Re: Opinions on worth of eXistenZ

Jim Fehlinger (
Sun, 09 May 1999 17:17:20 -0400

Max More wrote:
> (If I put the capitalization in the right places.)
> Since I have extremely limited time for seeing movies or other
> entertainment right now, I thought I'd ask for opinion's on Cronenberg's
> movie eXistenZ. ... Has anyone seen it? Does it contain ideas worth going to see? Is it
> stylistically excellent (like Matrix)?

I saw _eXistenZ_ last weekend; I thought it was well worth seeing, though quite different from _The Matrix_. It wasn't stylish at all, at least in the slick style of _The Matrix_; it looked distinctly low-budget by comparison. On the other hand, I got the idea that the low budget look was part of the "point" of the movie (substitution of drab VR scenarios, with shallow characters, hackneyed plot-lines, and circumscribed possibilities, for the real thing). As you might gather, it casts a rather jaundiced eye at the possibility of "total" VR.

Much of the film had a squishy, slightly gory character in keeping with some of Cronenberg's earlier films (_Videodrome_, _The Brood_); the game consoles are fleshy, vaguely sexual-looking appliances that gurgle and squeak, and have breast-like extrusions that have to be squeezed, and nipples that have to be stroked, to operate them. They're connected to their human operators with a cable that looks a lot more like an umbilical cord than a wire, and is plugged into an opening in the spine called a "bioport", which looks like (in closeup), and in some scenes is treated as, an additional body orifice in a quasi-sexual

I thought it was a hoot -- by all means, see it.

Jim F.