Naked Lunch (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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In this adaptation of William S. Burroughs's hallucinatory, once-thought unfilmable novel Naked Lunch, directed by David Cronenberg (Videodrome), a part-time exterminator and full-time drug addict named Bill Lee (Robocop's Peter Weller) plunges into the nightmarish Interzone, a netherworld of sinister cabals and giant talking bugs. Alternately humorous and grotesque—and always surreal—the film mingles aspects of Burroughs's novel with incidents from the writer's own life, resulting in an evocative paranoid fantasy and a self-reflexive investigation into the mysteries of the creative process.
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The cast is dynamite & do a tremendous job of portraying Mr. Burroughs characters. Peter Weller from Robocop as Bill Lee, Judy Davis as Joan Lee/Frost their wife, Ian Holm of Bilbo fame as Tom Frost, Julian Sands as Yves Cloquet & Roy Scheider as a Doctor of deception & others you'll know.
WARNING this show takes flight earlier & does not return. Get drinks first. A married exterminator & drug addict hooked on using his "bug powder" for intoxication as well as work begins his journey into psychosis on the train of hallucinations. His wife, then perceived as a problem, is easily removed at the direction of Bill's controller. It then becomes time to go undercover in a truly foreign country. Once there he will send out reports on enemy agents hiding in the same culture he is in. There are new customs, new friends, new enemies but still the same old Bill to try & deal with it all. That's this story line in a nutshell.
It gives you No Idea about what is visually contained in this movie. All of these scenes play out in an exquisitely detailed & totally outlandish manner thanks to the direction of David Cronenberg. He was truly the one director to handle the job of book story to finished film here. What he accomplished before doing this film was only training for the making of "Naked Lunch".
This movie is not ethereal & otherworldly the images are recognizable by anyone (I'm assuming you know what a typewriter is). Bill Lee our lead character is truly a stranger in his own strange land (pardon me Mr. Heinlein). To watch this show is to be in the middle of a psychotic mind visually. If you are a fan of the weird, the unusual, the bizarre & the unique you will love this. If you are a David Cronenberg fan this show is a non-stop Cronenberg fantasy you shouldn't miss.
This was worth the wait & a BIG thanks to all the people that backed off trying this because they knew it wasn't time to try yet. 5 BIG STARS!
I absolutely love this style of poetry as well as Croenberg films. If you are a fan of bizarre-makes-you-think movies this is the way to go
This film is about an exterminator named Bill Lee - who is played here by Peter Weller of RoboCop fame. Bill is an ex-junkie, and is thrown back into drug addiction once he finds out that his wife is addicted to the bug powder that he uses on the job. He tries it once, and becomes hooked. He starts hallucinating. Giant bugs start spouting conspiracy theories to him. A giant alien-like creature, a "mugwump", has a conversation with him at a bar. Sounds weird, huh? It only gets weirder from there on out. And I mean WEIRD. One night, he and his wife decide to play a random game of William Tell that goes horribly wrong, in that he accidentally shoots his wife in the head, and she dies. He flees the scene, and heads off to the "Interzone," an exotic city that may or may not exist inside of his head. He starts to write a novel, a novel that will eventually become the book Naked Lunch. While he is in the "Interzone," his hallucinations get worse. They become so surreal and weird, that it is hard to differentiate between what is real and what is not. I don't have time to explain it all - some of the hallucinations were so strange, that I can't print them for fear of offending someone - however, one thing is certain: this is definitely a film that requires a second viewing.
The character William Lee is loosely based on author William S. Burroughs. Burroughs really did shoot his wife during a game of William Tell, and this novel was written shortly after that incident. It may help to know that he was addicted to heroin at the time that he wrote it, which would explain all of the strangeness in the film.
I DO NOT recommend this to everyone. It is most definitely not a film for anyone under the age of 17, and contains some shocking material. However, if you are in the mood for something different - and I stress the word DIFFERENT, then you may want to check this out. You may not understand all that is going on the first time around, but the point of the film is to make you feel as though you are on drugs yourself. I still don't know what to think about it. It certainly does stay with you afterwards, and it is very thought provoking. David Cronenberg is one of the best directors out there. After all, he gave us last year's classic, A History Of Violence. If you are familiar with Cronenberg or David Lynch, and you've enjoyed their previous offerings to cinema, then you'll probably want to see this. You may want to follow this up with a similar, albeit less trippy film named Barton Fink, which was released the same year, and also stars Judy Davis in a supporting role.
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David Cronenberg and William S. Burroughs: a potent, disgusting combination.Read more
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