As of late, the vast majority of news items pertaining to David Cronenberg have taken a specific focus on the upcoming Maps to the Stars (review here), but he has yet another title coming in a few months’ time — one that may prove an even more substantial and essential piece of work. True to his literary roots and early career ambitions, this work is a novel: Consumed, which, while moving from writing to publishing rather quietly — or more quietly than we’d expect of a major voice’s debut in a new medium — has received recent advance publicity in the form of a nine-minute short.
Titled The Nest — and produced in conjunction with the EYE Film Institute‘s new exhibition on his oeuvre — it expands a recently released preview, centering on a woman (Evelyne Brochu) attempts to illustrate, vividly, to a doctor (voiced by Cronenberg) why she needs a mastectomy. The reasons are… look, considering who this is written and directed by, you really do not need me to tell you that the reasons are equally unusual and horrifying, such attributes only multiplied by the cold, clinical nature so common to his late era. (I’ll leave discovering the rest up to you.) While the intrigue of it should only increase your anticipation for Consumed, this is a worthy work all its own; let’s hope the same holds true of those upcoming 300 pages.
Watch the short below (via IndieWIRE):
Stylish and camera-obsessed, Naomi and Nathan thrive on the yellow journalism of the social-media age. They are lovers and competitors—nomadic freelancers in pursuit of sensation and depravity, encountering each other only in airport hotels and browser windows.
Naomi finds herself drawn to the headlines surrounding Celestine and Aristide Arosteguy, Marxist philosophers and sexual libertines. Celestine has been found dead and mutilated in her Paris apartment. Aristide has disappeared. Police suspect him of killing her and consuming parts of her body. With the help of an eccentric graduate student named Herve Blomqvist, Naomi sets off in pursuit of Aristide. As she delves deeper into Celestine and Aristide’s lives, disturbing details emerge about their sex life—which included trysts with Herve and others. Can Naomi trust Herve to help her?
Nathan, meanwhile, is in Budapest photographing the controversial work of an unlicensed surgeon named Zoltán Molnar, once sought by Interpol for organ trafficking. After sleeping with one of Molnar’s patients, Nathan contracts a rare STD called Roiphe’s. Nathan then travels to Toronto, determined to meet the man who discovered the syndrome. Dr. Barry Roiphe, Nathan learns, now studies his own adult daughter, whose bizarre behavior masks a devastating secret.
These parallel narratives become entwined in a gripping, dreamlike plot that involves geopolitics, 3-D printing, North Korea, the Cannes Film Festival, cancer, and, in an incredible number of varieties, sex. “Consumed” is an exuberant, provocative debut novel from one of the world’s leading film directors.
Consumed will be released on September 30.
What did you think of this short? Are you looking forward to his novel?