Possessor, an ultra-violent mind-fuck of a film, is almost ready to unleash its jarring horrors upon the world. Brandon Cronenberg‘s visceral nightmare is kind of like Inception meets Videodrome, and if that doesn’t get you excited, I don’t know what else to tell you. Andrea Riseborough plays a corporate assassin who has the ability to upload her consciousness into other people, and then use those people as pawns to pull off her murders. But when her latest host finds ways to resist her control, things get complicated. And bloody. Watch the Possessor trailer below.
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This is going to sound like hyperbole, but I’m going for it: you’re not ready for Possessor. I caught Brandon Cronenberg‘s ultra-violent nightmare at Sundance earlier this year, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it ever since. It’s brutal, it’s horrifying, it’s truly unique. The name “Cronenberg” immediately lends itself to body horror thanks to Brandon’s famous filmmaker father. And while some will no doubt draw connections between this and the elder Cronenberg’s work, it’s a much different experience. In Possessor, Andrea Riseborough plays a woman who gets inside people’s heads – literally. Watch the Possessor trailer below.
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After an eight-year period of development, director Brandon Cronenberg returns with his sophomore feature Possessor, a seductive and macabre crime thriller that mixes body horror, near-future nihilism and noir elements to deliver a funky, freaky brew. In his Sundance review /Film’s Chris Evangelista called it “unrelentingly aggressive”, finding the film “special and exciting.” With an ensemble led by Andrea Riseborough, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Christopher Abbot, the film feels assured and audacious, settling in on a mood that’s both macabre and intoxicating.
Chris described Possessor as “unlike anything you’ve ever seen before”, but there are still echoes of what the David Cronenberg, Brandon’s father, has brought to the screen. I find that an entirely positive thing. In the best of ways, this feels like Brandon and his collaborators are making this space his own while being unafraid to echo the work of his father and others masters of the genre and generate direct comparison without ever feeling redundant, referential or reverential. Frankly, in many ways Possessor comes out ahead of some of the most celebrated of his father’s works, and that’s a remarkable thing indeed.
/Film spoke to Brandon following the film’s debut in Park City. We spoke about his process, the long gestation for this project, and what else this remarkable filmmaker has coming up for fans of his work.
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Bathed in blood and gore and unrelentingly aggressive, Brandon Cronenberg‘s Possessor is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. It is a singular work – one so ghastly, so unique, and so brutal that it will awe some and disgust others. It is a film about extinguishing humanity and embracing savagery. The philosophy of Possessor is one of carnage. Of cutting ties with the things that make you human, and reverting back to the predator within.
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Brandon Cronenberg is the son of director David Cronenberg (The Fly, Dead Ringers, the upcoming Cosmopolis) and it looks like the younger Cronenberg’s first feature continues some of his father’s “body horror” interests in earnest. Antiviral looks at the cultural obsession with celebrity, using some of the elder Cronenberg’s early go-to ideas (boundary-pushing clinics; biological expressions of desire and ideology) for a story that looks, from a distance at least, like a fairly timeless freakiest.
Caleb Landry Jones (X-Men: First Class) is Syd March, a Lucas Clinic employee. The clinic brings people closer to their favorite celebrities by infecting the fans with diseases of the rich and famous. The first trailer, below, shows that getting into that line of thinking is exactly as weird and dangerous as you’d think it might be. The trailer is excellent, and unsettling in a way that fans of early David Cronenberg films should really love. Read More »
David Cronenberg‘s new film Cosmopolis played to pretty good reactions at Cannes; there were those who didn’t find it compelling, but that’s actually reassuring, as a Cronenberg movie seems like it shouldn’t be for everyone. Now we know when the US will get a chance to see the film. eOne picked up Cosmopolis prior to Cannes, and is rolling it out in other countries now, with a Canadian opening tomorrow and UK bow a week later.
eOne plans to distribute Cosmopolis in the US starting on August 17, which is a bit earlier than we would have expected it to land. Still, we’ll take all the Cronenberg we can get, and as soon as possible, please. To that effect, hit the break for info on how Cronenberg’s son Brandon Cronenberg will have his film Antiviral distributed by IFC Midnight. Read More »