Cronenberg awarded Legion of Honour

Acclaimed filmmaker David Cronenberg was awarded France’s Legion of Honour on Wednesday, a distinction he said left him “incoherent with joy and pride.”

Canadian director David Cronenberg

TORONTO — Acclaimed filmmaker David Cronenberg was awarded France’s Legion of Honour on Wednesday, a distinction he said left him “incoherent with joy and pride.”

France’s ambassador to Canada, Francois Delattre, bestowed the prestigious medal on behalf of President Nicolas Sarkozy in a private ceremony in Toronto.

Although proudly Canadian, Cronenberg said he also felt a strong connection to France.

“I feel that France is also my country, another parent who has been proudly indulgent when it has been best and sternly critical when that was best, all for the benefit of David, their spoiled child,” Cronenberg, dressed in a black suit, said in a brief bilingual ceremony.

“Thank you all for your indulgence. Vive la France, vive le Canada et vive la cinema”.

The ceremony, held on the top floor of a downtown trade centre, was attended by Cronenberg’s wife Carolyn and children Cassandra, Caitlin and Brandon.

The medal, France’s highest honour, designates Cronenberg a “knight in the order” and recognizes outstanding service to France.

His deep catalogue of films include the horrors Dead Ringers, Scanners and The Fly, as well as the more recent gangland thrillers, Eastern Promises and A History of Violence. Cronenberg said the award was a validation of his sometimes controversial artistic choices.

“France has always understood the complexity of the artistic process — the tension that exists between the innate wildness of art and the desired order of society,” Cronenberg told the crowd.

Delattre praised Cronenberg for his ability to invent new worlds and complex characters, and for his dedication to making Toronto a world-renowned venue for filmmaking.

Cronenberg, who lived in France in the early ’70s, was named a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters in 1990, and is an honorary citizen in three French cities.

His cinematic achievements there include a Cannes Film Festival prize for 1996’s Crash, and a critics’ prize for 1983’s The Dead Zone. He also served as president of the Cannes jury in 1999.

Just Posted

Red Deer mall repurposes former Sears location

The Great Indoors Market at Bower officially launches Nov. 10

Red Deer-area businesses prepare for economic boost from Canadian Finals Rodeo

Hotels, restaurants, gift shops get ready for rodeo fans

Sylvan Lake considering banning charcoal barbecues in lakefront parks

Town council wants more information on concerns about charcoal barbecues and over-sized tents

Winter Games relocates its Volunteer Centre

Now open at Bower Place in Red Deer

Drouin scores deciding goal as Canadiens hold off Flames in 3-2 win

MONTREAL — Flames goalie David Rittich did everything he could to keep… Continue reading

Coalition of consumer groups calls for new code of conduct for telecom sales

A new government-backed code of conduct is needed to protect consumers from… Continue reading

Canadian National Railway rakes in record revenues amid concerns over capacity

MONTREAL — Canadian National Railway Co. says it raked in the highest… Continue reading

Alberta Party candidates set for Red Deer

The Alberta Party will have candidates running in both Red Deer-South and… Continue reading

Montreal Alouettes defensive lineman Woody Baron co-authors children’s book

TORONTO — Woody Baron finds the spectre of tangling with a hulking… Continue reading

Sundin not surprised Leafs asking stars to take less money to stay together

TORONTO — Mats Sundin isn’t surprised the Toronto Maple Leafs are asking… Continue reading

Anywhere but Washington: Why DC stories rarely film in DC

WASHINGTON — It’s a hobby among District of Columbia locals: Picking apart… Continue reading

‘Halloween’ scares up $77.5 million in ticket sales

LOS ANGELES — Forty years after he first appeared in theatres, Michael… Continue reading

Most Read