NAKED LUNCH: DVD
When an exterminator (Peter Weller) develops an addiction to the substance he uses to kill bugs, he accidentally kills his wife (Judy Davis) and becomes involved in a covert Government plot being orchestrated by giant bugs is an Islamic port in Africa.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
This is the only film in which a typewriter beetle kills another typewriter beetle for being a secret agent. Yet this hallucinatory scene is but one of many and not particularly extreme by comparison. I mention it only because of the relevance of the written word, and typewriters - portable ones in this case - are the medium of the message. It was on such a typewriter that heroin-addled author William Lee Burroughs wrote Naked Lunch, set in the New York of the 50s.
The novel was considered so disorienting and rambling that it was unfilmable. That was until David Cronenberg got hold of it. Made in 1991, Naked Lunch is brought bizarrely to life by a great cast including Peter Weller as Burroughs' alter ego, Lee, Judy Davis in two roles, including his wife, Ian Holm, Julian Sands and Roy Scheider among others.
But the real hero is Cronenberg, who wrangles this wild crocodile of a book like a Steve Irwin of film, using his experience, technique and raw talent to capture the mood, tone and ambiance of a book that worms its way into a reader's mind like a bug into a red apple.
Judy Davis is superb, but it's Peter Weller who grabs the essence of not just the character, but the character as translated by drugs onto the screen. Hideously watchable, the film is a feast for the senses and for the imagination. Actions are louder than words - literally, as the characters often whisper their lines, while their actions are exploding in our minds.
An unguided tour along and inside the seam between the real world and the hallucinated one inside Burroughs' mind. Don't let go of the handrail. Classic Cronenberg, not to be missed.
Published May 10, 2007
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NAKED LUNCH: DVD (M)
CAST: Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm, Julian Sands, Roy Scheider
PRODUCER: Jeremy Thomas
DIRECTOR: David Cronenberg
SCRIPT: David Cronenberg (novel by William S. Burroughs)
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Peter Suschitzky
EDITOR: Ronald Sanders
MUSIC: Howard Shore, Ornette Coleman
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Carol Spier
RUNNING TIME: 113 minutes
PRESENTATION: 16:9; DD 2.0
SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio commentary by David Cronenberg; interview with Jeremy Thomas
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Magna Pacific
DVD RELEASE: May 9, 2007
RIVERSIDE SCREEN PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 6 consecutive Tuesdays, starts February 17, 2015 at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.