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Clips & Rarities: Shorts and Commercials

"Transformations" Nike Air 180 (1990)

Nike's groundbreaking media campaign for the Air 180 included a series of TV advertisements created by Industrial Light & Magic and directed by cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, animator Guido Manuli, art director Eiko Ishioka and David Cronenberg. In Cronenberg's otherworldy "Transformations," an insectoid creature inside a giant, egg-shaped pod is transformed into a human by the magic of a Nike shoe.

Courtesy of NIKE, Inc.

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"Cleaners" Ontario Hydro (1990)

Cronenberg directed a series of four, functional public service announcements for Ontario Hydro about energy conservation. In "Cleaners," an ornery office janitor lectures a young co-worker about turning off the lights: "You think this is magic or something? Electricity is just there in the walls?"

© Hydro One Networks Inc. Used with permission.

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"Bistro" Caramilk (1990)

The "Caramilk secret" was a campaign used by Canada's popular chocolate bar: it presented the bar's caramel filling as one of the great mysteries of the universe. The concept proved a good fit for the Cronenberg treatment. The ad features a rich playboy and a femme fatale in an ambiguous dream sequence that's a little film noir, a little sci-fi and ultimately as darkly sexual as any candy ad could be.

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"Camera" (2000)

This short film was written and directed by Cronenberg for the 25th anniversary of the Toronto International Film Festival. "Camera" is a portrait of the actor as an old man, and stars frequent Cronenberg collaborator Leslie Carlson ( Videodrome, The Fly ). In increasingly claustrophobic close-ups, Carlson harps on the anxieties of aging before succumbing to a group of children, who've discovered an old film camera and burst into his apartment, forcing him to star in their production. A meditation on filmmaking as "memory and desire, aging and death."

© TIFF
Courtesy of David Cronenberg

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