Features and Columns · Movies

33 Things We Learned From David Cronenberg’s ‘The Fly’ Commentary

Jeff Goldblum in The Fly
Twentieth Century Fox
By  · Published on September 15th, 2011

Twenty-five years after its initial release, David Cronenberg’s The Fly is thought to be a modern classic, a highly effective mixture of science, romance, and terror that pulled in a much greater audience than the horror fans looking for a cheap thrill. Cronenberg has always been a director poised on horror as a higher art, a filmmaker who understands the grotesque and how much it is apparent in real life. Some, myself included, call The Fly his master work, and Cronenberg, a very intelligent speaker about all things, not just his own work, has much to offer the viewers of his film and the listeners of the commentary he provides that film.

So here, without any further ado or buzz or flitting around your head or what have you, the things we learned from David Cronenberg’s commentary on The Fly.

The Fly (1986)

Commentators: David Cronenberg (co-writer, director), gallons and gallons of dramatic goop

Best in Commentary

“It’s about mortality and the way that we deal with it and try to understand it and philosophies and emotional attitudes that we develop towards it.”

“The question of technology and science and morality and ethics is often raised in my movies, and there has been the kind of romantic concept of going too far, that you cannot assault the Gods. If you fly too close to the Sun, the wax holding your wings together melts, and you plunge to your doom. I don’t really believe in destiny, per se, but I think that it is innate in our nature to constantly change everything, to question everything, to try to understand everything, and it will inevitably create good and bad, and I don’t think there’s any stopping it.”

Final Thoughts

Almost as subdued as Christopher Nolan was on his Memento commentary, David Cronenberg lulls you into a calm, forcing you to hang on his every word. Thankfully, most of those words are filled with deep insight into both the concept and execution of this 1986 classic. Without a cast member or fellow crew member to bounce ideas off of, something that works for a lot of the commentaries out there, we’re left with only Cronenberg to speak to us.

This particular commentary benefits from that singular voice tremendously. The director never appears distracted, always seems on target with every thought he wishes to convey to his captive audience. The Fly is one of those films and David Cronenberg is one of those directors where you get the impression another commentary could be recorded with completely new information being brought to it, all of it absolutely fascinating.

Check out more Commentary Commentary

Related Topics: