eXistenZ

Directed by David Cronenberg

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Released on the eve of the millennium, David Cronenberg’s sci-fi thriller eXistenZ delves deep into our fears and techno-fetishistic desires about the future of virtual reality gaming, and explores a world where players can physically connect their bodies to games via bio-ports, outlets surgically inserted into their spines. eXistenZ presents an eerily organic and dystopic vision of technology, where reality becomes increasingly indistinguishable from the manipulated construction of it. Starring Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jude Law, the film also features Willem Dafoe in a darkly humorous supporting role.

The film series A Door Ajar, presents enigmatic films that refuse cliché cinematic endings where the hero rides off into the sunset or the wayward soul finds eternal redemption. Instead, these films revel in openness, leaving the door ajar for interpretation after the film ends. The series looks at perception, the desire to create meaning, and the reach for conclusions.

Petra Cortright's short film Bridal Shower will be screened prior to eXistenZ as part of the Frieze Film series.

Curator:: 
Emily Zimmerman

Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg is credited as one of the originators of body horror genre, which focuses of fears of infection, mutilation, and disembodiment. Drawing from William Burroughs and Vladimir Nabokov, Cronenberg’s best-known early films focus on the role of media in society, including Scanners (1981) and Videodrome (1983). Cronenberg focused on the mutation of the human body with technology through the iconic films The Dead Zone (1983) and The Fly (1986). These acclaimed films were followed by Dead Ringers (1988), Naked Lunch (1991), Crash (1996), and eXistenZ (1999). In Spider (2002) and A History of Violence (2005), Cronenberg delves into a psychological exploration of human idiosyncrasies.

Dates: 
Screening
eXistenZ
Theater
January 30, 2014, 7:30PM
Return to A Door Ajar

EMPAC 2013-2014 presentations, residencies, and commissions are supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts (with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; additional funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Community Connections Fund of the MetLife Foundation, and the Boeing Company Charitable Trust), and the New York State Council for the Arts. Special thanks to the Jaffe Fund for Experimental Media and Performing Arts for support of artist commissions.

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts
NEFA - New England Foundation for the Arts
State of the Arts - NYSCA