Stuck Up Cinema – Cosmopolis and 80s Cronenberg

You need to know about 80s Cronenberg. 80s Cronenberg was a master of the strange, with body horror and eroticism as reoccuring themes in his work. The Fly is one of my favorite horror movies, it’s disturbing and unsettling yet in some way remains beautiful. The transformation that Jeff Goldblum takes throughout the movie is disgusting to watch but the whole movie is so captivating that you just can’t turn away. The climax of the film still makes me tense up, even as I know full well what is going to happen. Man, if you haven’t seen The Fly you need to go out and see it right now. RIGHT NOW! A few years earlier 80s Cronenberg hit his storytelling success with a film called Videodrome. Videodrome follows a TV Programmer who begins to travel down a dangerous road after finding out about this new TV show that has the same name as the title. OH YEAH, during the movie his body starts to deform and alter in various grotesque and horrifying ways.


Body horror.

Naturally, as a viewer, I am drawn to the idea of ugliness. There is something much more entertaining about watching a beautiful character or personality become ugly. Whether this be through a non-physical change, such as the character starts killing people or making decisions obviously against their morals, or a physical change, such as a SLIT IN THEIR STOMACH THAT THEY PULL STUFF OUT OF. It’s like how we find fascination in hearing about natural disasters or we find thrill and enjoyment when our best friends fail. We enjoy seeing failure, but we don’t like to live it ourselves. The rush that we feel watching someone suffer while we prosper is unparalled. This bleak example may only represent my mind, but it’s why I enjoy watching a depressing movie. I don’t want to suffer myself but I don’t mind vicariously feeling someone’s suffering, and if the movie can make me cry or feel absolutely gutted than I know it was a good movie.

This is an example for why 80s Cronenberg was so successful. The Fly in particular is a character’s huge fall from grace. The main character, aforementionedly played by Goldblum, is a brilliant scientist who accidentally gets his DNA crossed with that of a fly. At first the results are good, his physical condition improves and he gets so much more drive to get stuff accomplished. Of course this is only the start of it all and the downward spiral of mutations and personality changes hit Goldblum hard. This all leads to a brilliant ending in the last few minutes of the film where we find out Goldblum’s own opinion on his drastic changes. I’m getting all emotional just thinking about it. His fall is huge and he becomes ugly in the process, both physically and mentally.

Did anyone ever tell you that you’re beautiful?

Some more mainstream movies that most would recognize Cronenberg for are History of Violence and Eastern Promises. I enjoyed both of the films but they don’t have the same beauty and atmosphere of his successes from the 80s. Recently he directed the film A Dangerous Method that I haven’t seen yet, but I am interested in checking it out. However, now through all of the introduction to the idea of Cronenberg I can get to an actual point in this whole thing. Have you seen the trailer for the film Cosmopolis? Here, I’ll embed it for you so you can check it out now, that way we’ll be on the same page.

Now I’m going to instantly squash most people’s biggest complaint: Robert Pattinson, the ever so deplorable vampire from the Twilight series. I’ve seen on a lot of forums of people having riots over Pattinson being cast in the role, others saying something along the lines of ‘looks good, apart from Edward being in it.’ There is just something that everyone is missing out on, Robert Pattinson is an actor and I will pretty much guarantee that most people only know him from the Twilight series (and I’m sure many of the people judging him haven’t even SEEN them.) Being an actor means that he can change his performance based on the movie he’s in. This means that we aren’t at all forced to deal with Edward Cullen in a Cronenberg movie, in fact Pattinson will be… acting. A shocking concept in film, huh? Of course I’m just as bad because I am defending the man blindly without seeing him anything, but knowing that he takes a role with Cronenberg shows even he is worried about being labeled as Edward his entire life.

Now maybe I’m the only one, but I get a very 80s Cronenbergesque vibe from the trailer for this movie. And you know what? That gives me a boner. The whole vibe and feeling from the trailer is just dripping with a feeling similar to Videodrome. Also the whole movie is about a billionaires downward spiral losing everything he has… there it is again, watching somebody experience a great loss. Hmm… I might not be crazy with my feeling of 80s Cronenberg here. Along with Pattinson is an incredible cast of supporting actors featuring Kevin Durand, Juliette Binoche, Jay Baruchel (this intrigues me more than Pattinson), and the always wonderful Paul Giamatti.

The trailer looks surreal, busy, and unsettling which is something I love in film; I also have a hinting suspicion that we’ll be seeing that familiar side of ugliness again in Cosmopolis. I’m going to be checking out this one ASAP. I highly recommend you check it out too, and if you haven’t already watch The Fly. I recommend Videodrome too, but with the preface of knowing that you’re going to be scratching your head in confusion at the end of it. I’m hoping I walk out of Cosmopolis scratching my head, that would be the best case scenario. And worst case scenario? I’m watching a Cronenberg film.

“Also, I’m Canadian.”

Currently the release date is set for 2012.


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