Thursday, October 07, 2004


Well, I finished watching Videodrome, and I can't say that watching the whole thing improved my opinion of it much. (See the preceding post for my reaction to the first half.) I guess my main problem is the whole idea of the "new flesh," which is at the film's heart: this might or might not make an interesting metaphor, though Cronenberg does little to make it interesting, but Cronenberg's attempts to realize it literally are just ludicrous. I'm not as wild about Demonlover (which I still intend to post on) as are some of the reviews I read online, but one big advantage it has over Videodrome is that Assayas doesn't spell everything out in big capital letters as does Cronenberg. Then there's the whole issue of "Videodrome" itself, and the reason the film gives for its existence: this comes from the 70s school of paranoid anti-corporate political thrillers, but the actual motive is implausible even on its own terms. Perhaps I shouldn't come down too hard on this aspect, though, since it comes across not much more than an afterthought: Cronenberg's real interest is clearly elsewhere. On the other hand, the vagina-in-the-stomach effect was pretty creepy, at least the first time; though when he began pulling guns out of his stomach it became silly.

I watched about fifteen minutes of the director's and cinematographer's commentary, but decided it wasn't likely to be interesting. I'm coming to the conclusion that interesting commentaries, whether done by the director or by a film scholar, are in the minority (but that's a topic for another post).

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