1001 Movies Club - Naked Lunch (1991)

#832. Naked Lunch (1991)


Why It's In The Book: "Cronenberg coheres a disorienting mishmash of fact and fiction with the rigid framework of film noir formalism. The result works more like a surreal  portrait of Burroughs than as a traditional narrative, which should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the iconoclastic bent of both Burroughs and Cronenberg... Cronenberg's audacious subversion of narrative is admirable, as are the performances by Weller, Judy Davis, and Roy Scheider... of particular note is the astounding score, a collaboration between Cronenberg's composer of choice Howard Shore and legendary free jazz saxophone player Ornette Coleman. Like the film itself, it's a remarkable collision of different sensibilities, of composition, and of spontaneous expression." -1001 movies You Must See Before You Die

Member Ratings

Squish - 7/10
"Naked Lunch’s mood is Bohemian slow-jazz Forties, writers living in poison-veined dirt, drifting in and out of reality."
Tom Clift - 7/10

"While the story is baffling (and largely unsatisfying as a result), the tantalizing mystery aspects, the impressive practical effects, excellent lead performance and jazzy score make Naked Lunch an interesting film to watch."

Whitney - 7/10
"I think people assume that Cronenberg's adaptation of William S. Burroughs' novel is accidentally silly. That it's alluding to meaning that a viewer can't figure out because of bad filmmaking. I disagree. I don’t think there is any concrete meaning to uncover. I think it's supposed to be silly."
Adolytsi - 5/10
"I can’t believe I actually sat through this one; both because it’s so weird and because it has so little actually going for it as a movie."
Movie Guy Steve - 5/10
"The film is both real and unreal, existing in the real world as well as the vaguely Arabic Interzone of Bill Lee’s subconscious mind."
Robert - 5/10
"By the end, it felt like a bunch of random events had happened, with no purpose or symbolism, and I was never really interested or absorbed throughout the movie."
Brian Vs. Movies - 3/10
"On a purely artistic level, I have to give the man some kudos for filming a seemingly unfilmable novel.  That said, I am amazed that this movie was A) funded B) finished and C) released in theaters."
alfindeol - 2/10
"Only the second best man in a chick suit of reveal of the early 1990's."
Fey - 2/10
"Ok, so I hate Magnolia a lot, but I can at least understand why they put it on the 1001 movies list. I'm not even sure why someone felt that Naked Lunch had the right to exist."
Overall Rating: 4.8/10


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