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April 03, 2013


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I'm a bit behind. The current cinema for me is "Cosmopolis," which just started showing on Netflix. I watched it last night and was knocked over, thinking it was far and away the best movie I'd seen in a long time. Great combination of ideation and craft. So I wondered what you may have written about it in real time and was delighted to find your very positive review and insightful interview with Cronenberg.

Although I admire and respect DeLillo, Cronenberg and Giamatti as artists int their respective fields, and like much of their work, it's accurate to say that up to this point none of them have been my favorite writer, director or actor. Yet somehow they came together with the Cosmopolis material and made what I agree may or should be some kind of masterpiece. It doesn't have just one meaning or one layer of meaning. Nothing so static you can actually pinpoint like a game of pin the tail on the donkey. More like one of those big maps on the wall with 100's of differently colored pins, all representing some small, isolated part of something important and whole. Turn around though, and the next time you look you'll swear that the pins are all in different places.


That's three glowing reviews for "Upstream Color." I can only hope the film lives up to the hype.

@MW - thanks for reminding me about "Cosmopolis." Another to put on the wish list.

Jeff McMahon

Can somebody post a link to a review of Cosmopolis that would explain it? When I saw it, it felt stiff and self-conscious, the best word I can think of is 'constipated'. A lot of actors reciting lines past each other and a lot of 'ideas' with everything those quotation marks imply.

In other words, help?


I think the characters talking past each other was a feature not a bug.


Jeff et al: I also recently caught Cosmopolis on Netflix, and I was sorely disappointed. I'm a longtime fan of Cronenberg's, but this one was just DOA for me. Still and self-conscious barely scratches the surface; it felt like a bad parody of Cronenberg. It wasn't much to look at, either; usually, there's a chilly intensity to Suschitzky's work, but this just looked drab and flat.

I think this is what's frustrating, at least to me: Cronenberg and Delillo were both (to their credit) uninterested in dry polemics about capitalism and obscene wealth, but in their urgency to avoid that kind of thing, they ended up making what is, in effect, a weak-tea critique of how the relentless quest for unlimited wealth makes you into a shallow, lonely prick (which R Patz puts across eerily well.)

I also can see, per our host, that it was shooting for mordantly funny, most of the time, but I thought it missed the mark pretty badly.

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