Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Caleb Landry Jones out-Pitts Michael Pitt

On the Flickchart discussion group on Facebook, someone recently (like, a month ago) posted the trailer for an upcoming movie called Antiviral, which is directed by David Cronenberg's son, Brandon.

Yes, I thought Brandon was a funny choice for Cronenberg to name his son, as well. Balthazar, maybe, but Brandon? There isn't a hint of mystery in that name. He might just as well have named him Skip or Bryce or Blaine. Maybe it was his wife's choice.

The film has already played at Cannes and Toronto, but still lacks a U.S. release date. One can only hope that's because it's as disturbing as this trailer makes it seem:

Other than the fact that voluntary and involuntary medical procedures make for deliciously squirmy subject matter for a movie, I find that actor Caleb Landry Jones is what makes this trailer seem singularly disturbing.

In fact, this guy really reminds me of Michael Pitt.

If you don't know who I'm referring to, this is Michael Pitt:

If you haven't been disturbed by Pitt (no relation to Brad) before, it means you probably haven't seen Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Funny Games or Last Days. He's also one of the stars of Bernado Bertolucci's The Dreamers, which I haven't seen, and a member of the cast of Boardwalk Empire, which I don't watch. I imagine he's disturbing in both.

There's something about the combination of his penetrating blue eyes and his deceptively baby-faced looks that make him sort of freakish, a broken child who has been twisted into something evil. Surely he has his sympathetic roles as well, but Pitt ain't going to be cast as a romantic lead in a conventional movie anytime soon.

Caleb Landry Jones hasn't been around as long, and I've only seen him in a couple movies, two of which were not particularly disturbing: X-Men: First Class and Contraband. I nonetheless managed to be discomfited by him in both films. And then he was also in The Last Exorcism, a film where he plays the brother of a possessed girl -- a pretty menacing character even if he himself is not the possessed one.

What Pitt and Jones have in common is their pale aspect, and that intense look in their eyes that could easily be warped into something sinister. With Jones in the case of Antiviral, it looks like it really has been.

At this point, it doesn't look like we'll be seeing the brainchild of David Cronenberg's progeny in 2012, but consider this one a priority of mine in 2013.


Thaddeus said...

Boring name? Maybe. I mean, his dad is named "David," which isn't exactly brimming with intrigue, right?

Still, this movie sounds like a chip off the old block, as "identity," "body betrayal," and "body modification" are all big themes for my favorite Canadian director. Thanks for bringing this one to my attention, dude!

Vancetastic said...

Well, you could say that "David" was not his choice. You have to blame Brandon's grandparents for that. Oh, and it's not that Brandon is boring -- to me, I guess it sounds like a bit of a preppy name.

I too noted the Cronenbergian themes. I can't wait to see it.