Monday, May 28, 2012

Review: Cronenberg's Cosmopolis: Decaffeinated and Defanged DeLillo

Eric Packer
Difficult as it is to review a film you haven't even seen I am not to be stopped. Cronenberg has told us what is NOT in the film.And so has blackbeanie who saw it in Cannes. Is that so we won't be disappointed?

OK.  I.  Am. Not.  Disappointed.

I. Am. Furious!

A terrible reading of DeLillo's savage with teeth novel.

A fantastic one time chance from the universe
To throttle cyber-capital
Wrestle it to the ground
And finish it
And he fucking blows it

Requiem For the Twin Towers; Hypotheses on Terrorism; The Violence of the Global
2002 - Verso

Baudrillard following Nietzsche:
Capital stripped bare by Speculation itself, like the bride by her bachelors. What becomes of Capital once the veil of Profit is lifted? What becomes of Labour once the veil of Capital is lifted?(Baudrillard - Cool Memories II 38)

Contrary to the historical slogan which says that the 'emancipation of the workers will be achieved by the workers themselves', we have to accept that Capital will be put to death by Capital itself or (not at all). (CM II 38)

But it will be Baudrillard who will go all the way with Nietzsche. Baudrillard will tell us how to end the evil of anything. Push it to the limit and beyond, worse than worse, and then it will suicide. This is what DeLillo has Eric Packer do by imploding the speculative currency market.  Eric Packer wants all the yen there is.

Yen is the important currency here in a Lacanian sense of yen/want/desire-lack/need-satisfaction, but Cronenberg prefers the literal up to the day yuan because he misreads the text of the novel. 
Please excuse him tho as he read it in one sitting and did the screenplay in 6 days. Ah Evelyn Wood, are you happy now?

Someone tell him about Lacan, please.

HEGEL And The Shadow of Dialectical Materialism
2012  - Verso

....why cyber-capitalists appear as the paradigmatic capitalists today _....What we have here is an ideological short-circuit between two versions of the gap between reality and virtuality: the gap between real production and the virtual or spectral domain of Capital, and the gap between experiential reality and the virtual reality of cyberspace. ....haunted by the notion of a global catastrophe lurking just around the corner, threatening to explode at any moment. 

It seems as if the gap between my fascinating cyberspace persona and the miserable flesh which is "me" off-screen translates into the immediate experience of the gap between the Real of the speculative circulation of capital and the drab reality of the impoverished masses.( LTN p.245-246)

eXistenZ anyone? How about The Hunger Games?

BTW this by no means has anything pejorative to do with Rob Pattinson's performance as he has been directed to perform, controlled by the script written in 6 days BTW. Cronenberg is so proud of this fact. I bet he can read Zizek's Less Than Nothing and its 1000 pages really fast too. Not to mention Lacan's Ecrits.


Postscript Monday June 25 2012


Trishna, Winterbottom’s third adaptation of a Thomas Hardy novel, is a take on Tess of the d’Urbervilles that’s loaded with risks, big changes that nevertheless amount to a worthy attempt to capture what film theorist André Bazin would call the “spirit” – rather than the exact letter – of the novel on which it is based.

.....But to go back to Bazin, the elusive “spirit” of the novel, particularly its strong element of social critique, is transformed but still vitally present in this film. 

...Most festival screenings are met with a round of applause when a film’s credits begin to roll, but the theater was silent after Trishna’s brutal denouement. I took this less as an indictment of the film’s quality than an indication that what had just unspooled required some serious thought and digestion, and to my mind, that’s a wonderful mood for any work of art to inspire. Winterbottom is not always an easy director to handle, and that’s one of the things that recommends him most.
Another postscript June 30 2012

abbeysbooks MOD  2 minutes ago

An excerpt from an excerpt of Roberto Bolano's The Soldier Who Sold His Soul To God:

Then the soldier awoke and looked at God and asked where he had to sign. Here, said God, pulling a paper out of the air. The soldier tried to read the contract, but it was written in some other language, not German or English or French, of that he was certain. What do I sign with? asked the soldier. With your blood, as is only proper, God answered. Immediately the soldier took out a penknife and made a cut in the palm of his left hand, then he dipped the tip of his index finger in the blood and signed.
DeLillo and Bolano got it right. Cronenberg fucked it up.


Postscript on August 13 2012

I am sick at heart that Rob Pattinson is going with Cronenberg to ring in the NYSE tomorrow morning. 

This is a knife in the heart of Don DeLillo. 

This is DETERRENCE for the image of the NYSE and DETERRENCE for the image of Rob Pattinson in the wake of his Break-Up Porn with Kristen Stewart.

I can understand Cronenberg doing this for publicity, but I cannot understand Rob Pattinson's misreading of DeLillo's Cosmopolis, to allow him to defile its message, to corrupt its meaning, just to bolster his image and his film in this difficult time for him. 

How could they betray DeLillo like this? Now Rob, this is REAL betrayal.

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