Cronenberg described his futuristic first experimental feature as “an investigation of the inadequacy of current sexuality.” Stereo presents itself as a report from the Canadian Academy of Erotic Enquiry. Seven young adults volunteer for a series of experiments in which, after undergoing surgery to enhance their telepathic potential, they are encouraged to explore pure, polymorphously perverse sexuality! Often blackly comic, Stereo employs non-sync sound, highly formalized visuals, and stark, sterile architecture (courtesy the U of T’s Scarborough campus). Many pet Cronenberg themes and concerns are in evidence: amoral science; the inescapable corporeality of human nature; alienating technology; and a simultaneous attraction and revulsion towards sex.
Canada 1966. Director: David Cronenberg. 7 min. HDCAM
Cronenberg’s first film, made for $300 while he was a U of T undergrad, is a surreal short about a psychiatrist pursued by an obsessive patient.
Acknowledgements: A TIFF digital restoration in partnership with Technicolor Creative Services Toronto. Transfer courtesy of TIFF's Film Reference Library.