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eXistenZ (1999)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 64,316 users   Metascore: 68/100
Reviews: 505 user | 188 critic | 29 from Metacritic.com

A game designer on the run from assassins must play her latest virtual reality creation with a marketing trainee to determine if the game has been damaged.

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Title: eXistenZ (1999)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Kiri Vinokur
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Gas
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...
Hugo Carlaw
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Seminar Leader
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Merle
Robert A. Silverman ...
D'Arcy Nader
Oscar Hsu ...
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Noel Dichter
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Male Assistant
Kirsten Johnson ...
Female Assistant
James Kirchner ...
Landry
Balázs Koós ...
Male Volunteer
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Storyline

Allegra Geller, the leading game designer in the world, is testing her new virtual reality game, eXistenZ with a focus group. As they begin, she is attacked by a fanatic assassin employing a bizarre organic gun. She flees with a young marketing trainee, Ted Pikul, who is suddenly assigned as her bodyguard. Unfortunately, her pod, an organic gaming device that contains the only copy of the eXistenZ game program, is damaged. To inspect it, she talks Ted into accepting a gameport in his own body so he can play the game with her. The events leading up to this, and the resulting game lead the pair on a strange adventure where reality and their actions are impossible to determine from either their own or the game's perspective. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

game | assassin | virtual reality | gun | pod | See more »

Taglines:

Play Or Be Played. See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sci-fi violence and gore, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

23 April 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

eXistenZ  »

Box Office

Budget:

CAD 31,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£362,864 (UK) (30 April 1999)

Gross:

$2,840,417 (USA) (18 June 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene where eXistenZ is introduced, the late-coming assassin, Noel Dichter, has his ID card scanned. On the bottom of the card, a line of text is scanned, which is written in the ancient Babylonian language. See more »

Goofs

The first time we see Ted Pikul at the trout farm, he labels an envelope with the letters LA. The L is clearly connected to the A. However in the next shot with the envelope on the conveyor belt the L and A are no longer connected. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Seminar Leader: eXistenZ. Written like this. One word. Small 'E', capital 'X', capital 'Z'. 'eXistenZ'. It's new, it's from Antenna Research, and it's here... right now.
See more »

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User Reviews

Where do we come from? From virtual reality, sure.
25 August 2004 | by (Porto, Portugal) – See all my reviews

David Cronenberg is doubtlessly one of the greatest directors alive and in activity (along with Lynch, Kiarostami, Kitano, Moretti, Oliveira, Rohmer, etc). Having seen almost all of his films (excluding "Dead Zone", "The Fly" and "M.Butterfly"), I have this somewhat rare opinion that "eXistenZ" is one of his masterpieces. It seems to me that this film was hugely misunderstood, culminating with the stupid idea of comparing this film to "Matrix", a rather worthless and meaningless piece of nonsense. Here in "eXistenZ", we have instead a very dense and deep meditation on the mystery of reality, of our inability to apprehend where do things come from. The characters appear and disappear as if moved by some mysterious agent, which remains inhapreenshible. Being Cronenberg a professed atheist, we can only arrive at the conclusion that each world which is presented to us and to the main characters comes from their own mind, which, nevertheless, only constitutes a part of the human body (it is now hazard that the characters have access to the game by means of something - a game pod - which is implanted into their bodies). Cronenberg stated many years ago that all reality is virtual; so, in this film, the use of the plot-device of virtual reality is a huge metaphor to the virtually of reality, as our director sees it.


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