17th August 2012: Cosmopolis

Cosmopolis (2012)


The New Yorker and Slate have reviews out of David Cronenberg‘s new film Cosmopolis based on Don DeLillo‘s novel:


An erudite but vacant young man, Eric lives mainly within the pulsing circuits of electronic information. We can feel DeLillo’s loathing for the dematerialized world of financial manipulation; he makes Eric a kind of science-fiction metaphor of a human being, and Cronenberg cast the right man for a living cyborg. Pattinson has large eyes, heavy eyebrows, a soft voice. He’s sombre and quiet, a minimalist actor, but he has just enough tension to keep us interested in this intelligent creep. For Eric, the past doesn’t exist, the present is simply money zipping around the globe, the future is his to inhabit. Inside his car, he lives at a still point, but the market economy creates hysterical activity all around him. Though DeLillo wrote the novel a few years after the tech collapse of 2000, it now seems prescient about the much greater collapse of 2008. “We’re speculating in a void,” as one of the twerps says, but that remark no longer sounds extravagant—not after billions of dollars bet on derivatives and “synthetic credit products” have disappeared into the air. And the book’s anti-capitalist theatrics in the streets seem a very accurate anticipation of the Occupy Wall Street movement. DeLillo even understood the ambivalence of the protest: did these people hate capitalism or were they afraid that they had been left behind by it?