Why COSMOPOLIS Won’t Let Me Hate It

I watched this twice, last week.  Well, maybe one and a half times.  I watched it once and didn’t like it.  And the next day I watched some bits again because, for no reason, parts of it were sticking in my head.

It’s stagey.  Stilted.  Not all the actors can pull off the Don DeLillo dialogue that Cronenberg (ever a writer’s screenwriter) transposed from book to film.  It’s short and still feels flabby in places.  The thread of a fairly simple plot gets lost.  Among other things.

And yet.

There is something almost brilliant in here, in places.  The weird back-projection of the world outside the car the film (mostly) takes place in is a great choice. There are ideas, and ambitions, and… I’m going to have to watch the damn thing again. Because it’s making me think about it.


CHANNEL SK1N is visionary science fiction author Jeff Noon’s first novel in ten years.  It shares many genetic markers with his previous work: the surreal sf of VURT, the body attack of AUTOMATED ALICE, the people being eaten by art and culture of NEEDLE IN THE GROOVE, and the linguistic experimentation of COBRALINGUS.

The latter is, for me, the least successful element of CHANNEL SK1N, otherwise a diverting, sad and lovely story of a processed pop star, and her Svengali’s damaged daughter, being eaten by television. At times, the concept plays as MAX HEADROOM via DO ANDROIDS DREAM in David Lynch’s basement, but I absolutely recommend it for the glory of the prose, and the many instances where he lifts the material into stunning human moments.  This is a virtuoso’s warm-up set: loose, occasionally flawed to my ears, but magisterial.

You can find out more about CHANNEL SK1N, and how to buy it as an ebook, at this link here.