Watched Aug 02, 2012
David Valkenet’s review:
I've just come from the cinema after my first time watch. To give you an idea of the context: I'm a huge Cronenberg fan and have seen all his films. Ever since I was exposed to him I have been charting his progression and transformation as a filmmaker and have been nothing short of impressed and astounded at how he reinvents himself and takes chances.
Cosmopolis oddly sees him progress even further into the future/modernity mixed with the detached and glacial style of Crash.
I have found that Cronenberg's early work was so affecting to me because he would always perform a 'one two' punch: he'd hit you on a visceral level and just as you've doubled over clutching at your stomach and grasping for air he'd hit you on an intellectual level. This has been his strength in just about all his films (Fast Company can stay out of this), even Crash.
From the very start you realise this is not trying to operate on both levels equally. Sure the intellectual element is there, and I feel like there is much to explore on rewatches, as I did not pick everything up the first time around, but without the visceral aspect the films feel a little hollow and unemotion.
It is an easy choice to have the characters be alienated and distant from the audience as that is how they relate to each other, and found it in many films that I did not like, specifically for that reason (for instance La Dolce Vita). Just because the characters aren't emotionally connecting to one another doesn't mean we can't connect to them. After all we are watching a movie and need something in which to invest. However, in Cosmopolis even though I wasn't really emotionally connected to Eric Packer, I was always interested in him. Plus there are moments of genuine emotion (the barber scene) that inform the way I think about the earlier scenes - and that's why I can't wait to see this film again.
I feel this review to be incomplete as I have yet to solidly grasp the film, but there is something stimulating about a film that is elusive and tries to do something new, fresh and interesting visually, verbally and emotionally. I will report back after seeing it again in a week or so.