One hundred percent hallucination

In this adaptation of William S. Burroughs’s hallucinatory, once-thought-unfilmable novel Naked Lunch, directed by David Cronenberg, a part-time exterminator and full-time drug addict named Bill Lee (Peter Weller) plunges into the nightmarish Interzone, a netherworld of sinister cabals and giant talking bugs. Alternately humorous and grotesque—and always surreal—the film mingles aspects of Burroughs’s novel with incidents from the writer’s own life, resulting in an evocative paranoid fantasy and a self-reflexive investigation into the mysteries of the creative process.

It’s dangerous to be an artist. That’s what we talk about in Naked Lunch. It’s dangerous on many different levels. Politically it can be dangerous, but psychologically it can be quite dangerous too. You make yourself very vulnerable. You put yourself out there and of course you open yourself up to criticism and attack. And so you have to be strong if you’re going to make movies. But once you accept that movies can come from anywhere, that a movie can come from a dream or a conversation or a newspaper article, or it could be based on real people, you can expand that and say it could come from a work of art that someone has already done.

David Cronenberg

About movie

Canada, 1991, 115 minutes

Writer / David Cronenberg
Director / David Cronenberg
DOP / Peter Suschitzky
Editor / Ronald Sanders
Music / Howard Shore
Cast / Peter Weller, Ian Holm, Judy Davis

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