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Videodrome

Sometimes I forget how old the issues are that we’re still discussing today. Desensitization, sex and violence in media, the list goes on. And who better than Cronenberg to bring a disgusting and intriguing vision of the situation to our eyes? If Videodrome accomplishes anything, it’s showing me that no, I’m not desensitized yet. Most of the imagery is absolutely great, so much so that I didn’t even want to spoil it with screenshots, and it all works toward illustrating issues with our entertainment and desires. The timing of Cronenberg movies always throws me, and I find it hard to lay a finger on what exactly it is about the pace of them that makes me feel uncomfortable with how the plot is progressing. Perhaps that’s how I’m supposed to feel?

The main character sits at a desk with a phone on it.

Metamorphosis is a key part of the main narrative, which makes sense given the subject material. How are we being affected by what we see? Some arguments on the subject claim that violent activity is increased by violent material, but the general idea presented by Videodrome seems to be that it simply removes the ability for us to think for ourselves; that we’re so desperate for it, the hyperactive audio-visual experience, that we will seek more and more until we’ve become a void waiting to be used for whatever external purpose may arise.

The main character wearing a large helmet that is glowing orange.

I truly couldn’t believe what I was seeing at times throughout the film, and that’s something that I am always excited to feel. There are plenty of films which rely on things like shock value to work with the minds of the audience, but Videodrome serves as an example of a more acceptable way to do so; the imagery implies further discussion, and a reason to re-consider how we view things, why we view things, and whether or not we should.

A slimy gun is held by the main character.

Having said all this, I still couldn’t say that I was drawn into the film from start to finish. I have a lot to learn, and watching Cronenberg movies always demonstrates that fact for me; I feel as though there’s something I’m missing, a key element that leaves me feeling strange while watching, as though, try as I might, I cannot be absolutely taken in by what I am seeing, and lose some interest although I am highly stimulated.

Rating: Worth Seeing