July 3, 2014

David Cronenberg's NSFW GoPro Short May Be the Most Unsettling Film You See This Week

David Cronenberg's new short film, shot on a GoPro in one continuous take, is certainly NSFW, but depending on your distaste for insects, may also be NSFL. The film is pure Cronenberg, and it's clear that things are a little off right from the get-go as a shirtless woman is being examined by a less-than-trustworthy surgeon who is recording the entire consultation with a camera strapped to his head. (Just as a warning, the thumbnail of the video itself is also NSFW).

The film is part of a David Cronenberg retrospective that is being put together by the EYE Film Institute in Amsterdam:

From 22 June through 14 September 2014, IFFR's friends at EYE Film Institute in Amsterdam present a major exhibition focusing on director David Cronenberg, who acquired cult status with his idiosyncratic films about the relationship between body, mind, technology and mass media. In 1990, IFFR dedicated a retrospective to this Canadian filmmaker.

David Cronenberg - The Exhibition explores Cronenberg's world through the main themes of his films: the physical and psychological transformation of his protagonists.

His short The Nest was commissioned for the exhibition and is now available online for the first time. Through the point of view of a doctor (voiced by Cronenberg himself), a woman (Evelyne Brochu) who has made the request for a very unorthodox breast operation is interviewed. Could the rough-looking operating room actually be Cronenberg's garage?

Please note that The Nest will only be available on the IFFR YouTube channel for the duration of the exhibition until September 14.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cp8IU1PcThQ

If you've seen any of his other works, thematically The Nest fits right in. His use of the GoPro in a single take is an interesting touch and it definitely adds to the uncomfortable nature of the short, as if we, the audience, are part of the examination and are also complicit in what is likely an unnecessary procedure for the young woman. It may just be me, but the blinking electric car charger just behind the woman makes the whole thing feel just a little bit more unsettling.

To read more about the Cronenberg exhibition, head on over to the website here.

Link: David Cronenberg -- The Exhibition

Your Comment

62 Comments

Wtf!?

July 3, 2014

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Theuer

quite boring one.

July 3, 2014

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Petteri

It was quite boring. I tried to listen. I lasted maybe four minutes. Then I found myself daydreaming about dinner while staring at her tit. Then I nearly fell asleep. Then I stopped it.

July 3, 2014

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Imwithya

Made me laugh out loud you did! Probably the best response here to what is either a reely, reely clever artsy-fartsy reel or just a load of rubbish.

July 4, 2014

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Time to get out the pullovers pipes and stroke the beards on this one. Sorry flew rightt over my head. Pointless inane self indulgent are words that spring to mind.

July 3, 2014

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Mark Morris

you don't have to fill up with insults something you don't understand. I personally think it's a wonderfull piece, with exellent acting, but has been unfortunately shot in the most poor possible way,

July 13, 2014

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bestfrontman

This was like in an exercise on how much you can remove from a film and still suck people in. Bad camera, lighting, sound and location, BUT good acting and good dialogue.
Or maybe he just wanted to come away with showing breasts for 10 minutes on Youtube.

July 3, 2014

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BearWithMe

The acting was good??!? How? It was like watching a horrible Casting Couch porno video without the sex. I didn't believe a single second of it.

July 13, 2014

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JM

wth.. my comment wasn't supposed to go here.

July 13, 2014

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JM

I agree. Thought the acting was really solid- she was effectively unsettled, a little mistrusting- and Cronenberg's weird, precise low key delivery made it all so creepy. "I'm a working surgeon" while we're clearly sitting in a concrete garage.

And the script- it takes work to write dialogue so oddly clinical about something horrifying- insects inside your body- while still feeling natural and unrehearsed. Cronenberg rules.

July 16, 2014

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Ryan

The acting was terrible. The whole point of a gopro is it ability to move freely. This doesn't utilise that at all!
No way his most unsettling film yet..

July 3, 2014

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London writer

Whoever told you that a GoPro had to be used in any particular way, only, lied to you.

July 3, 2014

2
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VinceGortho

When I watched this, I just wondered why David Cronenberg would make a movie with less production value than my last piece of whatever short. Like, why would he expose himself in that manner. Instead of hiding behind the great gaffer, DP, editor or film composer his great stature and connections could easily draw in, he put his name on something this raw. It's definitely something any one of us could have, or should have done by now. But we didn't. I think any potential haters should just appreciate it and then go put their money where there mouth is and make something better with this as the inspiration.

July 3, 2014

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Derek

+1

July 12, 2014

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Darren

The best thing about this is that Cronenberg is showing renewed interest in biological horror. I hope he's going to start to explore interesting scientific concepts/metaphors with the same vigour as he did earlier in his career. This did leave a lot to be desired - the concept is its greatest merit.

July 3, 2014

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Cronenberg waxes and wanes. I like all of his movies in some way or another. But he is much better when he is trying to creep you out or disgust you.

July 3, 2014

1
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Calaverasgrande

A good baseline for "stupid'.

July 3, 2014

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Razor

The only reason I watched that the entire way through was because I was not awake enough to hit stop.

July 3, 2014

1
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Pat

Now, the real question is: how much did he get paid by GoPro to commit this nullity?
Second question: could you pay me also to do one, please, and I got to keep the camera and accessories?
I have this fantastic and very original idea: I just planted some sunflowers in my backyard, so I could record 20 seconds every day, at the same time, until they die and decompose. That would make a fantastic existantialist piece about the transitory sublimation of life as seen through the impermanence of sunflowers.
What? Oh, yes, sure, since the message is so important and through the meaningful analogy with the life and death of sunflowers would change the way so many people think about their morning frappucino-grande-latte-mocchiatto-bullshito caffee, I could certainly do it for only $125,000. I'll pay for the assistant.
Shit! I forgot to take my anti-depressant this morning...

M.

July 3, 2014

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Mikhail

Mikhail,

This must be the lamest comment ever. I think you buy your cynic bars at dollar stores.
good day.

July 3, 2014

2
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16

Sour grapes loser if ever I heard one. Why not show us all how it's really done and link some of your own work?

July 3, 2014

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ginser

ginser and 16 (I suppose it's your age...) try to be honest for a moment. If this film was signed Joe Schmoe, I doubt you would be fainting as you do. It's signed Cronenberg, so it must be genius' work commanding respect and admiration? It's the proof that even the best ones can do boring shit sometimes. OK, you go back to you sand box now...

M.

July 3, 2014

1
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Mikhail

Yup ,right on the money Mikhail. "Artists of Note" have been screwing with the unwashed for a long time. No Doubt some of them enjoy throwing a Turd out there to see who'll eat it up. And then lean back and chuckle.
Those of you who go into "In Depth Analysis" of Garbage like this only encourage them. Of course ,If you or I did this we'd be run out of here on a rail. No question about it.
Oh Yes - the Democratization of Technology has created a Tidal Wave of heretofore unrealized Vision & Genius :-|

July 4, 2014

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Dheep'

It's a good idea - why don't you do it?

July 4, 2014

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ron

What is your favorite POV short movie?

July 3, 2014

1
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Laurel

July 9, 2014

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James

It appears there's many transformer fans. I only think he missed the opportunity of having insect noises being heard by the doctor at the end. The woman was excellent . And a padded cell would have made a better location with a flickering fluorescent. But all and all, I like risky, small conceptual pieces by real artist.

July 3, 2014

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kurth

What a piece of crap.

July 3, 2014

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Even though I personally don't really like it, I find it disturbing and meaningful enough for a 10 minute short. Quite dense in what it tells and how. The use of GoPro does make sense to me and the location too, not just for creating an effect, but also to simulate that it might be an amateur film made by a pervert who exploits a woman who seems unaware of what she is giving consent to. Increasing the production values would ruin this film for that reason already.

July 3, 2014

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PaulS.

The concept of this film is appealing to me, but the execution was not engaging and left me unmoved. In fact, I think the use of the GoPro actually held this film back. This film could have benefited from more control over the image, and a POV shot would not have been hard to pull off using a DSLR or other such camera. I can't rip it apart completely simply because the film still makes a statement, but it didn't elicit much of an emotional response from me.

July 3, 2014

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Kalaab

Boring as Hell... Horrible acting. Total waste of time.

July 3, 2014

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RSIsint

Concept was silly, pace was dull, dialogue was clumsy, acting was not convincing, and the choice to use a gopro (something designed for mobility) in such a limited way was unnecessary and frankly quite boring. This was a monumental waste of time for the viewer and Cronenberg alike.

"David Cronenberg's NSFW GoPro Short May Be the Most Unsettling Film You See This Week" Not in the slightest! It doesn't even rank in the list of unsettling films I've seen in my lifetime.

July 3, 2014

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SkittleJuice

This is a quite decent and innovative - "experimental"? - little film. What preceded this moment in the young woman's life and what follows? Anyway, I find many such indie films are often a great relief from the mind numbing memes that the popcorn munching masses demand. And these types of films have nothing to do with making claims to greater intelligence, or snobbery, etc., they have more to do with the very arduous task of finding one's own voice, and discovering new paths through familiar territory.

July 3, 2014

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William

Thanks, refreshing to see a comment on here from someone with a reasonable grasp on filmmaking and cinema. Makes a nice change from the squawking kids with GH4s who seem to make up the majority of the community.

So to try and pick faults in something to try and boost your own ego, much harder to actually make something better.

July 3, 2014

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TruthNuggets

So many experts...I keep forgetting all the film making legends that comment on here.

Getting closer and closer to YouTube level. Stay classy ya'll.

July 3, 2014

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sean

If it were amazing, there wouldn't be so many negative comments. We are all experts on what we like, and as a filmmaker you should pay attention to what people say. Good or bad.

July 3, 2014

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adam

+1

July 3, 2014

1
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Z

snore.

July 3, 2014

1
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james

I don't think that was a single take. I thought I saw edits. I don't think it was my imagination.

July 3, 2014

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Donald: "I don’t think that was a single take. I thought I saw edits. I don’t think it was my imagination."

The multi-cuts you saw was just you nodding off, (much like I was).

July 13, 2014

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jaybird

I loved it. It held my interest every second. I thought the acting was phenomenal in that she very accurately played the part of a mentally disturbed paranoid schizophrenic. I thought the nudity was appropriate in this. It showed her vulnerability and also signaled that she had more important things to worry about. It was also part of how inappropriate the whole scene was (doctor in a garage with an exposed patient). Watching this was an experience.

July 3, 2014

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Elliot Kramer

Cronenberg is a brilliant writer/director...but this is just as bad as when Lynch started shooting his own films with a DV camera.

July 3, 2014

1
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Christian Anderson

Couldn't agree with you more.

July 12, 2014

1
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David

Not a huge Cronenberg or horror genre fan in general but I really liked this little video play ... that is, until the end ... meaning that it has no end or, at least, no ending ... now, "Eastern Promises", that was a bunch of nonsense ... this is pretty good ..

July 3, 2014

1
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DLD

The knife scene in the Turkish bath was unforgettable though! Pure Russian post-soviet mafia barbarism ;)

July 4, 2014

1
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ron

...the anti-haters start to annoy me more than the trolls. What`s wrong with these guys? Are we supposed to love everything so in the end nobody is able to tell if he actually did good work or just mindless crap???

July 3, 2014

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mariano

Cronenberg is a brilliant writer/director...but this is just as bad as when Lynch started shooting his own films with a DV camera.

July 3, 2014

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Christian Anderson

good dialogue, minimalist - i liked it, liked her tits and acting too, sorry to some dumbfux this is boring but not everyone is into transformers now instead of collecting camera gear go and write write and write and make something people instead of a slide show of shots with a premium beat score over it.

July 3, 2014

1
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Magfile

You're welcome to your opinion I guess, even though it makes you sound deranged.

July 3, 2014

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Gary Simmons

The GoPro is an ACTION CAMERA! I admire DC's renegade spirit in using it for a static, dialogue-laden film, but that contradicts too emphatically the powers of this specific camera, and the result is just awful. Should have been filed away as a 'private experiment'.

To the commenter who suggests this is superior to the Transformers and the like: making a popular movie is actually darned hard (or everyone would be doing it) and takes a deep understanding of moviemaking CRAFT. I'm not seeing craft so much in this scrappy, bloated short film that doesn't appear to have given a moment's though to audience. All I see is massively inflated artistic ego. zzzzzzzzzzzz

July 3, 2014

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Z

A minute and 10 seconds and I had to turn it off.

July 3, 2014

0
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Gary Simmons

Psycho! at least most of the comments about this film are. Is it any wonder the world is in such a sorry state that it is in when people who watch it, justify watching it for its art or craft form, when actually they are just voyeurs who have not looked at a breast longer than 30 seconds, yet in this film cannot take their eyes away from it and miss the budding of a flower unfold. This is where the tendency towards racism & other intolerance generate - from a selfish me-centered crass mediocrity mind set.
I rarely watch any short movie as I probably don't want to think about what is trying to be portrayed. I certainly cannot say why I bothered to watch this, except that the headline intrigued me, but I did watch it to the end.
See the change in her at the end, when the 'doc' tells her that he hears the insects - SOMEONE
B E L I E V E S ME!
We are so caught up in our own little world we fail to recognise others, let alone their concerns. We focus on the skin colour, the surroundings, the camera or the breast and miss the PERSON.

July 3, 2014

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Michael Thompson

The GoPro didn't have enough dynamic range or resolution for me. It would have been much better if shot on a Alexa or RED. Needed more explosions too.

July 3, 2014

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I'm sorry Scott but there is no camera system that would have made this interesting. It was not dramatic or well written and I really didn't care that the woman was about to get her breast removed. I would want to believe that the writer wants you to feel for the woman or at least think she was a little crazy for thinking that something was inside her breast. Ten minutes that I can't get back. Plus the minute that it took to write this post.

July 4, 2014

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Shelton

Can you elaborate on your point a little - did you not think she was a little crazy for thinking that something was inside her breast? Because I sure did, and that fed into things beautifully. Maybe you didn't sympathise with her exactly, but if you take a moment to sympathise with her plight it must strike some kind of chord. Here, on the face of it, is an obviously damaged, deeply vulnerable woman being taken advantage of by a creepy, unscrupulous "surgeon" in a location that's not any kind of medical facility. That's visceral horror - "What if that were me in that room?" "What if that were me with bugs crawling inside?" - but it's intelligent horror as well: consider the parallels you could draw between this and, say, a greedy cosmetic surgeon conducting gratuitous breast augmentation. This is rich storytelling, beautifully-acted, lyrically- (if not realistically-) written, and boldly rendered with the roughness of consumer gear. Plus, consider the unsettling implications of the camera's restricted point of view - maybe the surgeon DID hear something scuttling under his stethoscope?

July 4, 2014

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Wow, thought it was obvious that I was joking.
Let me help with this next comment...
*Start sarcasm*
I hope he makes a follow up film but does it in 3D. This short could have really used the extra dimension to get his story across.
*End sarcasm*

July 6, 2014

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Loved this! I thought the lousy go pro footage, angle, lighting, monotone voice, and good acting made it very unsettling. great stuff!

July 4, 2014

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asdf

I interpreted this complete different from everyone else I have seen.

Firstly, everyone is complaining about the terrible production and technically aspects of the film.
It's not meant to be high quality, stylistic storytelling. It's obviously a found-footage styled of film (you don't complain about the lighting in The Blair Witch Project). Lack there-of grounds the story deep in reality.

This is not a David Cronenberg film. This is a video shot by the character of the Doctor.

Secondly, The story.
The character of the 'Doctor' is clearly not a doctor nor a psychiatrist... Did no one really notice that this whole 'appointment' took place in a garage full of gardening equipment? How many doctors appointments have you had in the doctor's garage? also how many doctors appointments have you had when they film the entire thing with a go-pro attached atop their head? Haha.

My interpretation of the Doctor is that he is a perverted, twisted man whom has approached and tricked this clearly delusional woman into thinking he can help her rid of her 'nest'. He is a possible serial killer as I don't see the story heading into another direction beside for the deformation of the woman's body, possible sexual abuse and eventual murder. The film is some sort of trophy/memoriam for the victim.. either that or he just gets off over it.

With this is mind you are very much right, NFS. This is very unsettling.

July 4, 2014

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Nikolaus Bading

Yes, I think that's the most likely interpretation, but I do like that there's (just) enough ambiguity to leave a question in our minds as to whether or not she's right about her "nest", however unlikely that is. Also, I enjoy the creepiness of his final line: "We'll come to get you at 6am." Who's the "we"? I really enjoy that kind of malicious playfulness in short horror films. Chills to the bone.

July 4, 2014

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Hot garbage

July 4, 2014

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Dalmasy

...not even close to "hot".

July 5, 2014

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Tom DoP

Is that a car charging station? Interesting!

July 8, 2014

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Rusty