Tuesday, April 20, 2010


(1969, Can, 65m, b/w)
d/p/sc/ph/ed David Cronenberg cast Ronald Mlodzik, Jack Messinger, Iain Ewing, Clara Mayer, Paul Mulholland, Arlene Mlodzick, Glenn McCauley

Somewhere in the north woods of Ontario the “Canadian Center for Erotic Research” is conducting group experiments into biochemically-induced telepathy – it’s Cronenberg’s debut (mini) feature. Unable to afford sound stock, he goes with a dryly academic voiceover, full of phrases like “experiential space continua” and “schizophonetic partition”; the distancing effect is compounded by the fact that the voiceover reports a period of experiment that took place prior to the “events” we see onscreen – for the unidentified subjects, much of the experience seems to involve being at a loose end in the lowering concrete complex of a Toronto University building (in medieval tights for some reason). Cronenberg wields the camera with an effective sci-fi eeriness, and although a watchable curiosity bubbling under with familiar physical/psychic/erotic obsessions, it remains a fatally disjointed, opaquely hermetic and largely unilluminating experiment.

© Time Out Film Guide

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