Spider
 
 

Dear FiLM Club,

I have often said that the interview process has become part of the process of film-making itself for me. It is in those many interviewsliterally thousands since last May, when Spider was first shown at the Cannes Film Festivalthat I am forced to become articulate about things that were almost entirely intuitive when I did them. The first question I am most often asked is, why did you want to make the movie Spider? And my answer inevitably is: Because on some profound level, I am Spider. I then go into a fairly abstract discussion about existential reality and the novels of Samuel Beckett.

Little did I know how many times, and in what a concrete way, I would be playing the role of Spider myself when I undertook my 9-cities-in-9-days tour of America for Sony Pictures Classics. Many people have told me how much they love the first, flowing shot of Spider, which ends with Spider himself, played by Ralph Fiennes, descending gingerly from a train in London onto the empty platform. You know right away that the man is out of place, confused, and troubled.

 

 

And now I get off the plane, and like Spider I am carrying only the clothes on my back and one small, chaotically crammed suitcase which contains all my worldly possessions. I am confused, mumbling to myself, distracted by the jumble of people around me, not sure where to go, not sure which city I’m in, not convinced I really speak the language, hopeful that I'll actually hook up with the one person who can guide me. It is the ultimate Spider experience, the closest I've ever come to him, and I have Spider himself to thank for it.


Director's Chair
While shooting Spider in Toronto, David Cronenberg took a photo of a rusty old chair that became a focal point for him and the crew: "I love the rusty screws unwinding from the blotchy chrome seat-back stays. It could almost have been a piece of set decoration transported from the decaying gloom of Spider's 1950s London into the brilliant sunshine of August, Toronto, 2001." See photo

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