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 <email@example.com>
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 movie required re-shooting, the schedule required for it interfered with this one. Leigh chose to stay on this movie, and her role in Eyes Wide Shut (1999) was re-cast. See more »
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 »
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.
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Where do we come from? From virtual reality, sure.
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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