IMDb > eXistenZ (1999)
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eXistenZ (1999) More at IMDbPro »

Videos (see all 3)
eXistenZ -- Jennifer Jason Leigh stars as a game designer who creates a virtual-reality game that taps into the players' minds.
eXistenZ -- A programmer creates a virtual-reality game that taps into minds.


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6.8/10   69,749 votes »
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Down 9% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
David Cronenberg (written by)
View company contact information for eXistenZ on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
23 April 1999 (USA) See more »
Play it. Live it. Kill for it. See more »
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
3 wins & 7 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
hyper-reality shocks! See more (515 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jennifer Jason Leigh ... Allegra Geller

Jude Law ... Ted Pikul

Ian Holm ... Kiri Vinokur

Willem Dafoe ... Gas

Don McKellar ... Yevgeny Nourish

Callum Keith Rennie ... Hugo Carlaw

Christopher Eccleston ... Seminar Leader

Sarah Polley ... Merle
Robert A. Silverman ... D'Arcy Nader
Oscar Hsu ... Chinese Waiter

Kris Lemche ... Noel Dichter

Vik Sahay ... Male Assistant
Kirsten Johnson ... Female Assistant
James Kirchner ... Landry
Balázs Koós ... Male Volunteer

Stephanie Belding ... Female Volunteer
Gerry Quigley ... Trout Farm Worker

Directed by
David Cronenberg 
Writing credits
David Cronenberg (written by)

Produced by
Bradley Adams .... co-producer
Damon Bryant .... co-producer
David Cronenberg .... producer
Andras Hamori .... producer
Robert Lantos .... producer
Michael MacDonald .... co-producer
Sandra Tucker .... associate producer
Original Music by
Howard Shore 
Cinematography by
Peter Suschitzky 
Film Editing by
Ronald Sanders 
Casting by
Deirdre Bowen 
Production Design by
Carol Spier 
Art Direction by
Tamara Deverell 
Set Decoration by
Elinor Rose Galbraith 
Costume Design by
Denise Cronenberg 
Makeup Department
Carol Davidson .... assistant makeup artist
Stephan Dupuis .... special makeup designer
Réjean Goderre .... hair stylist: Ms. Leigh (as Rejean Goderre)
Mary-Lou Green-Benvenuti .... hair stylist (as Mary Lou Green)
Debra Hawkes .... assistant hair stylist
Shonagh Jabour .... makeup artist
Micheline Trépanier .... makeup artist: Ms. Leigh (as Micheline Trepanier)
Doug Morrow .... special makeup effects lab technician (uncredited)
Adrian Stansfield .... creature effects painter (uncredited)
Production Management
Michael MacDonald .... production manager
Tammy Quinn .... assistant production manager
Lori A. Waters .... post-production supervisor (as Lori Waters)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Penny Charter .... second assistant director
Cassandra Cronenberg .... third assistant director
Walter Gasparovic .... first assistant director
Kirsteen McLean .... third assistant director
Leo Scherman .... trainee assistant director
Art Department
John Bannister .... key scenic artist
Jerry Beaudrow .... carpenter
Gordon Becker .... assistant head carpenter
Dexter Bonaparte .... set dresser
J. Tracy Budd .... lead man (as Tracy Budd)
Flavian Bulfon .... carpenter
Kerry Bullis .... laborer
Jean-Pierre Charbonneau .... head carpenter
Dan Christov .... laborer
Janet Cormack .... scenic artist
Joe Curtin .... construction coordinator
Kevin Curtin .... carpenter
Scott Donais .... scenic artist
Danielle Fleury .... assistant set decorator
Christopher Geggie .... property master (as Chris Geggie)
Jason Graham .... art department trainee
Arvinder Grewal .... first assistant art director
Kevin Haeberlin .... on-set dresser
Paul Jefferson .... carpenter
Marc Kuitenbrouwer .... assistant head carpenter
Jacques Lamarre .... carpenter
Sabri Lariani .... lead carpenter
Mari Laughlen .... assistant property master
Rupert Lazarus .... second assistant art director
Alois Ledinek .... on-set carpenter
Peter Legault .... assistant head carpenter
Carole Lord .... scenic artist
Michael Madden .... first assistant art director
Stephen Magill .... carpenter
Bradley McInnis .... scenic artist
Richard McStay .... assistant head carpenter
Melissa Morgan .... head painter
Peter P. Nicolakakos .... buyer
Brian Patrick .... property assistant
Jim Peters .... greensman
Dusty Reeves .... art department coordinator
Paul Renaut .... lead man
Doug Rennie .... scenic artist
Mila Rolicz .... scenic artist
Sam Santoro .... laborer
Michael Smolski .... carpenter
Mark Stafford .... on-set painter
Robert H. Steiner .... construction cost administrator (as Robert Steiner)
Kim Wagner .... additional food preparation (uncredited)
Sound Department
Eric Apps .... adr recordist
Tom Bjelic .... sound effects editor
Gregory Martin Clayton .... cable operator (as Greg Clayton)
Ed Colyer .... adr mixer
Graham Daniel .... sound re-recording mixer
Joseph Doane .... assistant sound effects editor
David Evans .... supervising sound effects editor
Glen Gauthier .... sound mixer
Paul Germann .... assistant sound effects editor
Mark Gingras .... adr editor
Mark Gingras .... dialogue editor
Wayne Griffin .... supervising dialogue editor
Punam Khosla .... assistant sound effects editor
Goro Koyama .... foley artist
John Laing .... dialogue editor
Mishann Lau .... assistant dialogue editor
Andy Malcolm .... foley artist
Ron Malligers .... foley mixer (as Ron Mellegers)
Ray Merrin .... sound re-recording mixer
Lyle Scott-Darling .... assistant sound re-recording mixer
Paul Shikata .... sound effects editor
Steve Switzer .... boom operator
David Tyler .... assistant adr mixer
Tony Van den Akker .... foley mixer
Nick Watson .... stereo sound consultant: Dolby, UK
Rebecca Wright .... foley assistant
Sharon Zupancic .... foley assistant
Gren-Erich Zwicker .... assistant dialogue editor
Ryan Shore .... sound (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Warren Appleby .... floor effects
Damon Bishop .... special effects technician
Alisa Brooks .... special effects technician
Brandon Cronenberg .... special effects technician
Stephan Dupuis .... creature designer
Stephan Dupuis .... special makeup
James Isaac .... special effects (as Jim Isaac)
John Jackson .... special effects technician
Patrice Jacques .... special effects technician
Frances James .... special effects technician
Michael Kavanagh .... floor effects
Alex Laverick .... special effects technician
Serge Lavigueur .... special effects technician
Kelly Lepkowsky .... creature effects supervisor
Tim Lidstone .... special effects technician
David Loveday .... special effects technician
Jay McClennen .... special effects technician
Ryan Nicholson .... special effects technician
Dennis Pawlik .... special effects technician
Evan Penny .... special effects technician
Jim Reischl .... special effects technician
Dawn Rivard .... special effects
Sean Sansom .... special effects technician
Patrick Tenasco .... special effects technician
Daniel White .... floor effects
Michael Kavanagh .... mechanical effects coordinator (uncredited)
Derek Liscoumb .... special effects technician (uncredited)
John MacGillivray .... rigging key, special effects technician (uncredited)
Scott Maple .... special effects assistant (uncredited)
Jim Peacock .... special effects prop builder (uncredited)
Jeff Skochko .... special effects assistant (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Jerry Andrews .... motion control specialist: Toybox
Alex Boothby .... digital effects compositor: Toybox
Jeff Campbell .... digital effects compositor: Toybox
John Coldrick .... compositor: opening titles
Kenn Elliott .... additional scanning: Toybox
Mike 'Fuzzy' Ellis .... digital film supervisor: Toybox (as Mike Ellis)
Raymond Gieringer .... 3D animator: Toybox
Mark Goldberg .... digital effects compositor: Toybox
Derek Grime .... 3D animator: Toybox
Rob Gyorgy .... digital effects compositor: Toybox
James Isaac .... visual and special effects supervisor (as Jim Isaac)
Shawn Maher .... camera operator: Toybox
Michael Manza .... 3D animator: Toybox
Jesh Murthy .... 3D animator: Toybox
Josa Leah 'SDB' Porter .... in-house coordinator: Toybox
Paul Rigg .... digital effects compositor: Toybox
Jim Rutherford .... lead 3D creature animator: Toybox
Ralph Sevazlian .... 3D animator: Toybox
Chris Stoyan .... motion control grip: Toybox
Andy Sykes .... executive producer: Toybox
Tony Willis .... motion control supervisor: Toybox
Emily Wong .... production coordinator: Toybox
Nelson Yu Lik-wai .... 3D technical support: Toybox
Kenn Elliott .... film assistant: Toybox (uncredited)
Peter Cox .... stunts
Jamie Jones .... stunts
Alison Reid .... stunt coordinator
Alison Reid .... stunts
Regan Moore .... stunt performer (uncredited)
Billy Oliver .... stunt driver (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Jonathan Billings .... dolly grip
Don Cochrane .... electrician
Christopher Dean .... key grip
Ava Gerlitz .... still photographer
Dianne L. Haggarty .... grip (as Dianne Haggarty)
Michael Hall .... first assistant camera
Jeff Heintzman .... best boy grip
Robert Hicks .... best boy
Vanessa Ireson .... second assistant camera
Delroy P. Jarrett .... electrician (as Delroy Jarrett)
Chris Kalbfleisch .... camera trainee
Martin Lake .... grip
Philip Lanthier .... grip (as Philip 'Buck' Lanthier)
Jim MacCammon .... electrician (as James MacCammon)
Steven Morrisson .... rigging gaffer (as Steve Morrisson)
David Moxness .... gaffer
Andrew W. Peart .... video playback operator (as Andrew Peart)
Adam Pill .... grip
Michael Plant .... generator operator
Peter Suschitzky .... camera operator
Frank Teunissen .... rigging grip
Mark D. Acheson .... grip (uncredited)
Cinar Eryasar .... electrician (uncredited)
Clement Lush .... tape operator (uncredited)
Casting Department
Elizabeth Gray .... casting assistant
Eleanor Lavender .... extras casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Christina Cattle .... assistant costume supervisor
Brenda Gilles .... costume supervisor
Christopher Hargadon .... assistant costume designer (as Chris Hargadon)
Lisette Lefevre .... seamstress
Angie Vastagh .... wardrobe assistant
Editorial Department
Christopher Donaldson .... first assistant editor: film
Gary Fluxgold .... first assistant editor: film
Andrew MacRitchie .... assistant editor: UK
Aaron Marshall .... trainee assistant editor
Sean Moriarity .... post-production assistant
Ricardo Olivero .... color timer
Catherine Rankin .... negative cutter
Tad Seaborn .... first assistant editor: avid
Peter Watson .... first assistant editor: film
Pierre Cadieux .... dailies colorist: second unit (uncredited)
Bill Holley .... colorist (uncredited)
Music Department
Nancy Allen .... associate music editor
Rowan Collier .... assistant music recording engineer
Robert Cotnoir .... score mixer
Jennifer L. Dunnington .... assistant music editor (as Jennifer Dunnington)
Dan Evans Farkas .... music editor
Isobel Griffiths .... music contractor
Lydia Kavina .... musician: theremin
Dick Lewzey .... music recording engineer
Suzana Peric .... music editor
Howard Shore .... conductor
Howard Shore .... orchestrator
Ryan Shore .... music copyist
Susan Shufro .... assistant music editor (as Sue Shufro)
Ruth Cornes .... orchestra contractor: LPO (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Matthew Garland .... driver
Bill Hagan .... transportation captain
Richard Higgins .... driver
Bill Leeking .... head driver
Don Morley .... driver
Joe Norris .... driver
Dave Puddister .... driver: construction department
Don Retzer .... transportation coordinator
Brad Winans .... driver
Dean Wittaum .... driver
John Bekavac .... driver (uncredited)
Other crew
Debra Beers .... location manager
John 'Frenchie' Berger .... gun wrangler
Deanna Bolton .... assistant: Mr. Hamori
Bruce Buchanan .... technical advisor
Mark Bukator .... production accountant
Cherri Campbell .... executive assistant to Robert Lantos
Jane Conway .... animal wrangler
Robert Cotnoir .... synclavier programmer
Chris Cozens .... auricle operator
Tony Desmond .... assistant production accountant
Katherine Doyle .... accountant: special effects unit
Prudence Emery .... unit publicist
Tammy Fitzgerald .... stand-in: Ms. Leigh
Andrea Franks .... assistant production coordinator
Vic Fraser .... librarian
David Garnett .... office assistant
Simon Goldberg .... legal services: Natural Nylon, UK
Anthony F. Grani .... office assistant (as Anthony Grani)
Bob Hall .... shop foreman
Tomas Hartl .... purchasing agent
Linda Kang .... assistant: Mr. Hamori
Beverley Kolbe .... assistant location manager
Lacia Kornylo .... head of production: Alliance Atlantis
Jeff Krebs .... technical advisor: avid (as Jeffrey Krebs)
Jeff Kulbak .... finance
Margaret Lee .... assistant title designer: opening titles
Mark Logan .... location scout
Luz Magcawas .... payroll clerk
Kevin Mahonchak .... copyist
Rafal Mickiewicz .... stand-in: Mr. Law
Cathy Moore .... studio manager
John Nelles .... dialect coach
Robert Pilichowski .... title designer: opening titles (as Rob Pilichowski)
Teresa Rogers .... production legal affairs
Andrew Rosen .... production assistant: Alliance Atlantis
Dug Rotstein .... script supervisor
Marlene Schmidt .... producer: opening titles
Elizabeth Senyi .... production coordinator (as Elizabeth Senyi-Potechin)
Tracey Seward .... head of production: Natural Nylon
Adam Shaheen .... executive producer: opening titles
Kitty Stanbrook .... production coordinator: Natural Nylon
James Steven .... location production assistant
Vay Trong .... post-production accountant
Ben Tucker .... office manager
Andrea Wood .... business and legal affairs: Alliance Atlantis
Ray McMillan .... rear projection supervisor (uncredited)
Nick Veziris .... gun wrangler (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial Effects
  • Toybox (digital visual effects)
Other Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for strong sci-fi violence and gore, and for language
97 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Jennifer Jason Leigh had already finished shooting her role in Eyes Wide Shut (1999) when she took on this role. When her scenes in that film required re-shooting, the schedule required for it interfered with this one. Leigh chose to stay on this film and her role in Eyes Wide Shut was re-cast.See more »
Continuity: When Pikul is extracting the tooth from Allegra's shoulder, the sleeve of her top is rolled down. In the next shot after it comes out, her shoulder is covered again, but Pikul's hand resting on it hasn't moved. (There are deliberate costume discontinuities in this movie, when the characters shift in and out of eXistenZ, but this isn't one of them.)See more »
[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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58 out of 88 people found the following review useful.
hyper-reality shocks!, 14 July 2003
Author: big-red from Istanbul

David Cronenberg's `eXistenZ' is a well designed reflection of the philosophy of existentialism. It addresses the problems of a culture that is plugged into technology that it can no longer distinguish between fantasy and reality or between the organic and the mechanical. The movie shocks the audience with its replacement of mechanical technology with organic, metabolismic one. In this context the technology is able to be part of human body. After playing the virtual reality game of `eXistenZ', the real world feels like a game and as a result, human behavior change in order to apply violent game-urges even when the game is over. In eXistenZ, technology has evolved from machinery to biological organisms that plug directly into the human nervous system; an idea that reflects Marshall McLuhan's belief who is a well known media theorist, that computers are extensions of human consciousness. Like telephone is an extention of the ear, television is an extention of the eye, telegram is an extention of the central nervous system high-tech virtual reality is an extention of human consciousness. In eXistenZ, technology is biological and thus more human than it is in our world. But as technology becomes organic, humans become more mechanical and therefore less free, unable to resist their game-urges. eXistenZ is a virtual realty simulation of man's existence. Jean Baudrillard describes a mediated society in his book of Simulacra and Simulation, which all power to act has been transformed to appear. The world has passed into a pure simulation of itself. In eXistenZ it is obvious to see Baudrillard's mediated society with the themes of the invasion of the body, the loss of control and the transformation of the self into other.

While you are in the eXistenZ, consciousness slowly replaces with another identity, your role in the game, which is a reflection each individual's real life subconscious. While you gain the control of your hyperreal life step by step, the aura of your real life disappers. For Baudrillard, `.simulations or simulacra, have become hyperreal, more than real.' Our hyperreality, like Cronenberg's world of computer simulation, `.now feels, and, for all intents and purposes is, more real than what we call the real world.' (Baudrillard) The purpose of the game which can basically be called 'experience' is quite metaphorical. Because you can not even know what is experience unless you experience it. As existentialists say that, life without an exact explanation is absurd, the game of eXistenZ is absurd too. Cronenberg, ironically reflects the absurdity of our lives. For instance, in the game, the other roles just stand still unless you ask them a pre-programmed question. And when you put their aimless funny looking state of being into the representation of our lifes, the exposed absurdity really shocks.

The theme of the game is to understand what it is for? This hidden metaphorical question creates anguish over the people who play eXistenZ. They have no doubt about their existence, however they do not know the underlying reason of their existence. The essence.

Existentialists have held that human beings do not have a fixed nature, or essence, as other animals and plants do; each human being makes choices that create his or her own nature. In the formulation of the 20th-century French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre, existence precedes essence. `Choice is therefore central to human existence, and it is inescapable; even the refusal to choose is a choice. Freedom of choice entails commitment and responsibility. Because individuals are free to choose their own path, existentialists have argued, they must accept the risk and responsibility of following their commitment wherever it leads.' Perhaps I should mention, `eXistenZ' deals with the concept of freedom of choice too. You achieve your final role in the game by taking right decisions. If you don't than the game becomes irrevelant and boring. So, you begin to interrogate the game, your existence rather than your essence. You suddenly become schzopfrenically alianated from the game and realize your position outside the game. Well as a last word, eXistenZ is a well designed reverse simulation of life thus existentialism.

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