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Sometime in the future, the Canadian Academy for Erotic Inquiry is investigating the theories of parapsychologist Luther Stringfellow. Seven young adults volunteer to submit to a form of brain surgery that removes their power of speech but increases their power for telepathic communication. An unseen group of students observes the results. As the experiment progresses, Stringfellow's theories come to fruition. Later, aphrodisiacs and various other drugs are introduced to the subjects to expose an inherent polymorphous perversity. In the end, they are isolated from each other, provoking antagonism and violence between them, which results in two suicides. Written by
Daeha Ko <email@example.com>
At an Canadian Academy a group of people volunteer to be used as test subjects in an experiment to gain telepathic powers to communicate with after their ability to communicate through speech was removed. Then we slowly watch how the results turn out with sudden changes and obstacles put into motion to see how they adapt to it. While, throughout the observers constantly update us with their progress.
Was it a big mistake that I decided to watch this early Cronenberg art-flick before I went to bed. Maybe so, maybe not? I was fighting to keep my eyes open towards the end, but I can see why people were derailed by this experience. This oddity is real hard to get into and it only goes for about hour, but it does seem longer. Way longer! I wasn't entirely bored from this outing, but I did become rather restless in the final twenty minutes. The film is shot in black & white and there's real no sound, other than a voice-over that crops up every now again. This exhausting narration is bluntly monotonous with it's thick technical jargon that sometimes doesn't always tie in to what's happening on screen and you really have to concentrate to have a clue about what's going. At times I fell in and out of the context, but I still had some sort of an idea to what was happening. It goes on to relate telepathic power with sexual awaking, while looking into the behavioural patterns of these erotic and ESP activities and signals. Most of the time it feels like the film is meandering about aimlessly with a bunch of method actors who are just performing for a live crowd. Like a fellow has user has already mention it does feel like a documentary. While, the intellectual study might be a clever idea, but you can't help but feel disconnected from this lifeless exploration. The look of the film showcases the professional eye that Cronenberg would go on to incorporate into his latter flicks and this was his first 35mm shot project. The atmosphere has a lonely, out-of-this world feel with it's abstract backdrop that lingers on screen. The finesse and execution of such transfixed images is what kept me watching, really. This was the cold and distant style Cronenberg would go one to make his own and the sub-text of the plot shows up again in some way in the film "Scanners".
If you want to be entertained, look elsewhere because you'll mostly be frustrated. But if you want to see where it all began for Cronenberg look no further than here.
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