Renowned cult filmmaker David Cronenberg has taken somewhat of a break from the disturbing, mind-bending fare that established him as a true auteur (back in the 1980s and ’90s) over the past decade – with “normal,” but still compelling fare like A History of Violence, Eastern Promises and A Dangerous Method.
That changes this year, with Cronenberg’s adaptation of the Don DeLillo novel, Cosmopolis. As can be noted by watching the film’s first clip (see above) – wherein golden boy billionaire Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson) attempts to proposition his wife Elise (Sarah Gadon), before being interrupted – this film is anything but “normal.”
Cosmopolis takes place over the course of 24 hours, in a semi-futuristic version of New York City, chronicling Mr. Packer’s attempts to travel across town and get a haircut from his father’s elder barber. What follows is a surreal series of events – including, an unexpected shift in the yuan’s exchange rate that begins to decimate Eric’s massive fortune “with every tick of the clock” – and mysterious harbingers that point toward an impending calamity. This leads Pattinson’s character to become increasingly paranoid, terrified (yet enthralled) by the notion that he could end up dead before the day is done.
Passing over the customary jokes about Pattinson’s acting in the Twilight movies, his and Gadon’s stilted delivery in the first uninterrupted footage from Cosmopolis is recognizably intentional – as to create this feeling that the film does indeed take place in a world that’s just removed far enough from everyday reality, so as to heighten the sense of unease and discomfort that Cronenberg is going for.
So, yeah: that’s a fancy way of saying Cosmopolis is an “artsy” movie.
Still, judging by the early footage, including the provocative international trailers, Cronenberg’s latest piece of cinema (he directed from his own adapted script) looks to explore similar psychological and physical horror themes as those in his most famous films to date. Suffice it to say, there’s a limited, but substantial audience eager to see this one.
Cosmopolis will premiere at the upcoming 2012 Cannes Film Festival. It is expected to land an official U.S. theatrical release date shortly thereafter.