Now we know…

Piss from Chris

More on Cronenberg and bodily fluids. 

Thanks to regular reader and pal Chris Bourton for this screen grab from Cronenberg’s EASTERN PROMISES. I wondered awhile back about whose name was chiseled into the gravestone that gets pissed on partway through the film. Does the fact that I care about this trivial point so much mean that I really liked the film, or that I didn’t really like the film?

One theory I entertained was that this might be Mr. Cronenberg’s way of getting back at a critic. But there might be legal repercussions in using somebody’s name this way, and also, it would be distracting to many if the gravestone read “R.I.P. Robin Wood”… so I would expect some kind of code to be used. It wouldn’t matter if nobody ever decoded this, it would just give a quiet satisfaction to whoever placed the name. Can we unmask Hastings?

wavy davy

Hmm, Elliot Hastings is an anagram of “hostile slating”… also “Ealing shot list”, which is nice and filmic, “genital slosh it” (fairly appropriate), “still not geisha” (a gnomic plot synopsis of Cronenberg’s M. BUTTERFLY?), and the very apt “slashing toilet”.

Apart from all that, the only film-related reference I can find to an Elliot Hastings is a character name in the 1956 jungle romp BEYOND MOMBASA. The role is taken by Ron Randell, in a cast also including Cornel Wilde and Cronenberg’s future fellow horror stalwart Christopher Lee.

Hmm, better put this one down as “unsolved”…for now.

8 Responses to “Now we know…”

  1. What about the years? Any screen legends who lived at that time?

  2. Viggo just got an Oscar nomination for Eastern Promises

  3. Good for Viggo, he’s excellent in it. I don’t think the script is near as good as the direction or perfs.

    Nice lateral thinking, Elver, but why would Crone want to pass water over someone who passed away in 1929? There has to be a degree of enmity in there — it would be an odd sort of homage.

  4. If Cronenberg is an NFL fan, then perhaps it’s a reference to Charlie Hastings, full name Charles Elliot Hastings, born 1893, went pro in 1920 and played for only one year. More info here.

    1866 and 1928 would seem to sort of line up somewhat. And there could be some little known fact behind him only playing one year as pro. Maybe he pissed away his career somehow. Would explain what happens in the film.

  5. I don’t know about NFL, Cronenberg is a big racing fan though, hence Seth (Martin) Brundle in THE FLY. Chris Ecclestone reports that DC would relax by reading motor mags between takes on XistenZ.
    I wish the Ferrari people would let him make his racing movie, Red Cars.

  6. It COULD be an homage – after all, the guy doing the pissing gets his neck slit essentially immediately. I’d like to think it was for his actions.

  7. I dunno, somehow if I were homaging somebody I respected, I probably wouldn’t have their grave pissed on. It’s a rather indirect way of showing one’s admiration.

  8. Steen Aasberg Hansen Says:

    i aske the same question. And i thought only i like details. but water wil point the way.

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