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David Cronenberg: The Experience of Filming in Greece

David Cronenberg Greece
David Cronenberg spoke about his filming experience in Greece. Credit: Canadian Film Centre (CC by 2.0)

Renowned Canadian David Cronenberg, a film director, spoke recently about his experience of filming his latest and highly anticipated movie “Crimes Of The Future” in Greece.

Cronenberg, one of the principal originators of what is commonly known as the body horror genre, shot the film in Greece in the summer of 2021.

The upcoming movie, starring among others, Viggo Mortensen, Lea Seydoux, and Kristen Stewart, signals the return of the renowned director to his sci-fi and body-horror roots.

The story, written in 2000, takes place in a future world where the post-humanist “Accelerated Evolution Syndrome” spreads rapidly, causing mixed reactions through the population, as some accept the infinite possibilities of it while others continuously attempt to suppress it.

Speaking to the Greek Film Commission, Cronenberg admits that when he first wrote the screenplay for Crimes of The Future two decades ago, its location was ambiguous.

David Cronenberg: The film could not have come together anywhere else

“But as the film came to fruition, we began exploring the opportunity to shoot in Greece,” he says.

“Looking at the unique buildings and exteriors in and around Athens, the incredible textures of an ancient city, the hypnotic presence of an ancient sea, my vision for the film suddenly coalesced,” he adds.

“I fully embraced the gifts that Athens was presenting to me, and now it seems the film could not have come together anywhere else. And among those Athenian gifts were the passionate and diligent Greek cast and crew, who were a pleasure to work with. They went over and above to make us feel welcomed, and their hard work contributed to every frame of the final picture,” says David Cronenberg.

Cronenberg’s films explore visceral bodily transformation, infection, technology, and the intertwining of the psychological with the physical. He is best known for exploring these themes through sci-fi horror films, such as Shivers (1975), Scanners (1981), Videodrome (1983), and The Fly (1986), though he has also worked in multiple genres throughout his career.

In the 2000s and 2010s, Cronenberg collaborated on several films with Viggo Mortensen, including A History of Violence (2005), Eastern Promises (2007), and A Dangerous Method (2011).

The Greek production company Argonauts S.A., which had cooperated with Robert Lantos, the producer of the film, participated in the project as a minority co-producer and Production Service company once before in the past.

Referring to the experience of filming in Greece, Robert Lantos says: “Of course, as it turns out, Greek technicians and crew are of very high standard. We had a wonderful mix of Canadians and Greeks in the team! It was a great experience for all of our crew and I believe the Greek crew enjoyed the experience as well!”

The movie was supported by the Minority Program of the Greek Film Centre.

Greece is becoming the Hollywood of Europe, emerging as the movie industry’s favorite European film destination for high-end productions.

Snubbing the uncertainty that the global pandemic crisis has brought upon the international filming industry, the southeastern European country has been seeing Hollywood film crews and star-studded casts arrive one after the other for the second year running. This is in thanks to the timely implementation of strict safety protocols and the successful fulfillment of its powerful financial incentives scheme.

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