Monday, April 15, 2013

Cosmopolis: A Study in Existentialism, Capitalism, and Asymmetrical Prostates

A limo ride  to nowhere.
If you read Don DeLillo in your formative years chances are you were a bit fucked up in the head, but that yielded only the urge to understand the hypocrisy of the world to a better degree…you probably read a lot of Bret Easton Ellis along with that. Now, if you watched Cronenberg growing up, congratulations you’re probably smarter than 95% percent of the world’s population, and moreover if you actually understand all of his films on body-horror, pan-existentialist levels, then you’re a fucking genius.
A few of his newest films have been rather polarizing. A Dangerous Method (2011) was schmaltzy crap the whole way through. And Cosmopolis (2012) got all kinds of black and white reviews, it’s the kind of film Armand White loves to write about. The kind of film that gets a mixed reaction at Cannes, and Rotten Tomatoes has a meltdown over because film critics turn into 5 year olds; All having something to say each at a louder more obnoxious volume than the other. 
Sarah Gadon plays the wife of Billionaire playboy Eric (Robert Pattinson) who promises that one day they will indeed have sex, but never delivers. Probably a smart move on her part.
I had heard a shit ton of bad press about this film, but it was mostly from people that didn’t ‘get it’ and were faux film critics to begin with in the tradition of Ben Lyons who just tear it to shreds because they don’t understand allegory and post-capitalist theory and still manage to make 6-figure salaries (Fuck Ben Lyons is basically what I’m saying) he’s probably never watched anything of Cronenberg’s past Dead Ringers (1988)). 
A prostate exam during a meeting with his financial advisor yeilds the metaphor that Eric has an asymmetrical prostate, take it for whatever you think it might mean.
This is a film that combines sexual frustration and depression of fear of being-in-the-world, particularly of being powerful, both sexually and otherwise, and the inner struggle that exists in the responsibility which that power comes with. Also, the boredom that comes from knowing that everything is too easily accessible weather it be billions of dollars or seriously hot French tail. It is a Jean-Paul Sartre manifesto on film, and no one better to understand that and make it erotic than David Cronenberg. I thought the film was fantastic, and thought most didn’t and it barely got distributed, it finally landed on Netflix, so good for it, a bunch of teenagers can now be either confused as fuck or take up reading DeLillo and start speaking with a French accent.  Either way, it’s one of Cronenberg’s more complex and erotic films, which is exactly how he initially made his name in the business, mixed with some political pathos, it makes for one hell of a mindfuck. 

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