The Brood / Birthday

Thursday July 21, 2005 – 7:30 pm
Canada 1979. Director: David Cronenberg
Cast: Oliver Reed, Samantha Eggar, Art Hindle, Nuala Fitzgerald,
Nicholas Campbell, Henry Beckman, Susan Hogan

Struggling with a crumbling marriage, Nola Carveth (Samantha Eggar) undergoes an experimental psychiatric therapy that encourages her to purge her emotional turmoil by embracing and fully experiencing her rage. Practiced by the charismatic Dr Raglan (Oliver Reed) at the isolated Somafree Institute, this new treatment is not without its side effects. Dr Raglan’s patients are beginning to experience bodily manifestations of their psychological stress from an outbreak of grotesque sores to cancerous tumours, and (in Nola’s case) much, much worse. Except for weekly visits with her five-year-old daughter, Candy, Nola’s therapy takes place in virtual seclusion. One day when her husband Frank (Art Hindle) picks up Candy at Somafree, he is disturbed to find her beaten and bruised. At the same time, a group of strange mutant children appear and start to kill all those who have incurred Nola’s wrath. Frank’s attempts to protect himself and his daughter end with a remarkably perverse climatic scene, one found almost universally repellant. Although an early work, The Brood firmly establishes the themes that would continue to preoccupy Cronenberg over the course of his career. And although featuring some very gory and highly disturbing imagery, the film is as much cerebral as it is visceral, a technique that makes for some terrifying, thought-provoking cinema and one of the best horror films of the 1970s.
Colour, 35mm, 92 mins.

Preceded by


Canada, 2004. Director: Erös

Martha prepares a birthday cake for her daughter Mira. When a young man arrives with his best wishes, Martha dismisses him. Meanwhile, cocooned in a dark cavity of the basement, Mira’s restless sleep ends abruptly, as she awakes covered in blood. Frightened and confused she seeks comfort from her mother. Martha’s brand of solace, however, delivers both women to their unexpected demise. Colour, 35mm, 10 mins.

The program will include a post-screening discussion with:
David Spaner.
David is a Vancouver Province movie critic. A graduate of Simon Fraser University and Langara College, he has worked as a reporter, editor, and feature writer for numerous publications. His recent book is titled ‘Dreaming in the Rain. How Vancouver Became Hollywood North by Northwest.’

Evening moderated by:
Dr. Harry Karlinsky Director of Continuing Medical Education and Professional Development, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.