Who’s Invited To The Ultimate Screening Of eXistenZ

Posted by on October 8th, 2009

One movie. Five people, living or dead, at the screening. Who and why?

Today’s screening: “eXistenZ

An indispensible entry in the mid-‘90s oeuvre of sci-fi mind-ef cinema, David Cronenberg’s “eXistenZ,” a pseudo update of his 1986 opus “Videodrome,” is the story of a state-of-the-art simulated reality game played on a bio-organic console that plugs into the user’s spine. But it goes wrong! Or is it just part of the game? Only some mutated lizards and Willem Defoe know the truth.

William Gibson (1948- ), Author

Gibson, whose 1984 novel “Neuromancer” kick-started the literary cyberpunk movement, was the first author to write in detail about an artificial reality accessed via surgically installed bio-ports. After the screening, he’ll want to personally thank Cronenberg for blatantly sexualizing his concept. Get in line, Will. You’re behind the inventor of the VCR and the first car crash victim.

Nick Bostrom (1973- ), Philosopher

Before the Wachowskis mated simulated reality with an S&M munitions factory, Bostrom posited the simulation hypothesis, which offers an empirically reasoned argument for reality as a technologically generated simulation. I have a lot of questions for Nick. “That door…is that a simulation? Okay, but what about the TV? Really? How about the ocean? Damn. But the moon is real, right?…”

James Woods (1947- ), Actor

Noted maniac and star of “Videodrome,” Woods can entertainingly contribute to the inevitable discussion comparing the two films – Which is cooler, “Videodrome”’s flesh gun that shoots cancer, or “eXistenZ”’s jawbone gun that shoots teeth? Would you rather have sex with Woods’ VCR tummy vagina or Jude Laws’ Konami spine anus? Woods responds, “yes to all.”

Carol Shaw, Video Game Designer

Best known for creating Activision’s “River Raid” in 1982, Shaw, now retired, was the first female game designer. Given that “eXistenZ” portrays a savvy female game designer (definitely not a Hollywood archetype), it would be fun to watch it with her. Plus, she’s something else I can point to and ask Nick if it’s simulated.

Jerry Holkins (1976- ), Writer

Writer of the hilarious gaming-centric webcomic “Penny Arcade,” Holkins is an outspoken gaming expert. He’s likely to offer a funny, intelligent critique of the movie’s portrayal of video game art and cultural. Also, I don’t know what his policy is on people rubbing his big, bald baby head, but I think Woods is gonna be all over it, regardless.

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