Friday, February 25, 2011

The Atrocity Exhibition

Finally got around to watching The Atrocity Exhibition, directed by Jonathan Weiss. Much as Cronenburg attempted to put Burroughs' The Naked Lunch on screen, here we have the almost unfilmable interpretation of J G Ballard's 1970 collection of short stories. It was shot over a decade between 1990-2000 which you'd think would pose big problems in the discontinuity department, but it somehow hangs together. And what is it about?! Er, a psychiatrist losing his marbles, obsessed with making sense of the assassination of JFK, the suicide of Marilyn Monroe, the space race, the Vietnam War, atomic tests, car crashes, plastic surgery etc. It never got a general release but made it onto DVD and does the rounds of film festivals. I like Ballard and this is an interesting attempt at visualising his writing, but ultimately it was just too obscure and repetitive. Oh and the music is by Jim 'Foetus' Thirlwell.

1 comment:

  1. If there ever was a book that couldn't be filmed it's this.
    The structure of the text on the printed page is very important to the book as a whole.