Naked Lunch (Criterion Collection)

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Product Overview

Naked Lunch, William S. Burroughs' hallucinatory, "unfilmable" novel is finally realized on-screen by director David Cronenberg. Part-time exterminator and full-time drug addict Bill Lee (Peter Weller) plunges into the nightmarish netherworld of the Interzone, pursuing a mysterious project that leads him to confront sinister cabals and giant talking bugs. The fruit of an unholy union between two masters of the hilarious and the macabre, Naked Lunch mingles aspects of Burroughs' novel with incidents from his own life, resulting in a compendium of paranoid fantasies and a searching investigation into the mysteries of the writing process.


Studio Criterion Collection
SKU 40230163
UPC 715515014922
UPC 14 00715515014922
Format DVD
Release Date 11/11/2003
Rating Rating
Aspect Ratio
Name Cronenberg,David
Link Search Link
Cast & Crew
Ian Holm - Actor
Judy Davis - Actor
Julian Sands - Actor
Monique Mercure - Actor
Peter Weller - Actor
Roy Scheider - Actor
William S. Burroughs - Based On Novel By
Peter Suschitzky - Cinematographer
David Cronenberg - Director
Ronald Sanders - Editor
Jeremy Thomas - Original Music By
Ornette Coleman - Original Music By
Jeremy Thomas - Producer
David Cronenberg - Screenplay
ReviewSource Washington Post
Review Despite its outrageous scenes -- including the ravishing of a gay youth by centipedal Sands -- there's something muted about the film. It feels studiously surrealistic, an excuse for cinematic buggery; deep in its center there's a lack of conviction. It's not an emotional movie. It's hard to feel engaged. Weller's well-known, simpatico face affords familiarity. In this psychic terrain, where you're on your own, you take whatever familiarity you can get. He gives as strong a performance as these strange circumstances allow. Yet it's small comfort. This movie feels like what it is -- a Canadian eulogy to a Burroughs novel.
Reviewer Desson Howe
ReviewRating 7
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review ... But I'm spinning my wheels here, maybe to avoid the paradox of this film: While I admired it in an abstract way, I felt repelled by the material on a visceral level. There is so much dryness, death and despair here, in a life spinning itself out with no joy. Burroughs inhabits the madhouse of his mind, and as he is addressed by bugs and phantoms and the specter of his murdered wife, the most horrifying thing of all is that he reacts in the same detached, cold way. All except for a moment of grief he permits himself over her dead body. One suspects he could have cried out with the same rage and hurt all of his life.
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 7
DVD, Aspect Ratio 1.85:1, Hi-fi Stereo
Product Attributes
Actor Cronenberg,David
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
The New York Times A small masterpiece--moody, elegant, and funny as hell.
Variety A fascinating, demanding, mordantly funny picture.

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