eXistenZ (1999)

After the Fast Company debacle, it was time to watch a real Cronenberg movie, one with nasty bodily weirdness. Since Cronenberg is one of my favorite directors, eXistenZ has been on my to-see list for a long time. Thankfully this delivered.

The movie opens with a roomful of game nerds who have gathered together for the opportunity to test the yet-to-be-released virtual-reality game eXistenZ. The gaming system itself is made from amphibian eggs and flesh (or something along those lines) and so is actually living tissue. You plug it in to your “bioport,” an opening at the base of your spine, and immerse yourself in the world of the game. What follows is a whole bunch of “is this real or is this a game” questions as we go deeper into games, games within games, and games within games within games.

Jenifer Jason Leigh fondles her “live” gaming console.

This reminded me a whole lot of Jeff Noon’s Vurt, which is an interesting read, for the same reasons eXistenZ is interesting to watch. They both have blobs of flesh that take you to otherworldly places, they both have meta-tripping, and both get off on confusing reality with fantasy.

I’m not so sure why this movie gets such a bad rap. It was well-made, entertaining, and thoughtful. Was it my favorite Cronenberg? No. But it sure was a hell of a lot better than Fast Company!


3 Responses to “eXistenZ (1999)”

  1. 1 Arway Ildchay
    August 1, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    I hated this the first time I saw and loved it the second time. I feel you need to be in pace with Cronenberg to get the full of experience of his films.

  2. 2 ladyfaceladyface
    August 2, 2012 at 6:01 am

    OK can we talk about the use of “x” and “z” in the title, as well as the mix of upper- and lowercase? thanXXX.

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