David Cronenberg’s prodigious and acclaimed career goes all the way back to the 1960s, and the 71-year-old filmmaker has done his share of stellar work. The Fly, Videodrome, The Dead Zone, A History of Violence, and Eastern Promises rank among his finest cinematic forays. His latest project Maps to the Stars is based on an original script by Bruce Wagner and it takes a look at various desperate figures who are trying to find their identity, and possible salvation, within the manipulative confines of Hollywood.
Robert Pattinson, who previously worked with Cronenberg in Cosmopolis, plays a limo driver/actor in the picture, and Julianne Moore joins in on the fun as an aging, overwrought actress whose career is overshadowed by the work of her iconic mother. Although the story is set in Tinselton, Cronenberg believes the narrative’s themes are universal.
“It’s not only about Hollywood and about the movie business,” said the filmmaker. “You could set it in Silicon Valley. You could set it in Wall Street. Any place where people are desperate, ambitious, greedy, (and) fearful. You could really set it anywhere and have that same tone and same ring of truth.”
During the Cannes Film Festival press conference for Maps to the Stars, Cronenberg talked about the creative process and motivations he carries before each project. “I don’t really feel I’m inventing myself,” said the director. “But I’m entertaining myself. I’m amusing myself. For me a project is kind of an exploration. I really am asking myself many questions on what it is to be a human being. What is the essence of the human condition, and there are many ways of approaching that.”
Click on the media bar below to hear Cronenberg talk about his filmmaking process: