Editor’s note: Since today marks director David Cronenberg’s 73rd birthday, it’s a good time to appreciate one of his greatest and most notorious works. Though my favorite of his remains the distinctly PKD-like eXistenZ, a close runner up is the cult classic Videodrome, which the following analysis reappraises in the context of contemporary social media-fixated culture.
By Nathan Jurgenson
Source: Omni Reboot
David Cronenberg’s vision of technology as the “new flesh” in Videodrome isn’t so shocking anymore.
Videodrome is the best movie ever made about Facebook.
Thirty years after its release, Videodrome remains the most powerful fictional representation of technology-self synthesis. This merger wasn’t invented with the Internet, or even television. Humans and technology have always been co-implicated. We often forget this when talking about the Web, selling ourselves instead a naive picture of defined “virtual” spaces which somehow lack the components of “real” reality. This is why The Matrix and “cyberspace” have long outworn their welcome as a frame for understanding the Internet. It should be of no surprise that body horror is as useful for understanding social media as cyberpunk.