Venice awards David Cronenberg lifetime Golden Lion

David Cronenberg has won a lifetime Golden Lion award. (AFP pic)

VENICE: Canadian director David Cronenberg will be honoured by the Venice Film Festival with its Golden Lion prize, the festival board announced on Thursday, for his lifetime’s work on life, death, and sex wrapped up in gory horror and alienation.

“Although Cronenberg was originally relegated to the margins of the horror genre, right from his first, scandalously subversive movies, the director has shown that he wants to take his audiences well beyond the cinema of exploitation, as he constructs an original and highly personal structure, movie after movie,” festival director Alberto Barbera said in a statement.

Cronenberg, 75, has a list of stand-out, sometimes stomach-churning films to his credit, including “Scanners,” “Dead Zone,” “The Fly,” “Crash”, and “A History of Violence.”

“Revolving around the inseparable relationship of body, sex, and death, his universe is populated by grotesque deformities and terrifying couplings, a horror which reflects the fear of mutations inflicted on bodies by science and technology, of disease and physical decay, of the unresolved conflict between spirit and flesh,” Barbera said.

Cronenberg said he was delighted by news of the award.

“It will be almost unbearably thrilling to receive a Golden Lion of my own,” he said in the statement.

“I’ve always loved the Golden Lion of Venice. A lion that flies on golden wings – that’s the essence of art, isn’t it? The essence of cinema.”

The 75th edition of the Venice Film Festival takes place from August 29 to September 8 this year.