Mar 28, 2011
During the Nazi occupation of Europe, many prominent Jewish intellectuals - who refused to be enslaved by a movement that openly declared its goal of making the white world 100% Jew-free - simply committed suicide. German-Jewish intellectual Walter Benjamin, a quasi-Marxist of the Frankfurt school variety, intentionally overdosed on morphine pills at the Spanish-French border after realizing his plan to escape to the United States had fallen to pieces. Austrian philosopher Egon Friedell, who unlike Walter Benjamin, had a deep admiration for European culture (as exemplified in his three volume series Cultural History of the Modern Age), jumped out of his window after two SA brownshirts attempted to arrest him. In the short film (approximately 4 minutes in length) At the Suicide of the Last Jew in the World in the Last Cinema in the World - for the first time - Canadian auteur David Cronenberg cinematically acknowledges his Jewish identity; unsurprisingly, in an apocalyptic scenario where the last Jew (David Cronenberg) dies in the last cinema in the world. Cronenberg created the short for To Each His Own Cinema, a film anthology commissioned for the 60th annual Cannes Film Festival. For To Each His Own Cinema, 36 acclaimed film directors from around the world were invited to express "their state of mind of the moment as inspired by the motion picture theatre." Upon directing the short, Cronenberg's mind was not exactly in the most pleasant of places, as he had just heard Hezbollah's mission statement entailing the annihilation of every living and breathing Jew. For his segment in To Each His Own Cinema - David Cronenberg plays himself - as the last living Jew in the world who is about to commit suicide in a lonely bathroom located in the last cinema in the world. Being arguably the greatest living Jewish filmmaker, it is no surprise that the exterminators would leave Cronenberg to die last. Naturally, Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay were probably the first to go.
As blacklisted Jewish-American scholar Norman Finkelstein mentioned in the documentary Defamation, there is no reason to expect another Holocaust anytime in the near future. Of course, in At the Suicide of the Last Jew in the World in the Last Cinema in the World, the viewer experiences a fictional dystopian portrait of the future - where Zion has fallen from grace and Uncle Adolf's New Order plan for the Twentieth Century has been revamped and finally realized. David Cronenberg, a reform Jew who grew up in an assimilated middle-class Jewish Canadian family, acknowledges in his segment for To Each His Own Cinema, that whether he likes it or not, he is a Jew. As Cronenberg stated upon directing At the Suicide of the Last Jew in the World in the Last Cinema in the World, "I've never thought of myself as a Philip Roth whose subject was his Jewishness, but I've never denied it." Surely, Cronenberg has found more influence in the collected works of William S. Burroughs than in the texts of the Talmud, yet the Canadian auteur has accepted that his self-professed enemies (Hezbollah) will always regard him as a Jew. Cronenberg also stated regarding Hezbollah, "It's pretty interesting to hear someone say our goal is to kill every Jew in the world wherever they are. That means me and my children. It does evoke a reaction.", hence his reasoning as to why he decided to direct such a stark and dreary short. In At the Suicide of the Last Jew in the World in the Last Cinema in the World, Cronenberg's last miserable minutes of life are captured by the fictional future MBT channel AutoBioCam. The commentators in the short treat Cronenberg's suicide as if they are commenting on a college baseball game, throwing out ignorant and ultimately erroneous speculation (describing him as a Hungarian filmmaker) on the director's filmmaking career. No doubt, with this short, Cronenberg is poking fun at the mechanical and automaton-like manner in which contemporary news broadcasters present death and catastrophe in World News. After all, David Cronenberg is the man that brought us the psychosexual Sci-Fi masterpiece Videodrome, a film that artistically illuminates the danger in regards to television blurring the lines between virtual reality and live flesh. Unsurprisingly, Cronenberg directed At The Suicide of the Last Jew in the World in the Last Cinema in the World in a manner that, just like a rundown of the day's sports stats, emotionally disassociates the viewer from the fact the last Jew in the world - who is blatantly in a state of great psychological pain - is about to die. It was certainly Cronenberg's intention that the short - despite showing a man on the verge of offing himself - provokes about the same emotional response in the viewer that a Hot Pockets commercial would.
Despite dealing with mostly horror, science fiction, and supernatural works throughout his filmmaking career, David Cronenberg has unwaveringly revealed his peculiar personality under the translucent veil of his blatantly psychosexual films. One film professor (William Beard) even went as far as to write an unflattering book (The Artist as Monster: The Cinema of David Cronenberg) that proclaims Cronenberg is the true monster of his films. Monster or not, in At the Suicide of the last Jewish in the World in the Last Cinema in the World, Cronenberg becomes both the victim and perpetrator of his own premature demise. In a way, the short is Cronenberg's most revealing work (uncovering his greatest fears), showing the director shoving a phallic-like gun in and out of his mouth in a most humiliating manner - as if he is being forced to perform fellatio on it against his will just seconds before the bullet blows through the barrel - ending his life in a most unwanted deadly climax - indubitably drenching the room in excessive amounts of bodily fluids. Anyways, if somehow an anti-Semitic movement consolidated total power in the world, one would hope that they would at least have the decency to spare master auteur David Cronenberg's irreplaceable life.
Posted by Soiled Sinema at 7:41 PM
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