Article 2019 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-24-2006
Posting Date: 2-21-2007
Directed by David Cronenberg
Featuring Ronald Miodzik, Jack Messinger, Iain Ewing
A Canadian institute engages in experiments on telepathy and eroticism.
This, like CRIMES OF THE FUTURE , is one of David Cronenberg’s very early art films; apparently, he got funding for the film from the Canadian government by pretending that he was writing a novel. I find this little piece of trivia rather interesting; the style of the movie (black and white photography, no dialogue, incidental sound or music, action explained (or not) by various narrators) leaves me feeling like I’m reading a book rather than watching a movie. Unfortunately, the book is rather dry; the narration sounds like passages from a scientific report, and even the most sympathetic viewer will find the movie a trial to get through in one sitting; it has, if possible, even less discernible plot than CRIMES OF THE FUTURE. Which is not to say that the movie isn’t interesting; Cronenberg’s works can be intellectually stimulating, and there is plenty food for thought here. It’s just rather exhausting, and the visceral touches never quite make up for that. Still, like CRIMES OF THE FUTURE, there is much here that fits in neatly with Cronenberg’s obsessions and interests, and I suspect that his early movies might well benefit from sympathetic reviewings, dry as they are.
The notion of people hearing in stereo would be further explored in SCANNERS, a more commercial enterprise issued 12 years after this effort.