The Film: eXistenZ
Guest co-host: Jon Bjorling
Our first episode here at What Did We Just Watch?!? was, officially, about a film by David Cronenberg: Naked Lunch. That episode is rife with heebie-jeebies in context to the body-horror and all around ickiness explored in that film. In the time since, we’ve toyed with the idea of covering Videodrome (that still may happen), but found that it’s still too soon to do so. But here we tackle 1999’s virtual reality mindbender, eXistenZ.
The story seems simple enough: a group of video game testers meet to test a new game called eXistenZ. It’s an immersive virtual reality game that, once explored, seems very much like the real world. I’m sure with that little description you can assume (correctly) that all kinds of twists and turns are sure to follow. Those twists and turns are one of the major rewarding factors of the film. Another reward is the cast: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jude Law, Ian Holm, Christopher Eccleston & Willem DaFoe.
But it wouldn’t be a David Croenenberg film without something weird going on. Maybe tone? Perhaps something visual? Maybe the color palette. Inexplicable character interactions, perchance? Maybe biological mutations of any sort? Well, they are all here! But also a layered tale about corporate espionage, and there isn’t even an office building in sight!
While this was Jon’s pick, eXistenZ was on the list of possibilities since the inception of our show. So please, watch the film, and then join us as we discuss just what the heck is going on in this movie!