April 30, 2014

  • Damon S.

    Thank you all for coming and sharing your thoughts; We had another solid discussion. While A History of Violence may not be my favorite of Cronenberg's films (that honor goes to Videodrome, Dead Ringers, and Crash), it holds a special place in my heart for being one of the first of Cronenberg's films that I was able to see in a theater. I hope to see some of you back next week as we continue to explore some of my favorite comic book films.

    1 · April 27, 2014

  • Jack

    Got my car back from the shop, so I'll be there.

    April 25, 2014

  • Jesse M.

    Something came up and I can't make it after all. Which is a shame because I loved this movie, love Cronenberg, and Viggo Mortenson is my completely heterosexual crush.

    All right. Mostly heterosexual crush.

    See you all soon!

    April 24, 2014

    • Damon S.

      I'm sorry to hear that you won't be able to make it. I've only shown Videodrome to the group so far, plenty more Cronenberg films to explore with the group. I'm crossing my fingers for a Dead Ringers bluray release.

      April 25, 2014

  • Damon S.

    Happy 15th! I bring good news. http://www.criterion.com/films/28043-scanners

    April 15, 2014

    • Damon S.

      "Coming from David Cronenberg, the originality, wit, preoccupation with technology, and uncompromising carnality of Consumed should come as no surprise. He will probably be accused of every sin that can be invented to compensate for human fear of mind and body. This fiercely original book, with the scope and poetic exactitude of Nabokov's best work, has the power to unsettle, disarm, and finally make the reader absolutely complicit." (Viggo Mortensen)

      April 20, 2014

    • Damon S.

      The trailer isn't for a doc or film. It's just a promo for his upcoming book.

      April 23, 2014

  • Jack

    I have to bring my car in for maintenance on Thursday, so I might not be able to make this Meetup. I'll definitely know and possibly change my RVSP by Thurs.

    April 22, 2014

    • Damon S.

      Fair enough. Thanks for the heads up.

      April 22, 2014

  • Kevin O.

    Couldn't make it to the last one, I believe it was The Killer. Had to work a last-minute, unscheduled shift. Definitely coming to this one!

    April 21, 2014

    • Damon S.

      I look forward to meeting you.

      April 22, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great film and cast. Will try to make it to see again. I saw in theater in Marin County CA where audiences always are respectful.

    April 10, 2014

    • Damon S.

      I look forward to seeing you. Did you see it at a local theater or a chain? That usually seems to make a difference. Sadly all theaters can't be like the Alamo with their strict no talking policy. https://www.youtube.co...­

      April 10, 2014

  • Zara

    Sorry to miss this one. David Cronenberg a favorite of mine, especially Eastern Promises.

    April 10, 2014

    • Damon S.

      Eastern Promises was a solid film. It was actually was his next film after History. It's the only film that Cronenberg talked about directing a sequel (if you don't count The Fly remake he was talking about) but that seems to be in development hell if not all together abandoned. I'm looking forward to seeing his new film Map to the Stars when ever that comes out this year. Hopefully Robert Pattinson will show a little more range in his acting this time.

      1 · April 10, 2014

  • Jack

    Was one of those unfortunate souls who saw it in a theater with people laughing. At the wrong spots, mind you. Weekdays in Chicago were never good for movies. ALSO: My dad might be in town that weekend, but until those plans are finalized, I'll be in the Yes column.

    April 10, 2014

    • Damon S.

      Cronenberg's films seem to be fairly polarizing where some people feel that his stuff is trash or enjoy it ironically. It's interesting to see how people react to certain films. I forgot ask everyone's overall feelings about Man Bites Dog last week since everyone got fairly quite after about 20 mins into the film.

      April 10, 2014

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