Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Cronenberg Realization


So I did what I said I was going to do last night and rewatched Videodrome for the first time in many years. It was just as sleazy an experience as I remembered it being, so props to the film for maintaining that level through the years.

But the boyfriend and I came to the same realization... (well two realizations really, if you count the fact that it's gotta be true about James Woods' penis being humongous because otherwise there is no excuse for a man so wholly unappealing to be so goddamned confident...) But the main realization was that David Cronenberg has already remade Videodrome. He remade it in 1999 and called it Existenz and simply switched the story from being about videotapes to being about video-games. Think about it - even just on the surface level you've got James Woods' stomach-vagina versus Jude Law's game-port anus; you've got suspiciously-accented supporting players...

You've even got the same dialogue retrofitted for the new format. Near the end of Videodrome right after shooting the man he sees responsible for his corrupt hallucinations, James Woods yells, "Death to Videodrome, long live the new flesh!" Near the end of Existenz, right after shooting the characters they see responsible for their corrupt hallucinations, they scream "Death to the demon, Yevgeny Nourish! Death to PilgrImage!"

And that's not even getting into the fact that the two films thematically swallow their own tails Ouroboros-like. So who needs a new remake? We got one already!

I know this is hardly a new idea, and that when Existenz came out it was discussed. But I hadn't realized how thoroughly the two films were intertwined until rewatching Videodrome drove the point home. It's really literal, I think.

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