View Full Version : Film night with JB. Antiviral.

7th October 2013, 04:26 PM
nature or nurture ?

One of THE big philosophical questions of the last 100 years. The daily mail thought it had the answer, they reckon it's all nature. According to them, milliband jnr's 'marxism' is all in the genes. It doesn't matter that the millibands didn't really see eye-to-eye regarding the future of capitalism. Ed may talk in terms of 'social democracy', but deep down, in his DNA, he's a rabid marxist. Just like his old man.
To illustrate this, the mail couldn't get a better example of that theory than the new movie by Brandon Cronenberg called 'Antiviral'. A film that is the living embodiment of the phrase 'the apple doesn't fall far from the tree'.
Lovers of the strange and culty will already be aware of cronenberg snr. He started his career way back in the 70's with a series of gory, aggressive low-budget horror movies that for many crossed the line of decency. Starting with a movie called 'shivers: the parasite within', about a turd-like sexual parasite infecting a high-end apartment block. He went on to make [in rapid succession], 'rabid' another killer disease on the rampage, 'The Brood', about mutant children, and then 'Scanners' where micheal ironside uttered the immortal line 'I'm gonna suck your brain dry'! Followed quickly by 'Videodrome' with james woods and debbie harry of blondie fame.
David cronenberg [snr] has made a name for himself in a career that has spanned half a century. Going on to make the definitive version of 'The Fly', a couple of william burroughs adaptations [crash and the naked lunch], and more recently 'A history of violence' and the brilliant 'eastern promises'.
brandon cronenberg [junior] has just started on his career and this is his first movie. And the influence of the father is in every single scene. The subject itself echo's the fathers obsession with bodily decay, disease and the search for perfection, and the constant close-ups of injections reflect another of his dad's obsessions, they way metal rips, punctures and slices human flesh.
The setting for 'Antiviral' is a grim dystopia that has taken the obsession with celebrity to a sinister extreme where fans of celebrities can infect themselves with the diseases of their hero's and feel close to them. But it doesn't stop there. black market eateries serve the flesh of celebrities, cultivated from skin cells and harvested as grey slabs of tofu-like portions. This celeb food is pale and unappetizing, but the constantly bombarded punters can't get enough of the stuff. One character even has a row of rectangular skin grafts from celebrity skin cells, each representing a celebrity that he can stroke occasionally so that he feels 'closer' to them. It's all very cleverly thought through, the film has it's own ghastly internal logic.
We open with a shot of the main character Syd march, played by caleb landry jones. he's already looking peaky and under the weather, and we watch as his health declines over the duration of the movie. This newcomer is well cast, he's skinny and sickly looking and slightly androgynous. He's believable, which is crucial because he's in virtually every scene.
The film occasionally loses focus but is so full of original ideas that you forgive it. It's obviously made on a very low budget but brandon cronenberg bleaches out the backgrounds and manages to give the impression of a hi-tech future. Where corporations commit industrial espionage in order to be the first to harvest and market a new virus. Using bio-tech to change the profile so they can be patented.
It's a heady brew with layers of subtext covering celebrity culture, religion ['wherever the collective gaze falls' there is power], corporate corruption, personal obsession, halucination and sexuality.
It's a great start for cronenberg junior, I'll be interested to see if his next feature is still close to his dads vision, or if he brings some ideas of his own to the table. As milliband junior has.

I give it 3/5

rhondda rudie
7th October 2013, 10:50 PM
Very well written review comrade.Sounds a bit gory for me though.:lol: