Blu-ray Naked Lunch [Blu-ray] [Criterion Collection] (Blu-ray 16301529),
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Naked Lunch [Blu-ray] [Criterion Collection]

  • R
  • Blu-ray
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • The dry wit of writer William S. Burroughs transfers surprisingly well to the screen. This partially biographical celluloid interpretation of his book shows Burroughs's daring and delirium as one of the experimental beat writers (with Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg) who emerged in the late 1950s. In the lead role, Peter Weller does a dead-on Burroughs impression, and the film follows a bizarre logic and has a dark, rich look that makes it one of director David Cronenberg's more satisfying works. Bill Lee (Weller) is a pest-control man who would rather be a writer, and he is seeking escape from his troubled existence. After killing his wife, he flees to Interzone, a hallucinatory version of Tangiers (the location where Burroughs penned the book). There he finds that reality and fantasy have merged in a strange, surreal landscape inhabited by half-alien, half-insect creatures and odd humans. And finally, in this altered state, Lee can become a writer. Like other Cronenberg films, NAKED LUNCH is a bit squishy; it is full of pervasive biological dread. And this film is not exactly faithful to the novel. Instead, Cronenberg provides it with a neat framework that begins and ends with Lee shooting his wife Joan (Judy Davis) during a botched William Tell routine, just as Burroughs did in real life.
  • Credits
    Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Julian Sands, Roy Scheider, Roy R. Sheider
  • Critic Reviews
    "[T]his imaginative tour de force is a smarter, wittier film about the writing process than ADAPTATION."
    Film Comment

    "...A burnished noir, its eye-popping colors suggesting a graphic novel come to life..."
    Entertainment Weekly

    "NAKED LUNCH plunges Peter Weller and Judy Davis into a beatnik junkie netherworld....Cronenberg's most ambitious work to date."

    "...A pungently comic and inventive spellbinder....A burst of imagination that is literally out of this world..."
    Rolling Stone

    "...A remarkable meeting of the minds....Hideously clever..."
    New York Times

    "...[NAKED LUNCH's] dope-drenched, bug-house atmosphere, with the dream-like narrative spliced into glittery shards, is tailor-made for a director as attuned to the gloppiness of interior states as Cronenberg..."
    Los Angeles Times

    "...Weller gives a performance as evocative as it is depressing..."
    Chicago Sun-Times

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