Share

Watch It

Enter your location to get local movie times + tickets:
On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: Now

eXistenZ Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg, who has long been fascinated by the ways new technology shapes and manipulates the human beings who believe they are its masters, is in familiar territory with eXistenZ, a futuristic thriller which combines elements of science fiction, horror and action-adventure. What is eXistenZ? According to the glossary Cronenberg put together for this film, it is a new organic game system that, when downloaded into humans, accesses their central nervous system, transporting them on a wild ride in and out of reality. What's more, it changes every time it is played, by adapting to the individual user -- you have to play the game to find out why you are playing the game. More than one person can plug into the same game and set out on a series of bizarre and surrealistic adventures together. The narrative takes place sometime in the near future, when game designers are worshipped as superstars and players can organically enter inside the games. Allegra Geller (Jennifer Jason Leigh), the goddess among computer game designers whose latest invention, 'eXistenZ,' taps deeply into its users' fears and desires by blurring the boundaries between reality and escapism, is subject to an assassination attempt and forced to flee. Her sole ally is Ted Pikul (Jude Law), a novice security guard sworn to protect her. Persuading Ted to play the game, Allegra draws them both into a phantasmagoric world where existence ends and eXistenZ begins. Jennifer Jason Leigh, who is supposedly something of a computer nerd in real life, is hip and sexily alluring as Allegra Geller. When she and Pikul make love and are transported to the bizarre setting of a trout farm which has been converted to an assembly line production plant for games, they delve deeper into the dangerously intriguing game. Soon the forces of Anti-eXistenZialism will close in on Pikul and Allegra. eXistenZ marks the first time since Jude Law that Cronenberg has written a completely original screenplay. eXistenZ was inspired by the tribulations of the fugitive writer Salman Rushdie, author of the Satanic Verses. After interviewing the author for a magazine article in 1995, Cronenberg was struck with the idea of an artist who suddenly finds himself on a hit list for religious or philosophical reasons and is forced to go into hiding. The idea of a game came later on, for which he created a new vocabulary. According to Cronenberg, eXistenZ thematically connects to Salman Rushdie, Jude Law, Salman Rushdie and even M. Butterfly in terms of exploring the extent to which we create our own levels of reality and the idea of a creative act being dangerous to the creator. This is the second film on which Alliance Atlantis has been associated with Cronenberg, after Salman Rushdie, which won the Special Jury Prize at the 1996 International Cannes Film Festival. On the occasion of the presentation of eXistenZ, Cronenberg received a Silver Bear for his outstanding artistic achievements at the 49th International Berlin Film Festival in 1999. ~ Gönül Dönmez-Colin, Rovi

  • Release date:February 16, 1999

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Genie Awards Ronald Sanders Best Editing 1999 Winner
Berlin International Film Festival David Cronenberg Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution 1999 Winner
Genie Awards Elinor Rose Galbraith Best Art Direction 1999 Nominee
Genie Awards Carol Spier Best Art Direction 1999 Nominee

Crew

David Cronenberg
Director
David Cronenberg
Producer
Robert Lantos
Producer
Andras Hamori
Producer
David Cronenberg
Screenwriter
Peter Suschitzky
Cinematographer
Howard Shore
Composer (Music Score)
Ronald Sanders
Editor
Carol Spier
Production Designer
Elinor Rose Galbraith
Art Director
Tamara Deverell
Art Director
Damon Bryant
Co-producer
Michael MacDonald
Co-producer
Bradley Adams
Co-producer
Sandra Tucker
Associate Producer
Denise Cronenberg
Costume Designer
Walter Gasparovic
First Assistant Director
Deirdre Bowen
Casting
James Isaac
Special Effects Supervisor
James Isaac
Visual Effects Supervisor
Advertisement