Augmented Reality Culture Digital Films New Media, , , , , , , — February 19, 2012 11:15 — 1 Comment

The augmented reality of David Cronenberg

augmented reality

Director David Cronenberg is to be honoured at the Toronto Film Festival with a special augmented reality retrospective of his work

Director David Cronenberg is well known for pushing the boundaries of film-makingand is not averse to causing controversy in the past with images of exploding heads, rapist slugs coming up through the plughole, video cassettes being inserted into vaginal stomach openings, just a few examples of his oeuvre.

So news that the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is planning a large interactive retrospective of his work as an augmented reality game is enough to, well, turn a few heads.

Cronenberg’s latest film, A Dangerous Method, is his most conventional to date and based on the apparently true story of the short-lived alliance between the young Jung (Michael Fassbender) and his mentor, Freud (Viggo Mortensen), and the pivotal role played by Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley), first a patient of Jung’s, then his lover, then his student.

But true to form from the director that brought us Scanners and Crash, A Dangerous Method mischievously subverts its period trappings of 19th-century Vienna with bestial impulses and the spectacle of Knightley being spanked by Jung in masochistic delight provide the film’s abiding image.

With the help of the Canadian government, TIFF is hoping to produce The Worlds of David Cronenberg: An Augmented Reality Game for this year’s event, which takes place in autumn, film website cinemablend.com reported.

The idea behind the initiative is to create a game where the real world is augmented by a computer generated sensory experience. The Cronenberg project plans to take the experience and extrapolate it online and onto multiple platforms, including social media tools and locative services (such as GPS), and utilizing the latest 3D modelling technology in order to recreate the characters, narratives and worlds of his films.

TIFF’s proposal describes the project as a ‘stylizedsocial-mediameetspsychological-thrillergameplay’ and is a fitting tribute for one of the most influential film directors known for his exploration of the mind, body and our relationship with technology.

In his 1999 film eXistenZ, Jennifer Jason Leigh plays a game designer on the run from assassins who must play her latest virtual reality creation with a marketing trainee to find if the game has been damaged. The pair go on a strange adventure where the blurring of reality and their actions are impossible to determine from either their own or the game’s perspective.

The TIFF augmented reality game is a fitting Cronenbergesque retrospective; apart from David Lynch there are not many other directors whose work would fit this new medium.

“I’m interested in people who don’t accept the official version of reality, but try to find out what’s really going on under the hood,” says the director, talking about A Dangerous Method.

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About the author

Tony Myers has written 866 articles for Smart Movie Making

Fooling around with the iPhone since 2010. Taking it to the next web by writing about new media, new technology, new wave cinema and the digital revolution.

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