Naked Lunch

Naked Lunch

Blu-ray (Wide Screen)

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Overview

This cinematic/literary hybrid fuses motifs from Beat writer William S. Burroughs's novel of the same name with elements of the author's biography and plenty of the cerebral alienation and biomorphic special effects fans of creepy cult director David Cronenberg have come to expect. Bill Lee (Peter Weller) wants to write, but he exterminates bugs to pay the bills. His wife, Joan (Judy Davis), becomes addicted to Bill's bug powder dust, and soon he joins her in a world of unorthodox hallucinogens; he visits the kindly yet sinister Dr. Benway (Roy Scheider) and walks away with his first dose of the black meat -- a narcotic made from the flesh of the giant aquatic Brazilian centipede. Soon, monstrous beetles are whispering conspiracy theories in Bill's ears and his nebbish writer friends Hank (Nicholas Campbell) and Martin (Michael Zelniker) are sleeping with Joan under his nose. When a party trick involving a liquor glass and a gun goes awry, killing Joan, Bill flees to Interzone, a Mediterranean city full of talking insectoid typewriters, double agents, offbeat aesthetes, and plots within plots. As he navigates this paranoid landscape, Bill begins ingesting another drug called mugwump jism and writes fragments that Hank and Martin soon assemble into a novel under the title Naked Lunch. As beat literature aficionados know, Interzone is based on Tangiers -- the city where Burroughs wrote Naked Lunch. The incident in the film in which Hank and Martin appropriate Bill's writing and have it published closely approximates the real-life circumstances of the novel's publication, although it was Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac who helped out the real-life Burroughs. The William Tell incident that kills Bill's wife is also drawn from the author's real life. "William Lee" is both Burroughs' literary stand-in and the name under which he published his first autobiographical novel Junky. Ian Holm, who plays Joan Frost's husband, Tom, would appear in Cronenberg's similarly experimental eXistenZ several years later.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/09/2013
UPC: 0715515105019
Original Release: 1991
Rating: R
Source: Criterion
Region Code: A
Presentation: [Wide Screen]
Sound: [DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound]
Time: 1:55:00
Sales rank: 15,978

Special Features

Audio Commentary featuring Cronenberg and actor Peter Weller; Naked Making Lunch, a 1992 Documentary by Chris Radley about the making of the film; Special effects gallery, featuring artwork and phots alongside an essay by film writer Jody Duncan; Collection of original marketing materials; Audio recording of William S. Burroughs reading from his novel Naked Lunch; Gallery of photos taken by poet Allen Ginsberg of Burroughs; Plus: a Booklet featuring reprinted pieces by film critic Janet Maslin, critic and novelist Gary Indiana, filmmaker and writer Chris Rodley, and Burroughs

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Peter Weller William Lee
Judy Davis Joan Frost/Joan Lee
Ian Holm Tom Frost
Julian Sands Yves Cloquet
Roy Scheider Dr. Benway
Monique Mercure Fadela
Nicholas Campbell Hank
Michael Zelniker Martin
Robert A. Silverman Hans
Joseph Scorsiani Kiki
Claude Aflalo Forgeman
Peter Boretski 2nd Exterminator/Creature Voices
Deirdre Bowen Actor
Michael Caruana Pawnbroker
Ornette Coleman The Ornette Coleman Trio
Yuval Daniel Hafid
John Friesen Hauser
Laurent Hazout Interzone Boy
Howard Jerome A.J. Cohen
Justin Louis 3rd Exterminator
Joseph di Mambro Interzone Boy
Sean McCann O'Brien
Barre Phillips The Ornette Coleman Trio
Kurt Reis 1st Exterminator
Julian Richings 4th Exterminator
Jim Yip The Chink

Technical Credits
David Cronenberg Director,Screenwriter
Deirdre Bowen Casting
Ornette Coleman Songwriter
Denise Cronenberg Costumes/Costume Designer
Bryan Day Sound/Sound Designer
Elinor Rose Galbraith Set Decoration/Design
Gabriella Martinelli Co-producer
James McAteer Art Director
Ronald Sanders Editor
Howard Shore Score Composer
Carol Spier Production Designer
Marilyn Stonehouse Production Manager
Peter Suschitzky Cinematographer
Jeremy Thomas Producer
Chris Walas Special Effects
William S. Burroughs Source Author

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