Hot girl shit.
so excited, so so excited
some language? that’s my favourite kind of language!
I can’t wait to watch this on tv, on tv.
Finally remembered that there was … Grimes (singing) of the future
… in the past.
Technically, 4AEM would qualify as well, but that’s for another time, yyyeeeah
Have you seen Titane?
… just askin’ for a friend, really.
I saw this yesterday and it was pretty radddd
this is actually a very funny comedy about cronenberg reading critiques of his work and thinking “me? reactionary? huh…maybe they have a point”
I loved this! My thoughts:
This movie feels to me far more pro-transhumanism than his previous works. Many of his previous body horror films tended to portray their characters’ transformations as deeply seductive, but ultimately sinister and horrifying. This film at first felt much more ambivalent about its transformations than previous films, but ultimately I felt that it landed on a position that was actually pretty much in favor. I felt very much on the side of the plastic eaters, and I think the film wanted me to. I think this is a very good thing. I wonder whether Cronenberg has undergone a big shift in his thinking on these issues… Perhaps that could explain why he decided to return to the body horror well: to repudiate his previous take on it!
This film is deeply similar to Videodrome in many ways (lots of callbacks in terms of visual motifs, subject matter, dialogue, etc.), but there’s one respect in which it really differs: its plot is much more straightforwardly graspable. Many of Cronenberg’s 80’s and 90’s films were depicted from the point of view of protagonists having deep dissociative episodes. As they lose their grip on reality, the narrative loses its coherence, and things collapse into a total fever dream that only hints at the underlying reality. In contrast, this movie’s plot stays coherent throughout; you always know what’s real and what isn’t. The abstract, dissolved conspiracy thriller subplot of Videodrome here is played straight. We actually have a decent idea of who the players are, their motivations, and the stakes of their conflict. This is compelling in a different way from Videodrome’s dissolution into paranoia and abstraction.
This movie ends so suddenly. It’s wild. I had no idea it was coming. My previous point about its narrative coherence is probably partially to blame for that… When your sci-fi body horror film doesn’t dissolve into noise, then how do you end it in a satisfying way? We end with the protagonist hitting a serious turning point, and it feels emotionally appropriate, but I have to admit that it left me really wanting more resolution. It almost felt like an amazing pilot for a series, leaving the viewer with all these unresolved questions and cliffhangers.
To that point, what was the deal with those two machine repair women? Their performances were real stand-outs. I really wanted to know what their motivations and allegiances were. I guess they represented the company that was producing the tools used for these surgeries, and they seemed to be hellbent on preventing the use of those tools toward revolutionary ends. Is this a thing about the master’s tools not dismantling the master’s house, or something? Must consider this further.
There was a lot of funny satire of all the different kinds of hangers-on that successful artists end up surrounded by. It felt like Cronenberg was riffing on fans, other artists, and even archivists and other cultural workers he’s interacted with.
For some reason, this movie is deeply similar to David Bowie’s concept album Outside on so many levels. A dystopian future detective story about the murder and autopsy of a child by a performance art scene that specializes in self-mutilation and technological body modification… featuring a cast of bizarre characters with names derived from internet slang. I mean, this movie had a character named Router for god’s sake. But honestly this movie does that kind of story much better than Outside did.
This feels like a return to a mode I always loved from Cronenberg – taking some far-out cultural studies academic writing, pulling the central metaphors out of it, and then portraying those metaphors literally on screen in wild ways. This had me wondering if he’d been reading, like, Donna Haraway or the Xenofeminist Manifesto or something.
Now I’m thinking about that bit when Saul Tenser was upset about the government organ archivists tattooing the organs he’d created, talking about how the tattoos are like parasites on them, narrowing their conceptual possibilities. This could be read both as an artist’s annoyance at the wider culture and academia’s taxonomizing of his work, and as an allegorical xenofeminist annoyance at the pressure to officially taxonomize gender.
I thought the ending worked really well!
And yeah, without the multiple layers of reality and unreliable perspectives that are in Videodrome and Existenz, the conversation after viewing it isn’t about what the hell happened, but instead what does it mean to me. And I think that fits with him doing a very intentional about face and showing that not all traditional body “horror” territory needs to be that horrific after all. And I think that could be read to be about aging, or gender, or chronic illness, or all sorts of things. It’s really thoughtfully crafted and transhumanly humanistic.
Whew, I, uh, somehow completely missed this when watching so in the boy’s autopsy scene I somehow read the big “MOTHER” tattoo to be organically developed by the boy’s body as a kind of blunt literal expression of wanting his mother’s love, not just his plastic-consuming GI tract having been pulled out/redacted by government agents (the repair women?).
viggos non stop DSP hacking and snorting made me laugh SO FUCKING HARD
also this movie has the world record for most IN FOCUS EVER. everything was in focus!!!
This is available digitally now, by the way.