Graphic of an exploding head from Scanners

The Science of Cronenberg: Transcript 14

DAVID CRONENBERG: What’s that membrane? This semi-permeable membrane of an identity that allows things to come in and out. It’s very much like cell biology. A cell really does have to control its integrity. It has a membrane. There’s some wonderful books, I just read one called The Machinery of Life. It’s an old book, but it’s been revamped and it’s quite a beautiful book. I think I was very interested in cell biology as a junior scientist. And maybe that’s where I would’ve ended up if I had gone seriously into science. And it’s a very hot place to be right now. I think about how primitive our understanding of a cell was 40 or 50 years ago, when I was thinking about it compared to now: DNA—not just DNA, but molecular cell biology. Fantastic. But it’s almost a model for a human being and society. I think of yourself as a cell unit in the multicellular organ that is society. It is your membrane that keeps the outside from overwhelming the inside and keeps the integrity of what is inside from flowing out of all those pores.