INTERVIEW WITH BRANDON CRONENBERG
AND CALEB LANDRY JONES
with GUEST HOST PAUL SALFEN, MANAGING EDITOR OF FLAVORPILL
REVIEW – BY CHRISTINE THOMPSON
Antiviral may be one of the most disturbing movies you’ve seen in a long time, but given that Brandon Cronenberg’s father is famed venereal horror genre master David Cronenberg, “the most audacious and challenging narrative director in the English-speaking world,” does it really come as a surprise? This is Brandon’s first feature length film, and Antiviral was a special presentation at the Toronto Film Festival.
SYNOPSIS | Caleb Landry Jones (X-Men) plays Syd March, an employee at a clinic that sells injections of live viruses harvested from sick celebrities to obsessed fans. Biological communion – for a price. Syd also supplies illegal samples of these viruses to piracy groups, smuggling them from the clinic in his own body. When he becomes infected with the disease that kills super sensation Hannah Geist, Syd becomes a target for collectors and rabid fans.
Caleb’s performance is arresting, the lighting used in the movie makes him almost preturnaturally striking even as he becomes progressively more sickly from injecting himself with different diseases from uber celebrity Hannah Geist (Sarah Gadon). There’s an unsettling juxtaposition between the manufactured beauty of the desired celebrities and the everyday people who spend their lives admiring them, wanting to be them, and even (yes) eating their flesh – synthetically produced with the aid of science.
Creepy. But that’s the point.
STARRING| Caleb Landry Jones (Syd March), Sarah Gadon (Hannah Geist), Malcolm McDowell (Dr. Abendroth), Nicholas Campbell (Dorian), Douglas Smith (Edward Porris), Wendy Crewson (Mira Tesser) and Sheila McCarthy (Dev Harvey).