David Cronenberg on True Detective

Man, Nic Pizzolatto just can’t catch a break. The mind behind HBO’s True Detective was accused of misogyny during the first season of his once acclaimed show, and then season two took a real beating from critics and fans. Now, even David Cronenberg (The Fly), who was offered the chance to direct a season two episode, has some harsh words for Pizzolatto. Check out Cronenberg on True Detective after the jump.

The Canadian filmmaker has always been candid. A few years ago he caught some flack for his comments on superhero movies, and, in particular, his thoughts on Christopher Nolan.

I don’t think they are making them an elevated art form. I think it’s still Batman running around in a stupid cape. I just don’t think it’s elevated. Christopher Nolan’s best movie is Memento, and that is an interesting movie. I don’t think his Batman movies are half as interesting though they’re 20 million times the expense. What he is doing is some very interesting technical stuff, which, you know, he’s shooting IMAX and in 3-D. That’s really tricky and difficult to do. I read about it in “American Cinematography Magazine,” and technically, that’s all very interesting. The movie, to me, they’re mostly boring.

Nothing wrong with honesty, but I’ve always found it to be in poor taste for a director to publicly criticize other working filmmakers. Cronenberg, once again, has done just that. The auteur recently received a well-deserved Lifetime achievement award at the Reykjavik International Film Festival. While in attendance at the festival, the subject of television came up (via Indiewire).

Here’s David Cronenberg on True Detective and TV:

The heat is in TV. Last year I was approached to direct the first episode of the second season of True Detective, I considered it but I thought that the script was bad, so I didn’t do it. In TV, the director is just a traffic cop, but on the other hand it is work and there’s a lot of it.

Television is a writer’s medium, which might not mesh with the priorities of the The Maps to the Stars director. (Cronenberg has directed for TV before, but it has been many years since his last foray to the small screen.) Pizzolatto ended up enlisting other talented filmmakers for season two, such as Justin Lin (Star Trek Beyond) and John Crowley (Brooklyn), but nobody of Cronenberg’s stature. In the end, it was popular to hate on True Detective this year. Some of the criticism was completely fair, while others seemed to get a real kick out of snarkily live-tweeting the show and focusing on the season’s clunkier elements, not so much its strengths.

Season two did not live up to what Pizzolatto and director Cary Fukunaga (Beasts of No Nation) accomplished the first time around, but was it bad? No, bad is Battlefield Earth and Catwoman. For Cronenberg to call the script “bad” is a tad hyperbolic. Then again, I’m in the minority as someone who thoroughly enjoyed the messy but sincere and surprisingly funny second season.

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