The Sunday Intertitle: Limited Edition

Happy to announce the impending release of Arrow Films’ limited edition Blu-ray and UHD NAKED LUNCH. a project we prepared a video essay for a looooong time ago. Finally seeing the light of day, and worth the wait. I wrote and directed the video essay NOTHING IS TRUE, Chase Barthel edited it, and appearing in it are Luke Aspell, author of an excellent monograph on SHIVERS, and Fiona Watson, Mrs. Shadowplay. It was a happy collaboration because all of us are big Cronenberg fans. I also had a preparatory phone call with David Ehrenstein to make sure I understood his objections to the movie, even though as a Blu-ray extra it wasn’t ever going to be about the film’s flaws.

And it has intertitles!

This was before Arrow had an excellent long-distance system for recording interviews, so I spoke to luke over Zoom, and then the futzy quality of the calls (see also Who Is Bill Rebane?) needed some kind of artistic alibi, something to turn the bug into a feature and make a virtue of necessity, so I decided these talking heads had been intercepted from some kind of Videodrome-type pirate signal beamed out of Interzone…

So I created Interzone Broadcasting Service (IBS) test cards. Test cards are kind of intertitles, aren’t they? And it seems appropriate to have a little aberrant humour in any Cronenberg release.

This one is a nod to the BBC’s famous scary clown test card of my 1970s childhood:

The piece also begins with a bit of typewritten text (typewriters are important in this film) which quotes the blurb from the first edition of Burroughs (The) Naked Lunch I ever handled. Explaining the title isn’t a very Burroughs thing to do, and arguably keeping it mysterious is a good thing(never swap an evocative mystery for a boring solution), but it’s a striking and sinister explanation which positions the book’s (and the film’s) horrors as REVELATORY, a hidden truth stripped bare, a feverish and wild-eyed REPORT from a liminal and uncertain zone…

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One Response to “The Sunday Intertitle: Limited Edition”

  1. Look forward to seeing your video essay.

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