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The Logical Extension Of Business Is Murder
April 21, 2012 8:56 AM   Subscribe

The extended trailer for David Cronenberg's adaptation of Don DeLillo's Cosmopolis has hit the internet.
posted by The Whelk (62 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
Links for the lazy, or for those who have no idea what Cosmopolis is: Novel. Film adaptation
posted by Petrot at 9:06 AM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


For those who don't want to wait, Cosmopolis is a short read. I'm interested to see the director depicts the time shift in this story.
posted by deathpanels at 9:09 AM on April 21, 2012


I want to see this more now.
posted by Houyhnhnm at 9:17 AM on April 21, 2012


Huh. I hadn't even heard of this project until just now. Looks like it might be good, even if I can't ever see Patterson without seeing the face of the guy who dies in the 4th Harry Potter movie.

(What!? I never have seen a Twilight movie!)
posted by hippybear at 9:24 AM on April 21, 2012


Dan?

There's already a movie of Cosmopolis. It's called Game Six, only it replaces capitalism with baseball.
posted by Catchfire at 9:26 AM on April 21, 2012


I read White Noise in a (college) freshman seminar class, more than a decade ago now. It was horrifically self-involved and disjointed; the English translation of Silence, Shusaku Endo's epic ode to futility that we were also assigned, was a more enjoyable read.

Are all of DeLillo's works of that ilk?
posted by The Confessor at 9:28 AM on April 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


[I Donned the Dan.]
posted by cortex at 9:30 AM on April 21, 2012


Are all of DeLillo's works of that ilk?

No. Cosmopolis is very different from White Noise, and Libra is different from them both. On the other hand, I severely disagree with your assessment of White Noise, so maybe take my assertion with a grain of salt.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:33 AM on April 21, 2012 [10 favorites]


Man, it's striking how much of that was shot within a kilometer of my office. That's Toronto's Union Station in the first scene, and the deja vu just got weirder and weirder from there. I passed most of the places the outdoor scenes in that trailer were shot on my walk back from work yesterday.
posted by mhoye at 9:43 AM on April 21, 2012


It looks like half the film takes place in that limo.
posted by reductiondesign at 9:52 AM on April 21, 2012


It looks like half the film takes place in that limo.

The book, IIRC, is essentially the events of one guy's traffic jam.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:56 AM on April 21, 2012


YES YES YES YES YES YES YES
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:02 AM on April 21, 2012


I recall disliking Cosmopolis quite a bit -- as opposed to White Noise (which I thought was awesome), Mao II (which I recall as fairly boring) and Underworld (which I've never managed to start). Given how short it is and the fact that I really remember neither the book nor the reasons for my dislike, I think I'll re-read it.
posted by Slothrup at 10:08 AM on April 21, 2012


Huh-- my memory of Mao II was that it did everything White Noise did but that I enjoyed it more.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:11 AM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


The 100-page-or-so preface to Underworld, titled "Pafko at the Wall," is one of the most wonderful pieces of short fiction to be published in the last thirty years.
posted by Catchfire at 10:18 AM on April 21, 2012 [7 favorites]


I took a crack at Ratner's Star last year, because DFW recommended it to Lipsky in Although Of Course... Couldn't get into it because the main character seemed like jerk. I've heard from other people that it's not his best work, though.
posted by Coventry at 10:22 AM on April 21, 2012


It looks like eXistenZ
posted by communicator at 10:24 AM on April 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Cosmopolis (the novel) is dedicated to Paul Auster, but the writer it makes me think of most (aside from DeLillo himself, obviously, what with the arc of the brooding apocalypse) is Nicholson Baker: The book is ostensibly the journey of its protagonist to get his haircut, which description keep sounding to me like, say, The Mezzanine, which chronicles the protanonist's journey between the first and second floor on an escalator on his way back from buying new shoelaces on his lunch break. But where Baker uses the constraint to tunnel down and inward and explore the ways a single moment can explode outward forever in implications and thoughts, the way a single gesture can never be isolated from the context of someone's entire life, DeLillo uses the constraint to explore how all of the world shifts around in order to get all of its parts to in front of you, each in its turn.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:27 AM on April 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


DeLillo's best book is Amazons.
posted by chavenet at 10:33 AM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm really excited about this movie. I liked Cosmopolis quite a bit when I read it, I remember realizing that Delillo is a kind of heir to Samuel Beckett in a way that had never occurred to me.

Delillo really is one of the prophetic novelists of our time. He does have a way of reading culture and forecasting the next decade or two in a way that very few, if any, novelists do. Cosmpolis can be seen as a foretelling of the recent U.S. financial crisis, of the supreme lordly arrogance and untouchableness of bankers and speculators in U.S. society, that many of us only realized when they were bailed out so that they could continue reaping bonuses and compensation that is unthinkable to the rest of us.
posted by jayder at 10:48 AM on April 21, 2012


Prophetic is definitely the best way to describe Delillo. It's amazing to me that Mao II was written pre-9/11.

I think I would have groaned at any of his novels being made into movies, but I think Cronenberg can actually pull this off.
posted by bradbane at 10:57 AM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


It looks like eXistenZ

I think it has the ability to talk about 2010-era technology the way eXistenZ talked about late-90s technology. Unfortunately, I haven't read the novel, so I can't talk about the technology in it, but eXistenZ is, essentially, a post-cyberpunk film. It worked against the reigning tropes of cyberpunk, mainly that of the inherent alienation brought by future technology, and a distinct line between "real" and "virtual." If you think of Neuromancer, the seminal cyberpunk novel, there's a big, thick wall of mistrust between every single entity and everyone is, essentially, on their own at the end of the day. In post-cyberpunk like Snow Crash or eXistenZ, there's a greater fostering of community, of personal connections, and of eroding those walls.

We're now past cyberpunk, past post-cyberpunk and in a world I can't really describe because I don't keep up with contemporary SF (NB: that's not a value judgement, by any means.) However, the Big Deal in contemporary technology is all about the ubiquitously social connection. We've got our smartphones in our pockets always logged into Facebook and Twitter and any piece of information we need is instantly available without having to jack in to anything or really take us out of the "real word" for more than a moment. So that barrier is corroded. Once AR gets big -- and it will get big -- the last walls will drop. So, I really hope this movie goes into that because Cronenberg knows what he's doing when it comes to the Future. Hopefully, his recent three-film jaunt into different territory has given him a lot of good insight into the human psyche at all points, not just at the convergence of the human being and technology and/or aberrant biology.
posted by griphus at 11:13 AM on April 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


I am rather certain no one who dislikes White Noise could ever be friends with me.
posted by incessant at 11:34 AM on April 21, 2012 [7 favorites]


I'm genuinely excited about this. Thanks for the post.
posted by defenestration at 11:36 AM on April 21, 2012


So glad Colin Farrell dropped out. He would have ruined the film for me.
posted by jayder at 11:40 AM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm excited because the online reviews posted by Twilight fans who went to see a Cronenberg adaptation of a DeLillo novel because Robert Pattinson is in it will likely be glorious to read.
posted by Grimgrin at 12:03 PM on April 21, 2012 [17 favorites]


I bought my copy of White Noise at a used bookstore, and it has all kinds of strangely paranoic commentary written in the margins and reacting to the events in the story, like DEJA VU??? and NO! and WRONG! It really suits the novel.

I downloaded a torrent of the movie A Scanner Darkly before it had come out on DVD, and it turned out to have been filmed in a movie theatre. So there were silhouettes of heads at the bottom of the screen, murmuring in the background, and now and then someone would stand up suddenly in front of the screen and walk off to the side. The silhouettes really blended with the rotoscoped animation, and the general meta-ness of it complemented the movie perfectly.

Similarly, I highly recommend watching the movie Memento when you are falling asleep, as nothing is quite so disconcerting as waking up in the middle of that movie just as the character in the movie is also just waking up, with neither of you having any clue what is going on.
posted by oulipian at 12:08 PM on April 21, 2012 [8 favorites]


I'm pretty excited about it.
posted by codacorolla at 12:23 PM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm excited because the online reviews posted by Twilight fans who went to see a Cronenberg adaptation of a DeLillo novel because Robert Pattinson is in it will likely be glorious to read.

I'm sure they'll love it. I mean, who doesn't want to see Robert Pattinson get his prostate examined?
posted by fryman at 12:24 PM on April 21, 2012


My first reaction was: someone wrote a book about the city in Batboy and Rubin?
posted by JHarris at 12:37 PM on April 21, 2012


I will not be at all surprised if Cronenberg's film bears little more than a tenuous resemblance to the novel.
posted by Ardiril at 1:03 PM on April 21, 2012


People are still misspelling "millennium"?
posted by senor biggles at 2:04 PM on April 21, 2012


"the first film about our new millennium" -- very pretentious, yet I wonder what the odd phrasing is meant to signify "our" millennium.

Still Millennium? How much did 1024 AD resemble 1976?
posted by delmoi at 2:48 PM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Cronenberg may or may not nail Cosmopolis, but it seems to be that Cronenberg is the perfect director for DeLillo nonetheless
posted by edgeways at 2:53 PM on April 21, 2012


I think it has the ability to talk about 2010-era technology the way eXistenZ talked about late-90s technology.

It'll definitely be interesting to see how much of the film is still DeLillo's novel, which is from 2000 -- a time that seems about a hundred years ago, now.
posted by shakespeherian at 3:07 PM on April 21, 2012


So, in the future, everybody lives in cars? Is this a remake of Americathon?
posted by Max Udargo at 3:22 PM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


...a time that seems about a hundred years ago, now.

Coincidentally, I just looked through my lifetime of Amazon purchases. My first purchase ever, in junior year of high school, was a set of replacement covers for my old Palm IIIx.
posted by griphus at 3:49 PM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


(Er, the purchase was in the year 2000. Which was the point of that anecdote.)
posted by griphus at 3:50 PM on April 21, 2012


Meh. Call me when Scorsese or the Coen Brothers adapt Underworld.
posted by Hey Dean Yeager! at 4:41 PM on April 21, 2012


"the first film about our new millennium"

How fucking pretentious.

If it's twice as good as eXistenz it'll be the worst movie of "our new millennium". Not going anywhere near this one.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 5:12 PM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Congrats!
posted by shakespeherian at 5:15 PM on April 21, 2012


How fucking pretentious.

Agreed and "All of our lives have been leading up to this moment" - yep. That's how life works.
posted by crossoverman at 5:54 PM on April 21, 2012


Yes, I, too, agree that the verbiage in the trailer is the standard by which to judge an upcoming movie. That is foolproof.
posted by griphus at 6:42 PM on April 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yes, I, too, agree that the verbiage in the trailer is the standard by which to judge an upcoming movie. That is foolproof.

Well, I'm judging it by being Cronenberg, who I can't stand as a filmmaker. The verbiage seems pretty accurate to me--in the sense that it's overhyped and it's full of shit, like 90% of the movies he makes.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 9:18 PM on April 21, 2012


Why? Why? Why? Be more constructive with your criticism.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:19 PM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, I'm judging it by being Cronenberg, who I can't stand as a filmmaker.

Ah, "your favorite band sucks" rears its ugly head in this thread.
posted by hippybear at 9:32 PM on April 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm not a huge fan of Cronenberg myself - he seems to go for weird-cool far too much for my taste, and seems incapable of the contemplative mode - and I've never read a Don Delillo book I actually liked. Still, this looks very interesting. And based on the recommendations here, I'm going to give Cosmopolis a try.
posted by koeselitz at 9:36 PM on April 21, 2012


(The book, I mean - I'd like to read it, at least since it's short and people seem to have good things to say about it.)
posted by koeselitz at 9:37 PM on April 21, 2012


You can borrow my copy.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:31 PM on April 21, 2012


I've been on a bit of an Auster kick lately, but I have Delillo issues. (Yes, I know this makes me weird.) I may have to track this down and subsequently be frustrated by it...
posted by pxe2000 at 5:20 AM on April 22, 2012


Frankly, I have Robert Pattinson issues, but otherwise this looks like a perfect storm of things I like. Cronenberg's directorial style feels like a good match for DeLillo. And I'm eager to hear how Delillo dialogue plays theatrically.
posted by thivaia at 8:34 AM on April 22, 2012


I'm looking forward to two hours of RPattz' Christopher Walken impersonation, myself.
posted by pxe2000 at 9:03 AM on April 22, 2012


Asked for an opinion on which DeLillo novels someone like Cronenberg should film Cosmopolis wouldn't leap to mind. I'd say Great Jones Street or Running Dog. But I haven't read Cosmopolis (or anything after The Body Artist), so maybe that's why. This might be the push I need to return to DeLillo.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:17 AM on April 22, 2012


I'm about as far away from from being a fan of Don DeLillo as you can get -- I read the Amazon sample of this book the other day and found it to be pretentious bullshit, pretty much, but could deal until I hit a patch of the most ridiculously implausible have-you-ever-met-a-human-being-in-your-entire-fucking-life dialogue ever whereupon, thankfully, the sample was finished -- but I'll watch any David Cronenberg movie. Even though this book seems like something Ellie would have read in Dead Ringers.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:22 AM on April 22, 2012


Ah, "your favorite band sucks" rears its ugly head in this thread.

Ah, the "anyone who dislikes anything I like only dislikes it because they think it's cool to be contrarian not because they have any valid opinions of their own" rears its ugly head in this thread.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 12:43 PM on April 22, 2012


Really?

You're in a thread about a movie by a director you profess to hate, and you're taking the higher ground here?

It's pretty well established that the correct behavior in MetaFilter is to not participate in threads of which you're predisposed to dislike the subject matter. Or have you missed that bit?
posted by hippybear at 12:50 PM on April 22, 2012


Ah, the "anyone who dislikes anything I like only dislikes it because they think it's cool to be contrarian not because they have any valid opinions of their own" rears its ugly head in this thread.

The opinions you've offered are that the film is 'overhyped' and likely to be 'full of shit.' This is not useful commentary.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:56 PM on April 22, 2012


Or have you missed that bit?

Yeah, I must have. I see people disagreeing in Metafilter all the time.

You're in a thread about a movie by a director you profess to hate, and you're taking the higher ground here?

By a writer I like with multiple actors I love (Morton, Binoche). And I didn't take the higher ground--you just took the lower one.

This is not useful commentary.

Either is 90% of the comments here that express their excitement. I don't see those upsetting you. Oh, right, you agree with those comments.

Dismissing someone else's remarks, regardless of their brevity or depth, because their opinion is contrary to your own, is the act of an ass.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 1:16 PM on April 22, 2012


I've said it before, but it's my opinion that contentless enthusiasm is pretty much always more enjoyable than contentless denigration. This goes for things I don't like as well. 'Oh boy!' is harmless, even if I disagree. 'This looks like shit' is a stupid comment, even if I agree.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:43 PM on April 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


but could deal until I hit a patch of the most ridiculously implausible have-you-ever-met-a-human-being-in-your-entire-fucking-life dialogue ever whereupon, thankfully, the sample was finished

Cosmopolis is not realism. If you're looking for plausibility, I think you're approaching the book the wrong way. Many great writers write dialogue that is not "plausible."
posted by jayder at 2:58 PM on April 22, 2012


I didn't think much of Cosmopolis; I'd recently read White Noise too and thought that was a fucking laugh riot.

Same with "Pafko at the wall" which was a 'reading experience' in the best way. (I read it in Harpers when it first showed up there. Fuck it was a good read.) There were some parts about Cosmopolis I did like, namely the idea of the car he kind of lives in and the betrayal at the end... I might go see this because, well, it won't have the crappy parts of the book - namely the really not convincing (to me) narrative voice of the thing.
And when Cronenberg goes over the top he does do that pretty well, so there's the possibility of that to look forward to.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:24 AM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, I'm judging it by being Cronenberg, who I can't stand as a filmmaker.
WOW IT's SO SHOCKING THAT SOMEONE WHO DOESN'T LIKE CRONENBERG WOULD, LIKE, NOT LIKE THIS MOVIE.
posted by delmoi at 8:03 AM on April 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


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