Sunday, April 22, 2007

Revisit: eXistenZ

A Dimension films release 1999

Written & Directed by David Cronenberg

A videogame designer (Jennifer Jason Leigh) creates a virtual-reality game that taps into players' minds.

An existentialist film about the power of gaming, eXistenZ is unmistakably Cronenberg. Violent, gruesome, and rampant with flesh, the film acts as a sort of compendium to his 1983 masterpiece Videodrome; it explores similar themes of human sexuality and technology, along with blurred visions of reality, and even has many direct references to Videodrome ("Death to eXistenZ!", the fleshy gun/pods, etc). Cronenberg has an excellent way of taking imagery and recontextualizing it, reframing objects, characters, and settings so that they become unique, or take on new meanings. For example, the Chinese Restaurant present in this film. While not one of his premiere works, eXistenZ is a fun film by one of the best working directors of our time.

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