Possessor ★★

hypersplattery low-tech cyberpunk wherein people are shoved out of their own minds and their bodies martyred for corporate takeovers. obviously no relation to videodrome. glances off images of transness (you, um, will know it when you see it) and numb dissociation without belaboring them - or, one might say, doing them justice. christopher abbot’s performance is superb as his character drifts along a spectrum of identity; the cues are all in his posture, voice, & expression.

otherwise possessor offers a rly abstract approach to mind-jacking (which feels kinda lifted from sophie/aaron chan’s video for “faceshopping” ...) and sadistic gore - probably overcranked, if i’m honest, and the number of ppl on here foaming over the prospect of an NC-17 rating is either festival noise or a raw-style PR setup - but big-picture i think this is essentially vapid, as was antiviral. riseborough’s character arc is so diffuse as to deform the climax into a kill list/serbian film-type sicko gotcha moment, which i don’t rly think was the intention. cronenberg has a feel for intuitive, clearly communicated genre gestures but both his movies have smothered those strengths in claggy art house dead-air - the end result just feels like cruel, sour misanthropy. how am i supposed to give a shit about your cartoon psychic mind battle shit if you lacquer it in this austere grim faux-glazer stuff ...

also the tom hooper/mr robot off-balance one-shots can get fucked, burn that shit alive

astrid rose liked this review