Naked Lunch

(137 votes, average 4.77 out of 5)
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Comments (69)
  • Jackass Mask
    I think I'm high just from watching this, and I will never look at a typewriter the same again.
  • Cferra
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    I can think of a few things wrong with that title. Props if ya get the reference. =D Great video, Oan!
  • Carteeg_Struve
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    Simpsons.

    I remember watching this movie in my teens. Other than a hemorrhage of confusion, the Simpsons joke was the only thing I got out of it.


    Oh, and kudos Oan on the 'All That Jazz' joke. :-)
  • FrankN.Stein
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    I can think of at least two things wrong with that title!
  • SpotTheShingo  - TWO things wrong with that title...
    You were close though, Cferra. Real close!

    On the plus side, I knocked over the Sun Sphere!

    (Barton fink! Barton Fink!)
  • bebepopjr  - love it
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    i recently discovered this show and i have to say i love it. great review i now have a new book i can read!
  • mrrubino
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    Has OC ever done Metropolis or are the clips in the title song random high-brow-ness?
  • Wolfgar
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    Why don't more movies feature typewriter bugs?
  • Flaregun  - Reply to Wolfgar
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    'Cause Jamie Hyneman is too busy with Mythbusters these days to make them.
  • Worst Player
    Well, Half Life 2 is definitely something I thought I would never see in Brows Held High. With all the weird stuff in the movie, that one piece of game footage shown actually made me have to repeat that section of the video because I was just so darn astonished. Well played sir, well played.
  • Blackbear102  - Thank you
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    For helping me partialy understand this mess(the semi autobiografic part at leat).
    The man in the beret worked on this mindjizzfest? No wonder he went on to test asstard rumors! A man can only make so many talking anuses before he loses his soul.
    Brilliant work!
  • Bunnystick
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    YEs yes yes yes!!
  • brick mooncode
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    Cronenberg really is what a lot of art filmmakers believe they are, an auteur who has not been eluded by the designation of mainstream, but rather was the one eluding it, having long surpassed its facile conventions and finding it necessary to dispense of them lest they constrain his genius.
  • Xandos
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    I remember coming upon this movie on Hulu a few years back, searching for buggy movies (I'm an entomologist). Unfortunately I had started watching it while tired, and couldn't finish it, realizing I needed my brain active to really understand what was going on. I'm glad you chose this one, so I could see how it ended!

    Excellent review and analysis! :D
  • Moon Spirit
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    I'm guessing this is one of your first works. This really looks like a tame version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
  • Flaregun  - reply to Moon Spirit
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    Actually, in a way I think it almost kinda looks like a more insane version of Barton Fink.
  • Kevin.P.Edwards
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    Really? I feel like this is much more out there than Fear and Loathing. I mean I describe this movie in the way that I describe a Gilliam movie (which is actually a quote from FL in Las Vegas): "Buy the ticket, ride the ride."

    The reason I say this one is more out there is that this seems to divorce itself from the function aspect of a story and focus on the form. I would say this is directly from the source materials each is using. Thompson had the drive of journalism, deadlines, and the schedule of politics forcing him into more of a plot than Burroughs. This movie completely leaves reality behind and says, "Fuck you, I'll do it live." Whereas Thompson never actually leaves reality but just brings his perceptions to it.

    And seriously, I don't see what about a movie that contains typewriters that talk to you, get sexual pleasure from you using them, sexually attack you, ejaculate, and have there ejaculate get you high is exactly tame.
  • TheIrrehensibleTJ
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    But... Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas IS a Terry Gilliam movie...
  • Zydrate
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    I was wondering when you were going to put this one up. Very enjoyable as always.
  • archiveit
    I can't tell who's crazier, the author or the director.

    By the way, I watched the four hour Hamlet movie the other night because of your review. Pretty good. Thanks for the recommendation.
  • SomeRandomGeek
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    After seeing "A History of Violence" and this review, I fell compelled to watch more of Cronenberg's work.
  • Flaregun  - Reply to SomeRandomGeek
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    Check out eXistenZ really great, trippy movie that had the misfortune to come out the same year as The Matrix, a movie with a similar Virtual Reality Mindfuck premise but much flashier, Box Office friendly visual effects. I always thought eXistenZ was way better & way deeper than the Matrix.
  • LactheWatcher  - What the.....
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    Oh Cronenberg, you never fail to truly terrify me to my very core. Seriously it's a shame more horror directors don't put this much effort into their monsters, this is what is found scary!!!! It's off putting to see such bizarreness in a film treated so casually.

    Also, yeah I saw All that Jazz, I'm a film major, so yeah, I just shrugged...
  • Gibralter
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    First time I saw this movie I hated it. I think it mostly came from the fact that I was watching it with a an exgirlfriend who wouldn't shut up about what the sysbolism meant. I saw it again a few years ago, and while its a horrible mess of a movie it is enteraining if your in the mind set for it.
  • Flaregun
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    Not counting the films in the Branagh Shakespeare retrospective and his occasional "off topic" shows like "Between The Lines", this is one of only two episodes of Brows Held High proper where I'd actually seen the work being discussed beforehand. As it happened, not long before first seeing the film I had read Naked Lunch, along with its Cliffs Notes.

    Yes, there was a Cliffs Notes for Naked Lunch. They were really of only limited help in making sense of the book itself, but thanks to all the background & biographical stuff in they provided, they proved invaluable when I later saw the movie. I remembered the story of the "William Tell routine" & other details, and so understood right away that it was mostly a fantastical retelling of how Burroughs came to write the book along with a few bits of the book itself mixed in. This made all the weirdness a lot easier to deal with, knowing that there was this layer of (distorted) reality running through it all.

    Interesting note: A film adaptation of Kerouac's On The Road is due to be released sometime later this year. This is another "Beat" novel that Hollywood has toyed with the notion of doing something with ever since it came out, with no plans ever getting to a serious stage because it, too, was considered "unfilmable". And as it happens, like the film (but not the book) Naked Lunch, the book (and probably the film) On The Road also contains characters who are very thinly disguised versions of Ginsberg, Burroughs and of course Kerouac.
  • kingleo
    It wasn't too weird seeing the star of Robocop in a film that got the Criterion treatment considering that Robocop was one of Criterion's earlier DVD releases.
  • Trilaanus
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    Excellent review, first one I have seen by you, excellently written.

    On a personal note, I enjoy this movie much more than any of Cronenberg's other mindfrell movies.
  • The_Awesometeer
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    I think I want to have sex with a typewriter now
  • Medication102
    Probably because you're a douchebag...
  • Furore23
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    Holy crap we are some kind of privileged to have OanCitizen going on.

    Stay smart and classy, dear Mr Citizen. CHANNEL Smart and Classy!
  • LimeGreenSquid
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    I might just have to buy a "bag" and watch this one ...
  • theflamelord  - The Perks Of Being A Wallflower
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    Wow.
    I watched because i just finished the perks of being a wallflower, but i did not expect THAT!
  • JJFryer
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    You just became a hell of a lot more awesome for using Bill Bailey's Insect Nation ... and the movie made to MUCH sense? I've got to get that book
  • ichithe
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    love the book. love the movie. never would have thought i'd see a review on this site. yu know i like it dadadam...
  • Shinigami
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    Another good review from Oancitizen.
  • ArtticWitchica
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    My perception of Jaws has been rocked a little I must admit XD

    That and I wonder what else Jamie has worked on, but this movie looks Awesome! I think I really need to check it out.
  • TrangleC
    Frankly, I am surprised by this review, considering how Oancitizen basically talked about nothing else than whether the movie is realistic or not in his "The Perfume" review.

    With that I mean that "Naked Lunch" is a strange movie to praise for someone who disliked another movie for being about the unrealistic idea that a perfume could drive people crazy.
  • Oancitizen
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    Yes, but Naked Lunch has the benefit of being told by an unreliable narrator - all of the things Bill experiences can be explained as a drug-fueled hallucination. Perfume is established to be *our* world playing by *our* rules. Perfume is historical fiction - Naked Lunch is surrealist horror. That's why I took issue with it.
  • TrangleC  - @ Oancitizen
    I see what you mean, but I still think you went a bit too harsh on The Perfume.

    Historical fiction is full of unrealistic bullshit after all.
    Robin Hood splits an arrow with his arrow, heroic knights kill a dozen evil Turks with a single blow, maidens are so beautiful that everybody who sees them immediately falls in love and their angelic singing makes the flowers bloom in mid winter and so on and so forth.

    Even serious texts from medieval times up until modern times are full of such stuff.

    People back then just had a different understanding of what is realistic and what "our world's rules" are than we have.
    One could argue that taking that into account makes a movie about those times even more realistic.

    In any case, the Perfume is simply a fairytale for adults.
    Criticising it too much for being unrealistic means missing the point a bit, I think.

    After all, there are many movies and stories that seemingly take place in our normal world except one thing being different and unrealistic. (Like... let's say Indian burial grounds bringing dead people back to life or sharks sinking mid sized fishing boats.)
    Does that make all of those movies or books bad or stupid?

    I just don't understand why you demand total realism from that particular fictional movie/book?
    Do you generally not accept fantastic elements in historical settings?
  • Oancitizen
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    Alright, if you won't accept the historical fiction angle, then take these:

    1) Because the fantastical elements seemed more camp than profound, making them ring hollow.

    2) Because all the endless female nudity, ending with an orgy which seemed to focus on either hetero or lesbian couples smacks of a male director more keen on titiliation than enlightenment.

    3) Because the film lightly touched on the themes of loneliness and indentity but seemed to play up the more gothic, sensationalist aspects all in the guise of intelligence.

    Are those reasons satisfactory?
  • Nephilim
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    Ah Naked Lunch... First time I showed that movie to my friends they were left with a blank stare on their face after which they asked me what the fuck the thing was they just saw.. :D

    Great movie and great review. You're rapidly becoming one of my favorite reviewers on this site
  • Jragin  - Bill Bailey Reference
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    Oancitizen. Thank you for that inclusion at the end of Insect Nation. That just left me with a big smile.
  • navebucketdude  - OH Mr. burroughs
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    I really should get to watching this, after all naked lunch is my favorite book and I enjoy the works of Mr. burroughs greatly.
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