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Cosmopolis the Movie

October 12, 2011

Hailed as one of the four major American novelists of our time, Don DeLillo has yet to see one of his books hit the big screen. Rather than tackle the densest of his sprawling masterpieces, writer/director David Cronenberg recently wrapped production on one of DeLillo’s slighter novels, the NYC-based fever dream Cosmopolis. At the heart of the story is a surreal journey across 11 blocks of midtown Manhattan by billionaire asset manager Eric Packer to get a haircut. A good portion of the novel takes place in Packer’s bulletproof white limo where he takes visits from his medical, financial and threat advisors while sitting in traffic caused by a presidential visit, the funeral procession of a Biggie-level rap star, and an anarchist riot. Packer, in the midst of an existential crisis, bets all of his clients’ money away against the Yen. Cronenberg’s previous work includes an adaptation of William Burroughs’ Naked Lunch which depicted a giant insect/secret agent and alien typewriters. The image of one of Spencer Tunik’s nude landscapes in midtown Manhattan featured in the novel is right up his alley.

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