March 19, 2010

Naked Lunch (1991)

There is a very good reason why William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch was considered unfilmable for such a long time. As David Cronenberg puts it, a film that strictly follows the book would "cost 100 million dollars and be banned in every country in the world." After all, there is a lot of weirdo drug usage on top of ultra-long scenes of the most freakish orgies and death scenes one could imagine spliced over these 150-or-so pages. If Naked Lunch wasn't so funny, it would have been one of the scariest pieces of art in the 20th century, particularly with its capacity to turn virtually every ordinary object or corner into something sinister and rotten.

But yeah, a film was made eventually and by none other than Cronenberg himself! The trick, however, is that the film does not follow the book at all, opting instead to borrow its atmosphere and combine it with the-making-of-Naked-Lunch plot that for some reason works. Maybe it's Peter Weller channeling Burroughs to the T or maybe it's the buggy typewriter that does the job but who knows, and at the end of the day, who cares: as long as it's grimy and full of mugwumps! In any case, here's the trailer for the thing - enjoy it if you can!

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