Interview: David Cronenberg on Cosmopolis

Summary

Just when you thought David Cronenberg couldn't surprise you, here comes Cosmopolis, a hallucinatory express ride into modern oblivion that's unlike anything in the director's already distinct body of work. Adapted from Don DeLillo's 2003 novella, the movie follows the surreal odyssey of Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson), a 28-year-old billionaire fund manager cocooned in his stretch limousine as it crawls through a nightmare landscape of New York City on the verge of financial and social apocalypse. Ostensibly en route to get a haircut -- personal grooming being paramount as the world implodes -- Packer soon finds himself in a spiral of self-destruction, as Cronenberg orchestrates a rhythmic trance in which money, information and technology acquire a meaninglessness and only derailed acts of sex and violence appear real. Perhaps the most fascinating element to Cosmopolis is the performance of its star, Robert Pattinson. Having previously stepped sideways from his teen-idol status to mixed effect, Pattinson here throws himself fearlessly into Cronenberg's world, delivering an unforgettable, almost alien-like portrait of a young man disconnected from reality and willfully engineering his own spectacular demise. We had a chance to speak with Cronenberg earlier this week, during which he shared his thoughts about the film and how he came to cast Pattinson in particular. Back to Article

Comments

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

"Money has lost its narrative value". There is no better epitaph for Hollywood.

Some slight spoilers here I think. But also some sharp observations on the actor's process (I guess I should be glad they didn't have an affair). For Novice Cronenbergalians, both "Videodrome" and "Naked Lunch" are treasures. This film seems to remind me strongly of "American Psycho".

Aug 17 - 01:25 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

". . . a hallucinatory express ride into modern oblivion . . ."//// well, you can stop right there, because you've alienated many of the R-T commentators here in the news forms. The articles that get the most comments have to do with THE AVENGERS, The Dark Knight, Spiderman, Superman, items that are linear and require little to no imagination. "Hallucinatory. . . " is the worst word you can use to sell a movie to an audience of R-T users based on the comments I read in these forums.

Aug 17 - 02:14 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Based on the comments I've read, most of them seem to be on drugs anyway. (Present company obviously...obviously...excluded.) Maybe most people's drugs just aren't strange enough...

Aug 17 - 02:34 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

sure, sure, sure thing :)

Aug 17 - 02:55 PM

Riccardo Giannattasio

Riccardo Giannattasio

'well, you can stop right there, because you've alienated many of the R-T commentators here in the news forms. The articles that get the most comments have to do with THE AVENGERS, The Dark Knight, Spiderman, Superman, items that are linear and require little to no imagination. "Hallucinatory. . . " is the worst word you can use to sell a movie to an audience of R-T users based on the comments I read in these forums.'

Wow you sound like a real douche.

Aug 17 - 06:39 PM

ap sirius

karl anderson

I hate to bring up the obvious.... but you have a piece of meat stuck between your teeth...... Im just saying

Aug 20 - 08:27 PM

Zane Tinning

Zane Tinning

The Dark Knight SHOULD NOT be lumped in with the other films in that line-up... Christopher Nolan hasn't made an average film yet and his writing is always excellent... And why does the number of comments on a page matter?

Dec 9 - 07:27 AM

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Oct 8 - 07:38 PM

Ferzan Uddin

Ferzan Uddin

Screw Cronenberg, he said superhero movies could never be art

Aug 17 - 02:14 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

way to go; Ferzan said EXACTLY what I meant in much more eloquent terms.///Untrue, Untrue I say to Cronenberg, Superhero movies do express ideas. here ART defined: The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture,...///The Dark Knight Rises can be considered art because it expresses the real-life ideas of OCCUPY! and social revolution in abstract confines within the masse en scene (so to speak) of Batman and Gotham City the predefined universe of Batman in a lucid and compelling way.

Aug 17 - 02:23 PM

James Nauman

James Nauman

Wow, Riccardo Giannattasio is right, you really do sound like a real douche!

Aug 19 - 03:16 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

See? High as hell, I betcha. At least Cronenberg is honest about his private proclivities.

Aug 17 - 02:36 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

yeah . . . good Janson; my argument is that superhero movies CAN sometimes be art . . . there are no absolutes (sometimes there are but usually there are no absolutes) have a nice weekend.

Aug 17 - 02:56 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Yeah, I don't actually agree with Crone on this either. There was a lot of flame over this yesterday. I think he's hating on Nolan especially. He said that the Batman films were half as interesting as "Memento", and I agree, but that doesn't mean they're disqualified artistically. I also think the Batman films are twice as interesting as the other Marvel Studio films. So there.

Aug 17 - 03:02 PM

bigbrother

Bigbrother .

There's just something inherently wrong in the mind of someone who see's potential in Robert Pattinson, but can't see it in Christopher Nolan's Batman works. Possibly jealous that Nolan has a more diverse range than he has? Just spitballing.

Aug 19 - 06:35 AM

Greg Dinskisk

Greg Dinskisk

Chris Nolan doesn't really, have a more diverse range than Cronenberg... Also, he said that he loves Nolan's other films, just not the Batman series...

Sep 19 - 03:41 PM

Shiva the God of Death

Noah F

The quote that I specifically remember is that he said specifically The Dark Knight Rises is not a supreme work of art, and it isn't (nor are most other superhero movies); and that superhero films are adolescent (which they are, ultimately. No getting around it. Any sort of fantasy which involves one person with super powers or one person fighting for justice in which good and evil is clearly defined is a rather shallow, opaque look at the world.)

But, you know, I guess it's okay to dismiss a guy's entire oeuvre based on the fact that he pissed you off.

Aug 17 - 04:58 PM

Coach M.

Coach McGuirk

He also said "comics are for kids," which is completely asinine. I guess Crone is oblivious to the fact that HIS own film, "A History of Violence," was based on a comic. He also mentioned Nolan using 3-D...which he doesn't. Crone lost a lot of respect there.

Aug 17 - 10:35 PM

Shiva the God of Death

Noah F

I think he was referring to superhero comics. I mean, it's a blanket statement.

Aug 18 - 02:03 AM

Frank Vasquez

Frank Vasquez

Wow Noah F is a pompous ass! Just like your hero David "White Trash" Cronenberg!

Aug 18 - 10:22 AM

Shiva the God of Death

Noah F

That was entirely uncalled for.

Aug 18 - 04:11 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

HA! White Trash are the ones who hate superheros now? Frank, do you even know what White Trash is? Thank God you're not aware that Cronenberg is Jewish, or else you may have said something truly regrettable... Another informative Facebook poster.

Aug 18 - 05:18 PM

ap sirius

karl anderson

Pompous ass is just Franks term of endearment for " you have a higher IQ than me "

Aug 20 - 08:31 PM

Nehemiah Paul Tabilla

Nehemiah Paul Tabilla

He just wants publicity for his new film.

Aug 22 - 02:13 AM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

". . . a hallucinatory express ride into modern oblivion . . ."//// well, you can stop right there, because you've alienated many of the R-T commentators here in the news forms. The articles that get the most comments have to do with THE AVENGERS, The Dark Knight, Spiderman, Superman, items that are linear and require little to no imagination. "Hallucinatory. . . " is the worst word you can use to sell a movie to an audience of R-T users based on the comments I read in these forums.

Aug 17 - 02:14 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Based on the comments I've read, most of them seem to be on drugs anyway. (Present company obviously...obviously...excluded.) Maybe most people's drugs just aren't strange enough...

Aug 17 - 02:34 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

sure, sure, sure thing :)

Aug 17 - 02:55 PM

Riccardo Giannattasio

Riccardo Giannattasio

'well, you can stop right there, because you've alienated many of the R-T commentators here in the news forms. The articles that get the most comments have to do with THE AVENGERS, The Dark Knight, Spiderman, Superman, items that are linear and require little to no imagination. "Hallucinatory. . . " is the worst word you can use to sell a movie to an audience of R-T users based on the comments I read in these forums.'

Wow you sound like a real douche.

Aug 17 - 06:39 PM

ap sirius

karl anderson

I hate to bring up the obvious.... but you have a piece of meat stuck between your teeth...... Im just saying

Aug 20 - 08:27 PM

Zane Tinning

Zane Tinning

The Dark Knight SHOULD NOT be lumped in with the other films in that line-up... Christopher Nolan hasn't made an average film yet and his writing is always excellent... And why does the number of comments on a page matter?

Dec 9 - 07:27 AM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

way to go; Ferzan said EXACTLY what I meant in much more eloquent terms.///Untrue, Untrue I say to Cronenberg, Superhero movies do express ideas. here ART defined: The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture,...///The Dark Knight Rises can be considered art because it expresses the real-life ideas of OCCUPY! and social revolution in abstract confines within the masse en scene (so to speak) of Batman and Gotham City the predefined universe of Batman in a lucid and compelling way.

Aug 17 - 02:23 PM

James Nauman

James Nauman

Wow, Riccardo Giannattasio is right, you really do sound like a real douche!

Aug 19 - 03:16 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Based on the comments I've read, most of them seem to be on drugs anyway. (Present company obviously...obviously...excluded.) Maybe most people's drugs just aren't strange enough...

Aug 17 - 02:34 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

sure, sure, sure thing :)

Aug 17 - 02:55 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

See? High as hell, I betcha. At least Cronenberg is honest about his private proclivities.

Aug 17 - 02:36 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

yeah . . . good Janson; my argument is that superhero movies CAN sometimes be art . . . there are no absolutes (sometimes there are but usually there are no absolutes) have a nice weekend.

Aug 17 - 02:56 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Yeah, I don't actually agree with Crone on this either. There was a lot of flame over this yesterday. I think he's hating on Nolan especially. He said that the Batman films were half as interesting as "Memento", and I agree, but that doesn't mean they're disqualified artistically. I also think the Batman films are twice as interesting as the other Marvel Studio films. So there.

Aug 17 - 03:02 PM

bigbrother

Bigbrother .

There's just something inherently wrong in the mind of someone who see's potential in Robert Pattinson, but can't see it in Christopher Nolan's Batman works. Possibly jealous that Nolan has a more diverse range than he has? Just spitballing.

Aug 19 - 06:35 AM

Greg Dinskisk

Greg Dinskisk

Chris Nolan doesn't really, have a more diverse range than Cronenberg... Also, he said that he loves Nolan's other films, just not the Batman series...

Sep 19 - 03:41 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

sure, sure, sure thing :)

Aug 17 - 02:55 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

yeah . . . good Janson; my argument is that superhero movies CAN sometimes be art . . . there are no absolutes (sometimes there are but usually there are no absolutes) have a nice weekend.

Aug 17 - 02:56 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Yeah, I don't actually agree with Crone on this either. There was a lot of flame over this yesterday. I think he's hating on Nolan especially. He said that the Batman films were half as interesting as "Memento", and I agree, but that doesn't mean they're disqualified artistically. I also think the Batman films are twice as interesting as the other Marvel Studio films. So there.

Aug 17 - 03:02 PM

bigbrother

Bigbrother .

There's just something inherently wrong in the mind of someone who see's potential in Robert Pattinson, but can't see it in Christopher Nolan's Batman works. Possibly jealous that Nolan has a more diverse range than he has? Just spitballing.

Aug 19 - 06:35 AM

Greg Dinskisk

Greg Dinskisk

Chris Nolan doesn't really, have a more diverse range than Cronenberg... Also, he said that he loves Nolan's other films, just not the Batman series...

Sep 19 - 03:41 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Yeah, I don't actually agree with Crone on this either. There was a lot of flame over this yesterday. I think he's hating on Nolan especially. He said that the Batman films were half as interesting as "Memento", and I agree, but that doesn't mean they're disqualified artistically. I also think the Batman films are twice as interesting as the other Marvel Studio films. So there.

Aug 17 - 03:02 PM

Shiva the God of Death

Noah F

The quote that I specifically remember is that he said specifically The Dark Knight Rises is not a supreme work of art, and it isn't (nor are most other superhero movies); and that superhero films are adolescent (which they are, ultimately. No getting around it. Any sort of fantasy which involves one person with super powers or one person fighting for justice in which good and evil is clearly defined is a rather shallow, opaque look at the world.)

But, you know, I guess it's okay to dismiss a guy's entire oeuvre based on the fact that he pissed you off.

Aug 17 - 04:58 PM

Coach M.

Coach McGuirk

He also said "comics are for kids," which is completely asinine. I guess Crone is oblivious to the fact that HIS own film, "A History of Violence," was based on a comic. He also mentioned Nolan using 3-D...which he doesn't. Crone lost a lot of respect there.

Aug 17 - 10:35 PM

Shiva the God of Death

Noah F

I think he was referring to superhero comics. I mean, it's a blanket statement.

Aug 18 - 02:03 AM

Frank Vasquez

Frank Vasquez

Wow Noah F is a pompous ass! Just like your hero David "White Trash" Cronenberg!

Aug 18 - 10:22 AM

Shiva the God of Death

Noah F

That was entirely uncalled for.

Aug 18 - 04:11 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

HA! White Trash are the ones who hate superheros now? Frank, do you even know what White Trash is? Thank God you're not aware that Cronenberg is Jewish, or else you may have said something truly regrettable... Another informative Facebook poster.

Aug 18 - 05:18 PM

ap sirius

karl anderson

Pompous ass is just Franks term of endearment for " you have a higher IQ than me "

Aug 20 - 08:31 PM

Nehemiah Paul Tabilla

Nehemiah Paul Tabilla

He just wants publicity for his new film.

Aug 22 - 02:13 AM

Riccardo Giannattasio

Riccardo Giannattasio

'well, you can stop right there, because you've alienated many of the R-T commentators here in the news forms. The articles that get the most comments have to do with THE AVENGERS, The Dark Knight, Spiderman, Superman, items that are linear and require little to no imagination. "Hallucinatory. . . " is the worst word you can use to sell a movie to an audience of R-T users based on the comments I read in these forums.'

Wow you sound like a real douche.

Aug 17 - 06:39 PM

Coach M.

Coach McGuirk

He also said "comics are for kids," which is completely asinine. I guess Crone is oblivious to the fact that HIS own film, "A History of Violence," was based on a comic. He also mentioned Nolan using 3-D...which he doesn't. Crone lost a lot of respect there.

Aug 17 - 10:35 PM

Shiva the God of Death

Noah F

I think he was referring to superhero comics. I mean, it's a blanket statement.

Aug 18 - 02:03 AM

Shiva the God of Death

Noah F

I think he was referring to superhero comics. I mean, it's a blanket statement.

Aug 18 - 02:03 AM

Frank Vasquez

Frank Vasquez

Wow Noah F is a pompous ass! Just like your hero David "White Trash" Cronenberg!

Aug 18 - 10:22 AM

Shiva the God of Death

Noah F

That was entirely uncalled for.

Aug 18 - 04:11 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

HA! White Trash are the ones who hate superheros now? Frank, do you even know what White Trash is? Thank God you're not aware that Cronenberg is Jewish, or else you may have said something truly regrettable... Another informative Facebook poster.

Aug 18 - 05:18 PM

ap sirius

karl anderson

Pompous ass is just Franks term of endearment for " you have a higher IQ than me "

Aug 20 - 08:31 PM

Shiva the God of Death

Noah F

That was entirely uncalled for.

Aug 18 - 04:11 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

HA! White Trash are the ones who hate superheros now? Frank, do you even know what White Trash is? Thank God you're not aware that Cronenberg is Jewish, or else you may have said something truly regrettable... Another informative Facebook poster.

Aug 18 - 05:18 PM

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