Film Reviews, Short Review

Naked Lunch (1991)

4/4

Hell. Naked Lunch surely qualifies as one of David Cronenberg’s most intense, multi-layered, and head-spinning films. Unlike other classic Cronenberg films like The Fly and Videodrome, which appear to take place in a physical reality that’s then twisted out of shape by horrific developments, Naked Lunch seems to take place in a deeper, subconscious environ, where creativity, death, and bug-shaped typewriters are taken as fact. Taking William Burroughs’ book, slicing it apart, and playing freely with it, Cronenberg understands that crucial rule of adaptation that so many filmmakers forget – a book is not a film, and neither should it be treated as such – and in turn produces one of the most liberating, unique, paranoid, ugly and fascinating adaptations, with the help of a brilliant performance by Peter Weller. Excellent.

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