What do the words at the top of this poster mean?

Friday August 10th 2012

“From the mind of Brandon Cronenberg”.

This queasily self-aggrandising habit of ascribing a film to its director’s ‘mind’ seems to have originated a few years back with the theatrical poster for Devil:

Of course, the reason for its use there was that M. Night Shyamalan didn’t actually write or direct that film, he merely came up with the story. Or to put it in movie poster terms, ‘dragged the story kicking and screaming from his mind’.

Still, at least a potential audience member could look at the poster for Devil and ascertain that the film was conceived in the same cerebral cortex that dreamed up SignsThe Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and those four or five others we don’t talk about. But what can the same words possibly mean when applied to Brandon Cronenberg?

They could mean that fans of Brandon’s two short films, The Camera and Christopher Merk and Broken Tulips, are likely to be fond of his feature-length debut. Or that those who enjoyed his work as a still photographer on the short Henry’s Final Appreciation of Live should flock to the cinema when Antiviral opens. Except that, outside of festival circles, very few people have actually seen those films. So what can a general audience possibly take from the knowledge that this *directorial debut* shares a creator with them?

It’s almost as if the words ‘from the mind of Brandon Cronenberg’ have been included as a substitute for the more accurate phrasing ‘from a mind that contains roughly 50% of the same genetic material as the mind of David Cronenberg’. Which, to be fair, would have been a right ball ache to fit on the poster.