Re: Opinions on worth of eXistenZ

Brian Atkins (
Mon, 10 May 1999 00:57:53 -0400

Jim Fehlinger wrote:
> 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
> sense.
> I thought it was a hoot -- by all means, see it.

I agree with Jim's description of the movie, but not his recommendation to see it. There were no new ideas here that I hadn't read about in any number of books or seen before in other movies. In fact I felt the whole thing, especially the ending, was quite simplistic and very unfulfilling (sp?).

"Knowing the path is not the same as walking the path."
          -Morpheus _The Matrix_