The film versus the book: Will Pattinson and Cronenberg breathe new life?

From HollywoodNews:

If everything Robert Pattinson touches turns to gold, will the British mega-star work his alchemy on “Cosmopolis”? The 2003 novel is considered to be one of author Don DeLillo’s weakest works, and its current revival has cultivated a new crop of unflattering reviews.

“My Mind is Blown, and Not in a Good Way” read a recent headline from the Robert Pattinson fan blog, “Rob My World”, which is hosting a chapter-by-chapter readalong of DeLillo’s text. The abysmal three-star rating—not to mention similar critical commentary—corroborates widespread doubts about the quality of the book. Reviews like these stand apart from those of the novels corresponding to Pattinson’s earlier films; “Water for Elephants” was a New York Times Bestseller and “The Twilight Saga” was internationally renowned.

Perhaps it was not the story, but the character, who compelled Pattinson to take the role.

Continue reading the article HERE and our affiliate, Rob My World, has been tackling Cosmopolis as well. You can check out their discussion group: 1 | 2 | 3

The commentary from Hollywood News on the novel doesn’t surprise me based on the rumblings in Twitter-ville. I agree with the final line: “the film project is likely to surpass the book.

We’re a chatty bunch of limo riders and drivers so let’s talk about some stuff…

Do you agree with the reviews surrounding the novel? Why is it negatively received? I read our comments and often feel like we’ve read a different book than the one reviewed. We know Pattinson felt you don’t say no to Cronenberg…any other reason you think he took the part? Lastly, how successful do you see the film being? Is the Pattinson/Cronenberg combo just what Eric Packer needs?

  • Two words: source material. David Cronenberg wrote this script himself. And, as always, I agree with Rob… “you don’t say no to Cronenberg”.

    I’ll be back to discuss more after my nap… my quick take is that the film will be better. But I bet you guys knew I’d say that. 😉

  • Marina H.

    Leaving PR, and the fan following Rob brings aside, I think any film adaption of a book does good things for the author and the industry. Even if it’s not “true to the book” it raises awareness and brings a different audience into the genre. Take me for example! I never would have read Cosmopolis on my own, that’s for sure.

    In regards to Rob, I think this film will be grayt…er…great…for his career. It’s exactly the kind of serious, un-romantic, egotistical character he needs to propel himself out of the Twilight sand pit. Just saying.

    Exciting things happening here 🙂

    • i had the image…Rob propelling out of a sand pit

      • Marina H.

        like superman or like boba fett?

        uh…nevermind. just cut that last bit out.

        • *giggles* no don’t….

          superman of course

          • Aussiegirl

            Boba Fett! Boba Fett! *claps hands and stamps feet childishly*

          • Marina H.

            Boba Fett? Boba Fett…where?!

    • Twilight is not the sand pit. The critics have put it there hoping it would stay there. Just as they have undermined Cosmopolis.

      • you’re talking the comment more serious than it was intended.

        • That’s me. Discourse has a way of shutting out and eliminating meaning. Twilight is already suffering from a lack of meaning. No one quite dares to do the same to De Lillo.

          Eddward is an archetype as I have repeatedly said. And Rob intended to play him that way but CH turned it into a romance.

      • Marina H.

        Trust me, I’m as big of a Twilight fan as the next girl, but I think we’re all hoping the stars in Twilight can make a name for themselves outside of Stephanie Meyer’s universe, right?

        The world is their oyster!

    • That is exactly why all this is so wonderful. That people read a book they would never have read otherwise and then get to read it through everyone else’s eyes. It’s a sort of miracle.

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  • pausner

    I never really understand comments like, “this book was a bestseller, therefore, the movie will be great” or “this book is a classic, therefore, this movie will be bad”. Book and Film are different mediums. About the best one can say comparing a book to a film is that they will be different. Films can be analyzed on their own merits; so can books. I can objectively evaluate a film, based on the quality of the images, clarity of the speech, etc. OR I can understand a film through the degree to which my intellect is engaged and/or stimulated. Same with books.

    Novels offer one way of getting that experience; film another. I can live with that.

    I can easily envision a great movie made that has a great book as its source, a great movie from a bad book, a bad movie from a great book and a bad movie from a bad book. They’re all possibilities.

    • pausner

      I should add that there are many ways on which to judge a film or book. One is intellect engagement, another is pure fun, another escapism, etc.

    • Me too. I can’t understand the comparison between WFE and Cosmopolis. They are in two different categories. One is a best seller and the other is a cutting edge literary challenge.

    • I pay no attention to bestsellers. I sell used books on the internet and I pick up boxes of old best sellers for 25 cents that were just going to be used to start their wood stoves. WFE will be a 75 cent book sometime after the movie finishes its journey. Right now it’s trendy.

      But if it helps the plight of the elephants it is worth it!

  • IM1LuckyWoman

    I never care whether I read a book first and then see the movie or see a movie and it interests me enough to send me searching for the book. I generally always like one better than the other..sometimes the movie, sometimes the book…but they are NEVER exactly alike, and that’s okay with me. As far as taking a “bad” book and making a great movie…I think it’s completely doable (and I’m not agreeing that Cosmopolis is a bad book because I really liked it!). Case in point for the great movie, bad book in my opinion…”Forrest Gump”. I saw this movie and LOVED it! I saw it more than once. I HAD to read the book since the movie was so great. I HATED the book! In the book, I didn’t find any of the innocence and warmth of movie Forrest. So…was movie Forrest just better because it was Tom Hanks and how he interpreted Forrest? Good possibility. I’ve never been sure but I know that I can’t wait to see what Rob does with Eric Packer. That will be very exciting!!

    • good example! i did the same thing….read FG after the movie. i wasn’t in love with the characters like i was from watching the movie.

  • Hmmmmm. It’s just the way I have been thinking. As far as a good read judged by the book critic industry and its prevailing Discourse (also true for Twilight) none of them seem to get it. I guess I will have to go to Amazon and review it as that’s where I go to get good reviews.

    First it is impossible to read this book if you don’t read it through Baudrillard. I have learned this method from Diane Rubenstein in her book This Is Not a President. For example she will reread Macbeth through Butler or Parveen Adams, transsexual masquerade through Butler, Adams and Rose, etc. Almost everything through Baudrillard since all the rest of the post moderns are grounded in him after Foucault and Deleuze.

    The quote is from Rubenstein in TINAP p.8:

    How the President Came into My LIfe:Screen Memories of a Citizen Theorist

    Anthony De Curtis: The Kennedy assassination seems perfectly in line with some of the concerns of your fiction. Do you feel you could have invented it if it had not happened?

    De Lillo: Maybe it invented me.

    From an interview in South Atlantic Quarterly 89, no. 2 (Spring 1990) A special issuue on De Lillo’s fiction. He has said:The 7 seconds of the JFK assassination broke the back of the American century.

    De Lillo has steeped himself in Baudrillard and this is evident in Cosmopolis. You really cannot understandit unless you read it through Baudrillard. As Rubenstein says after this quote that the Americn presidency has functioned for her as a transitional object. This she has taken consciously from Winnecott (teddy bears in cribs as transitional objects) and used the idea/concept in a different way.

    I have spent some time here discussing will in the Cosmopolis comments under sex towards the end of the comment section. Baudrillard writes a great deal about the object thinking you as you think the object. Read this through Rob and Twilight.

    The world thinks you as you think the world. To escape the enslavement of your will forcing you to perform certain skills, tricks,identity preservation etc. offload your will onto something or someone else. Rob has deferred to Kristen who chose him. He offered himself for the role of Edward. She chose him, she thought him for the role. Hope that’s clear. Now Cronenberg has thought him for the role of Eric in Cosmopolis. Cronenberg knows Baudrillard. Baudrillard has reviewed Crash the book as the first great novel in the era of Universal Simulation. Cronenberg has done the film Crash _haven’t seen yet-and from the Amazon reviews (don’t mention Baudrillard) it appears that the lack of affect of the characters in it are true to the book which is the whole point. It is eroticism without love but not without feelings, but they are different kinds of feelings, being aroused by the merging of the body and technology interface in a physical concrete sexual way.

    Eric exists in the beginning within Universal Simulation. He is a hostage in that he is surrounded by bodyguards, living in a self contained apartment, limo etc with increasingly brief forays into the real world. As the day goes by he begins to let the world think him. And he follows the world.

    This is about as sound bitey as I can get for those of you who are not reading Baudrillard. Do it! Your life depends on it!

    I have arrived at the point in my thinking that Rob has been functioning as floating signs for sex:gaze,smile,gestures,all of it. These signs have mutated back into him and he has become “pure sign”. All the more potent as he is a double abstraction for many now. His body parts have become sexual fetishes.

    This Cronenberg-and Vija-knows. Cronenberg knows exactly what has transpired for Rob through Baudrilardian theory. Now Rob is gonna find out!

    • First it is impossible to read this book if you don’t read it through Baudrillard.

      that’s simply not true. You’re the only one that mentions Baudrillard yet so many people have read and commented on the novel. they’ve enjoyed it and analyzed it without knowing Baudrillard.

      • A pity for them.

        • anyone who doesn’t read Baudrillard should be pitied? that’s awfully pretentious.

          • KittyC

            Let me give you an example of ‘pretentious’:

            “The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth–it is the truth which conceals that there is none. The simalacrum in true.” Baudrillard

            Huh?????? Does everyone get that????? We must if we are to even try to understand Cosmopolis (apparently).

          • Marina H.


          • I get it.

      • I didn’t say it can’t be enjoyed without reading Baudrillard. I said it can’t be understood without understanding Baudrillard. And it is clear that De LIllo understands Baudrillard. I read Cosmopolis in 2003 before I ever heard of Baudrillard and when Foucault wa a subliminal trace in my memory. I enjoyed it very much. I think we are all aware that Rob wants to understand a role he is doing. From that POV do we as fans want to understand the role he is performing? Do we want to be able to explore the depths of a character he is taking on? Or do we just want to watch his pretty face and see some sexy stuff? Of course we want to see the erotic parts just that that’s not all there is to Eric. He is awakening to the simulated universe he has been inhabiting. Do we want to wake up too? It’s more clearly seen in Social Network as there is a genealogy there. It’s here. We are here in it. Do we want to change our thinking or not? That is the question De Lillo is asking and what Cronenberg has been asking all along. At this stage in his career he is not going to turn it into a deliberately commercial junket. It may turn itself into a commercial success, but then that will be the world thinking it, the world inventing it.

        • Marina H.

          So none of us here understand the book? I don’t think that’s fair. There is never ONE way to interpret anything. Especially art.

          • What you said begins with Duchamp and Warhol (war-hol(e) my pun) and that is their genius. They were the first to say it in art, the first to destroy the idea in our minds of referent that is no longer. In Cosmopolis money no longer has a referent. Words and sounds (Benno) that people have been trying to link together do not exist. Vija:real estate is no longer about property, a sense of self etc, it is about the numbers, how much you paid for it, your apartment is about 104 million dollars, not the view, not the 24 (48) rooms only ;about the amount you paid for it. This means that money no longer can be exchanged. It is a “floating sign” that goes across the screen that is our lives. It has no meaning. Notice how stupid Eric thinks the diamond merchants are in that part of New York, still dealing in a wealth that has nothing to do with real wealth. Concrete diamonds changing hands, 100 million dollars a day in the diamond market, and it’s already gone, past, done in Eric’s mind, just like the ATM machines. Eric is a future visionary which is why he has been so successful. He sees something being outdated before anyone else has any inkling.

            And so did Warhol and Duchamps before him. Anything is art. There is no good no bad, no ugly and no beautiful, it is all art even the Campbell Soup can he screened. All his works are screens. They were reproduced by labor in his factory. Warhol killed art and made it an aesthetic. Now the art market is all speculation. All circulation, like money is in circulation referring to nothing. Eric steals Elise’s money and loses it immediately, 750 million dollars and where did it go? Into the void.

            The only response is to implode. A giant potlatch. This is what Eric does. He implodes the market of floating money. there is no financing anywhere the example being the money for the film just disappearing and no one knows why where or how.

            Did I understand any of this when I read the book in 2003? No. But I get it now and it’s a much more exciting book to me. I hope it is for some of you here.

          • Marina H.

            I’m well versed on your educated opinion on Cosmopolis, and I am very awed at all of the research and knowledge you have on the subject.

            I don’t understand how this is relevant to my statement that art is always open for interpretation. That is my personal belief and I’m not asking you to justify that for me.

            Thanks always for your opinions.

          • Because interpretation is a dead end street. Anyone can interpret anything. Then anyone can reinterpret what was interpreted to infinity. Agreed? Isn’t that what you said? All interpretation is is a game, a fun intellectual game. That’s all it is. It has nothing to do with the work of art. Tell me. I spent thousands of hours studying art history and going to lectures and seminars. McCoubrey (Turner expert) would occasionally turn off the lights and scream, “Shut your damn notebooks and just look at it!” Most of the time we can’t. I clearly remember one morning when he began showing Gottlieb. I spontaneously said out loud, “It’s the morning of the world!” It doesn’t often happen but if you take psychedelics and spend a day in front of some of them you won’t be interpreting, you will be trembling in awe.

          • Kim

            Yep if we all had he same brains, they’d call us clones!

          • Interpretation is a dead discourse. It’s over. Be a dinosaur if you want though. I hope you enjoy disappointment.

          • Kim

            @Abbeysbooks I like the future visionary words you used, that fits in and explains his smartness, wanting to do away with several words, key items,
            cause who thinks like that, not your average joe. His mind racing, minimal sleep, “palest thoughts bring anxious shadows” are almost like the market itself….as you said fear!

        • i know you said it can’t be understood and that’s what i’m debating. unless they read Baudrillard, there’s no understanding of Cosmopolis. i disagree. i acknowledge that reading about the relation between Baudrillard and DeLillo could further the message read but i don’t think that message is exclusive to Baudrillardians.

          • Because you are trying to understand with your head. Baudrillard is telling you to make the leap into the unknown. There is no referent. No security. No known outcome. Just a risk, a leap, ab jump into the abyss.

            This is what Eric does. This is why he is a genius, why he has extraordinary courage. He implodes all of it, realizes he is left with nothing, has no desire to start over, has no desire to live out his life with Elise, an is letting the world live him.

            He is embracing destiny. His historical line and his destiny line have crossed, an extremely rare occurrence. In all of New York City he finds his assassin, enters his building to meet his death. Do you know Apointment in Samara? Only in that one the protagonist was trying to escape death.

          • god only knows why i would try to understand with my head. which is currently banging against a wall.

            and letting the world live him…dare i bring up your comment about you dont drink the tea, the tea drinks you? same concept? or is this another NO from you. im trying to layer.

          • Yes it is letting the tea drink you. Eric has embraced afated Event.

          • We’re trying to understand it with the filter we bring to the book. Each person is going to get something distinct and bring a slightly different interpretation to the discussions. You must know about this – everyone’s own experience ‘filter’ is going to colour the way they read, see, hear any medium. Everyone’s filter is unique, personal and powerful – the lack of Baudrillard theory in my filter does not detract from my enjoyment or ‘understanding’ of the book. I just understand it differently from you.

          • No it won’t detract from enjoyment. IMHO I derive increasing enjoyment in understanding the text through the eyes of the philospher who inspired it or De Lillo. De Lillo is fictionalizing Baudrillardian theory. Just as Foucault built on Nietzsche and the fiction of Klossowski.

        • KittyC

          I said I was done with this Baudrillard topic but I have some questions for you – you have said that 1) DeLillo is steeped in Baudrillard and this is evident in Cosmopolis, 2) …it is clear that DeLillo understands Baudrillard and 3) Cronenberg knows exactly what has transpired for Rob through Baudrillardian theory – How do you know that DeLillo and Cronenberg are students and adherents of this Baudrillardian philosophy. I’ve been doing some research and I haven’t found anything by DeLillo or Cronenberg esposing Baudrillard. Frank Lentricchia has what appears to be an interesting biography of Don DeLillo and while I only read the synopsis, nothing about Baudrillard was mentioned. And, I read several reviews of DeLillo’s books (some not very complementary to DeLillo) but found no mention of DeLillo’s being ‘steeped’ in Baudrillard. So, I’m just curious what your references to your statements are.

          I did find an interesting quote by DeLillo (apparently he is quite known for his quotes) and I think explains in just a sentence perhaps what “Cosmopolis” is about:

          “Contemporary American society is the worst enemy that the cause of human individuality and self-realization has ever had.”

          • KittyC

            I’m going to do some research of DeLillo, the man himself, his quotes, etc.(cuz I’m being drawn into DeLillo and he seems quite interesting and unique) and I will be discussing Cosmopolis through that lens. This seems like it would be more relevant and enlightening to this discussion. IMHO!

          • Kim

            I like that quote also/analyze that just a tad bit. He writes probably the way he thinks, therefore some of his sentences require mulling over to see if you get it or which way you get it!

          • Marina H.

            I love that quote from DeLillo about Cosmopolis. Thanks for finding that! <3

  • dazzledtodeath

    I don’t think a book has to be a beloved best-seller to translate well into film; Cosmopolis has some visuals that could make for a very compelling movie. I just don’t see it being a mainstream, blockbuster kind of film (which isn’t a bad thing) but I can’t imagine having to write the script for it either so who knows. It seems that it would have to be told in a more straight-forward manner for it to translate, while still keeping a lot of the imagery and symbolism. Hopefully critics will judge the film on its merits and not dwell on anything negative that was said about the book.
    I don’t remember Rob saying he’d read the book-does anyone know if he mentioned this? It’s a smart role for him to take-very different from anything he’s done, with the possibility of bringing in people who are not Twi/Rob fans (esp. men). Hopefully it will attract people who don’t know or care about Twilight, or think of Rob as Edward (although the Twi/Rob fans will surely be out there 🙂 ). I’d love to see the script and see what Cronenberg does with it. I had no trouble picturing Rob as I read the book and I can’t wait to see him as Eric.

    • in the Deadline announcement of Rob’s casting, they said Rob was a fan of Cronenberg and DeLillo…didn’t say if he’d read Cosmopolis though. i agree that this movie will have a great look on screen. it’ll be great to see how Cronenberg translates it. especially since he’s invested not only his vision behind the camera but on the story as well. this interpretation will truly be his. another one of these articles i posted on the blog, a critic said something along the lines of it translating well onscreen. it escapes me what post said this…i’ll go look…

      • No. It will be Cronenberg’s seeing through Baudrillard. Read and see Crash. He knows.

        • do you know Cronenberg? does he call you at home?

          name that movie….obviously not with Cronenberg as the name 🙂

          • The movie is Crash, the original one not the Hollywood one that got all the awards. And Cronenberg was irate that they copied the name of his. I don’t have to talk to someone to know. I can read what he’s said, the films he’s done, read Baudrillard’s reviews of Cronenberg’s films. Someone like Cronenberg is not ifnorant of someone like Baudrillard giving the book Crash by Ballard a glowing review and his movie Dead Ringers a thumbs up. Auteur filmmakers are very aware of film theory. They are primarily intellectuals who make films.

          • i knew which crash u meant. and my comment was a joke. i know Cronenberg doesn’t call you.

          • How would you know that?

          • you said: “the movie is crash. the original one…”

            i said: “i knew which crash u meant.”

            you said: “i dont have to talk to someone to know.”

            i said: “i know cronenberg doesn’t call you.”

            that last statement was going back to my original statement on the matter…using a quote from a comedy, “do you know him….does he call you at home.” so me saying “i know he doesn’t call you” was because it was all a joke in the first place.

            but it doesnt even matter now because in one comment u imply u dont need to talk to him to know anything because you can read. then you imply he might be calling you.

            too much mind fuckery from you which started with a silly Ace Ventura quote from me.


          • Because De Lillo has written a fictional account of a universe of simulation. This is Baudrillard. And when DE Lillo says maybe it invented me (JFK assassination) he is quoting Baudrillard.

            You don’t have to know this. And you don’t have to agree with me. It’s not required. Someone else might want to know. If they don’t they will go on to another comment. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

          • you’re right. i dont have to agree with you nor do i need to know all of what you speak of to find enjoyment from reading Cosmopolis. but you comment often in a condescending way. starting many comments with, “No.”

            why wouldn’t someone think you’re suggesting that they should “know this” and if they don’t “know this”, it’s a “No.” from you regarding what thoughts they’ve shared.

            i have no problem with you sharing what you know about Baudrillard, Foucault, Ballard, etc etc etc…but when you preface your replies with no’s…you’re saying the comment is wrong and yours is right.

            and i’m mostly commenting on your comments to me. i won’t ignore when someones addressing what i’ve said.

          • I can see why you don’t like me to say no. A little bit of sugar makes the medicine go down. I’m just unwilling to tweak it to sound better.

            It’s not about right and wrong. It’s about layers.

          • 🙂

            alright abbey. whatever you say. im done for the day.

            no im not. how is it about layers? when you say no you arent layering. you’re eliminating.

          • Are we talking about meaning or enjoyment? Two different categories.

          • we’re talking about turtle dust.

          • dazzledtodeath

            Wow-thank you. And here I thought it was just me.

          • KittyC

            I’m actually trying to reply to tinkrbe1l3 – oh darn I thought were talking about barking spiders, or chicken lips, but I’m on board with turtle dust!!!! LMAO

        • Kim

          I looked up your Baudrillard today, 3 main theories somewhat complicated to take in all, I replied to that free will back on the sex topic.

          • I wish he had been my Baudrillard. My teacher, mentor something. But he was Diane Rubenstein’s professor. Reading her makes him understandable. As she demonstrates, you read through someone else’s eyes, someone you regard as a primary source for you. And that is how you learn to think. The first time I read Cosmopolis I jusst read it. Through my background of reading, yes, but not through the eyes of someone I clasp to myself. Elias Canetti suggests one do this. Take a few authors and keep them to think through. Foucault thought through Nietzsche. Baudrillard murders Foucault and he does it through Nietzsche. Nietzsche’s madness at the end was not being able to get beyond the Eternal Return. Neither did Fouclault. This is where Baudrillard comes in. He goes beyond the end. Into the Universe of Simulation where there is no referent for anything. No way out except to implode. The masses in Cosmopolis and the masses in Egypt are the same. If you want to understand Cosmopolis fully, then the door to Egypt will open for you.

      • Kim

        @Tinkrbelle3 I agree that there is so much there, it can be left open ended or directed in several directions, a real piece of art. Whomever they want to impress!
        The big money/stock era was an upward slide for sure, so that will be interesting too. Some of those really good one line statements will be a challenge, cause you have to reread them to make sure you got it. Sounds like a fun movie limo and all with lots of interesting metaphor related happenings.

        • It helps to have gotten caught in a futures’ market crash. It goes on 24/7. You can’t breathe when the market closes in New York because it’s opening in Hong Kong or Tokyo or London. You never stop losing your money, and you can’t sleep!

      • Sorry again. Cronenberg will see Cosmopolis through the eyes of De Lillo. Which is why De Lillo gave him the rights and is working with him. It’s a very visual book. And so was/is Crash. And Crash is the first great novel of the simulated universe. Without Crash Cronenberg might not have gotten De Lillo. Clockwork Orange was one of the two first great movies of it. I forget the other.

        Earlier De Lillo is more accessible. And oh his portrait of Joltin Joe is classic.

        • I think the other film was Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers. Maybe not though.

    • Yes it will definitely bring fans that know nothing of Twilight. Nothing at all. All of post modern fiction gurus.

    • I don’t think the critics are going to have any idea what to do with it. So let’s do it here.

  • KittyC

    I probably shouldn’t be commenting cuz I still haven’t read the book, but from the comments I’ve read from all the incredibly astute and insightful chauffeurs on this site, it may be that other critics aren’t seeing the novel the way we are – if they are just reading this scene and that scene without thinking about the larger message of the author, they may be missing the point entirely. I believe that Rob and Cronenberg and Keira and Paul Giamatti make a very compelling reason to look forward to a phenomenal movie.

    • Yes Kitty you know intuitively. Just the genealogy of sexuality he goes through in one day.

      Elise: And Molly Bloom: yes-oh yes and yes. Finally she knows that he knows he doesn’t just want to fuck her, he wants to experience ecstasy with her. And now he knows that all that money was just about the numbers. Vija:your apartment….104 million dollars is what it is not the 24 rooms, the beautiful views, etc. And now he knows that the world is thinking him and he submits.

      • I mean destiny has put her with him all day long and each time he has fucked someone else and each time he sees her deeper.

  • BewitchedByRob

    Oh, I so hope they can breathe new life from the book to film. I have no doubt that Rob will do all he can and do it well. I’ve never seen any of Cronenberg’s films, so, I can’t give an opinion on what I think he is capable of doing for this piece, for lack of seeing his prior work.

    When we first heard that Rob was going to be playing Eric, and thoughts of Fifty danced in our heads based on the few descriptions we had, I was beyond excited. Once it was confirmed Rob definitely had the part, I bought the book and began to read it. The more pages in I went, I began to realize Eric was no Fifty, and that this book, was like no other I’ve read. Also, the more I got into it, I admittedly became scared. Very scared, and nervous, on how this was going to be brought to life on screen. So much so, I wasn’t as excited to see Rob take on the role. I really didn’t want to see him play such an odd character, with odd characters and events throughout the day, surrounding him.

    Talk about breathing new life into the book, that is what the discussions on here the last few weeks, have already done for me. I’m seeing it in a whole new perspective. One I now can understand and see the often mentioned brilliance of DeLillo through. With that said though, I’m still scared on how this will translate to film. As I said on here last week, I don’t want it to be so twisted and deeply masked that is becomes a “mindfuck” and therefore loses the audience, much like the movie Inception was for many people, including me.

    I like the premise of the book. I liked it when I first learned of the story through the announcement of Rob being in it and even after finishing the book. It has good “bones”:
    A day in the life of a young billionaire, inside his limo, in persuit of a haircut across town, betting against the yen, and his downfall by days end. IMHO, I’m hoping Cronenberg can take those bones and build something a little more exciting and less dark and deep, where I can be one
    of the ones who will say in the end, that the film, was definitely better than the book.

    Before I close, I have a question…
    Has Cronenberg ever written a screenplay based on another book, and then made it into a movie and if so, did he hold true to the book?

    • im glad the discussions here have been enjoyable for you 🙂 i see the film being an art house movie. Cronenberg isn’t a blockbuster kinda guy when you look at his filmography. i don’t see inception success. but that’s just a current perception based on limited information. it also doesnt mean this film won’t be a critical success much like his other films or acknowledged during award season.

      being the cinephile that he is, im not surprised Rob jumped at the chance to work with Cronenberg and tackle Eric Packer. not to mention the avid book reader he is and types of books he reads. he certainly doesn’t swing into too much mainstream territory. it’s going to be so fun to see how this all unfolds. 🙂

      • It’s quite possible that Rob’s fan base will get them to ponder a little when distribution time comes around. The WFE trailer was definitely watched by them and they brought him back for more scenes. and his gold wedding band that wasn’t in the book but that his fans wanted to see.

    • I don’t know if he wrote the screenplay of Crash or not or if he did the one for Dead Ringers which Baudrillard also praises. Baudrillard followed Cronenberg for a long time. There is resonance here that Cronenberg is not going to shove under the bus for money or a different kind of fame, although he may get that anyway.

    • And scared is the right feeling. It is a scary book and will be a scary movie. I am just now seeing how very scary Twilight really is. I got slammed by Avatar while reading Foucault but I let it go. They Eclipse hit me between the eyes. I know enough that when the universe hits me like that I should sit up and pay attention. In other words, the world began to think me. Deleuze says to write at the edge of your ignorance, that you must not keep reading, acquiring knowledge because you will never finish and never write. That’s me.

      Then without knowing about Baudrillard or what Canetti says, I began to read Twilight through Foucault and someone else. And it became crystal clear to me exactly why it can be considered an Event. This book is read by teens in my town over and over and over. These teens never read anything, in fact they are barely literate. Where I live is adjacent to Christian County and near Taney County where Winter’s Bone was filmed. The people are just like the people in that movie. Now what is going on I thought. Something. But what? So I began to dig and read it over and over. And Twilight is not the kind of book I would ever pick up and read. So why am I? The world wants me to reread it so I do and each time I reread it I read it through different eyes. Foucault, Artaud, Rubenstein, Baudrillard, Benjamin and I keep seeing more and more leading me to understand why tis exxplosion out of the covers of the book, out of the theatres, into the lives of the actors and onto the internet. I mean this site has over a million hits! And no end in sight. I thought I had it settled and that I could get down to hard writing after zillions of notebooks and then Cosmopolis hits me so I keep on. I can only understand him through Baudrillard as De Lillo is going over the abyss beyond the end and there is no one to go there with except Baudrillard. Then imagine my consternation when finally it dawns on me (no pun intended) that Bella’s change into a vampire and vampire life is that leap into the universe of simulation. And that Edward has been right all along. That it is death. That they are cloned, never to change, only to repeat. Forever. (Houellebecq has a novel The Possibility of An Island that is about this.)But that has been concealed for us and sugar coated just as in all romances of passionate love. So here I am. I don’t know quite how I want to deal with this understanding that I was in denial of for so long.

      And I am grateful to all of you for forcing me to clarify my words so that even I can understand what I am thinking. And this is why I write so condescending sometimes. I am furious with myself. I get it now and I realize how many months I have been deluded.

    • I had to see Inception three times to understand it so don’t think you didn’t understand it. Inception goes down all those levels to plant the idea like a seed. This is what has been happening to us.

      When Bella changes she is so suggestible. This is the expectancy hypothesis. A lovely example I think.

      My favorite is this one from my life.

      I had my niece’s three year old unpotty trained son at the swim club. I had taught her to swim so I thought well…….but Tim wasn’t having any of it. So I sat in a deck chair and let him do his thing watching very carefully. He walked around and around the pool for a long time. Then he went back to the steps and spent a long time on the first step. Then the next one. And the next. I kept quiet. then he slipped and went under. So I went in and he was under water, his hair floating up and such an astonished look on his face. I put my arms under his and pulled him up still with that same astonished face. I laughed and said you were swimming, you were swimming, swimming. He had just a moment there when he didn’t know whether to start screaming or not, then he laughed and laughed. It’s all in how you label the experience what the impressionable person takes with it, sometimes as trauma for life. You know, “She’s afraid of dogs because when she was little a dog bit her.” I usually say, “Do you want her to get over it now or do you want her to be afraid even longer?” Astonishment.

    • Rob in this role will grow to astounding proportions. Change is always a risk.

    • Yes. William Burroughs Naked Lunch. Cronenberg made a completely different film from the book and Burroughs liked it very much and had a good time working with Cronenberg. They went to Tangiers together to visualize sets of the places they went.

  • Just read netflix’s reviews of Naked Lunch by Cronenberg which he did with Burroughs on board. The reviews I read were done by avid readers of the novel and they loved what he did with it. I think that bodes well.

    It will be a permanent classic. Nothing better than that IMHO!

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  • KittyC

    OK, I’m probably going to get blasted for this ‘low brow’ comment, but I’m getting just a little weary of all the intellectual semantics and the Baudrillard worship by abbeysbooks and the fact that about 7 in 10 posts have been by her. I am just an average person with intelligence a little bit above average, but I am not an ‘intellectual’ nor have I ever wanted to be one. I was married to one and divorced him because he was so tedius. Just my humble opinion.

    • don’t bash yourself and your comments. intellectual semantics is right on the money. voice your thoughts. ur opinion is welcomed 🙂 cosmopolis was not the type of novel i would normally grab but through my enjoyment of Rob and his projects, i embraced it and love reading how everyone here is perceiving the text. i read a lot of comments on twitter and folks just aren’t that into the novel. i get that. but we’ve got a cool little community building on this blog and i think we’re going to continue having a fun ride. Rob drives my interest here and if that’s the case for you too, i say just skip the things that go beyond that. 😉

      • The question is do people want to understand the role Rob is doing or not? Their choice. I imagine Rob wants to fully understand it. I know that Cronenberg already does and probably picked Rob because of his intelligence and hunger to know. It’s not an easy book. And it won’t be an easy role.

        Reminds me of when Monroe wanted to be taken seriously and all men wanted to do was look at her tits and ass. Yet Misfits, which was hated by the public and critics alike is her finest film I think, but not the easiest to appreciate.

        When you love someone do you want to understand the way they think and feel or do you just want to gaze at them. This is why he is in love with Kristen because she sees him and wants to know him. Edward felt the same about Bella.

        • do you know Rob? does he call you at home?

          • Marina H.

            Can I have his number?

          • Every night.

    • dazzledtodeath

      Thank you for saying it Kitty, I totally agree with you. I enjoy coming here to read what others think of Cosmopolis, but am put off by the relentless name dropping/philosophising. Also I find much of it to be offensively condescending and pretty far off-topic.What I find even more irksome are the references to Rob’s “relationship” with Kristen. Nobody knows the true nature of their relationship; to comment on their being in love, her being his soul mate, etc. is silly speculation and detracts from the purpose of this discussion group-to discuss Cosmopolis the book, the film and Rob’s involvement in it. I come here because I enjoy reading others’ opinions and getting new perspectives, not to be talked down to or read R’sten nonsense. Aside from this I enjoy the discussions here.

    • Well many of you consider Rob an intellectual and love him for it. Do you? Or is it just OK for him to be intellectual? Just not his fangirls?

  • KittyC

    Not everyone worships Baudrillard –

    Denis Dutton, founder of Philosophy & Literature’s “Bad Writing Contest” which lists examples of the kind of willfully obscurantist prose for which Baudrillard was frequently criticized had this to say:

    “…Baudrillard’s hyperprose demands only that you grunt wide-eyed or bewildered assent. He yearns to have intellectual influence, but must fend off any serious analysis of his own writing, remaining free to leap from one bombastic assertion to the next, no matter how brazen. Your place is simply to buy his books, adopt his jargon, and drop his name whenever possible.”

    Just sayin!

    • LMAO!

    • Kim

      And that’s the beauty of this, all this, so many sides.
      I personally have lived long enough to know that I can listen and formulate my OWN opinion.
      Yes it might be based on society, parents, education, travel……..blah, blah, blah. But don’t just take one philosophical idea that someone dreamed up and make it religion. Adapt it for yourself and mix it up with life experiences.
      Thanks chauffers for all these book discussions!

      • Kim

        IMHO….I meant to add that with above comment.

    • I suggest you read Diane Rubenstein then. She’s professor of government at Cornell and a French Modern Theorist among other things, having directly studied with them in France. Her first book was on the fascist leaning writers at the Ecole Superieure in France that were executed after War II. Very intense and dense. I got to Baudrillard through her in her book This Is Not a President. The very best feminist modern theorists are in this book also and they all cluster around Baudrillard. A great summary of him in her intro that you might want to check out for yourself. Yes he has ben criticized for being obscure, particularly by Deleuze who was Foucault’s ally and Baudrillard went after Foucault in his Forget Foucault! He isn’t difficult for me but then I’ve just spent over a year with Foucault non-stop. Rubenstein not only integrates Baudrillard but Lacan, Butler,Adams, and Rose who wrote on Sylvia Plath.

      These people are a little more brilliant than someone who heads a Bad Writing Contest, eh? And he is a guy and most of these are women in the first rank of intellectual prestige. I am in awe of all of them. They have read everything. And they are wikedly funny including Baudrillard. But you can’t just jump in easily. Try Chicks With Dicks first in her book.

      It helps to be grounded in what you criticize before you begin. Jes sayin’.

      • KittyC

        You suggest that I read Diane Rubenstein do you? You say she is a professor of government at Cornell and a French Modern Theorist – so here’s the thing @abbeybooks – I don’t care about any of this! I think that’s what you’re not getting. I am not studying for my Phd in french philosophy and my impression of you is that you’re just a little arrogant about your intellectuallism, but intellectuals usually are arrogant and tedious beyond all reasonableness. Good for you, I guess, if all this gives meaning to your life, but I am coming from a very different place, I live in the real world (yes despite Baudrillard, I do believe in a real world) with real people who have real lives, and part of my world and my life is that I enjoy films, especially, yes I’m not afraid to admit it, in fact, I’ll say it ‘outloud’, I especially enjoy films with Robert Pattinson in them. So, please don’t be so condescending as to suggest that I ‘need’ to read all these authors cuz I don’t need to and I have absolutely zero interest in this empty intellectualism. How does any of it make the world a better place? I volunteer at the Animal Humane shelter in my city, I volunteer at several homeless shelters and have a select number of loving friends that I enjoy spending time with in addition to a loving family and I just don’t believe that the quality of my life or anyone else’s life is going to be improved by your suggestions that I immerse myself and read all these obscure authors. I never claimed to be brilliant, but I’m not a fool either.

        • I have personally saved 500 dogs so I am with you on that. Good homes, fenced in yards, all shots, and neutered/spayed.

          As for not wanting to know anything. Intellectual accomplishment is not useless and I bet when you go to the hospital or need medication you don’t realize all the intellectual research that goes into helping you.


          Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.

          And: The problems we have will not be solved by the minds that created them.

          You remind me of all the people I live around (see Winter’s Bone) who say this: “Ignorant and proud of it!”

          There is enjoyment and layers and layers of it. But only if you see the layers.

          • KittyC

            There is a WORLD of difference between not wanting to immerse myself in endless obscure french philosophy and discussing this intellectualism ad nauseum, almost entirely from your arrogant point of view, and “not wanting to know anything”. I find your comment that you somehow know anything at all about me and compare me to people who live around you who say “I’m ignorant and proud of it” offensive in the extreme. How dare you – I suggest you look to yourself if you want to see ignorance.
            (And you saved 500 dogs, really, somehow I find that very hard to believe, you actually know the number, 500? Just doesn’t have the ring of truth to it.)

            Now I am done. I have no intention of tainting this wonderful discussion with anymore of this BS.

        • If you criticize someone for what they said, then it helps to know something about what they said rather than just personally going off on a rant.

  • KittyC

    As for me and this topic, as Elmer Fudd would say “Ttthhhaaat’s all folks!”

  • Jane

    I think this is a role that has just been waiting on Rob Pattinson. He will play it the way he feels it should be played which should make the character jump out at you. Can’t wait to see the finished product.

  • IM1LuckyWoman

    Well…I managed to wade through all the posts without complete loss of my mind, but it was close. Oh my God!! I’m not sure where to start. I actually debated whether I even WANTED to start since I wasn’t sure I could stop once I began. I am, however, an adult who can control herself so I will be as concise from this point forward as I can be.

    The key point here, and one that was questioned and answered, seems to me to be whether or not we want to understand the character that Rob will be portraying in Cosmopolis. I submit that the DEGREE of understanding I wish to achieve may not be the same as that of someone else and I also submit that THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT! IF I am content with the “layer” I reach, then good for me! I don’t need anyone to tell me that is bad, wrong, sad, pathetic, ignorant or any other derogatory label,
    either verbalized or implied.

    I have my university degree. It isn’t in philosophy by my choice. If I’d wanted to study philosophy, I would have done.

    What I would like to do, is come to this site and discuss a little book that is being made into a movie starring a young man who seems to have a bright future and whose career I would like to follow as it flourishes and entertains me.

    I really hope to have a discussion here with other readers of Cosmopolis, hearing what THEY are thinking about it rather than a lecture about what some philosopher thinks about anything. Maybe that’s just me.

    • IM1LuckyWoman

      Even more concisely…I can think for myself. I do not need a philosopher to do it for me.

    • KittyC

      Thank you @IM1Lucky Woman, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  • I added some comments here tonight as my thinking has tightened up a lot since January. This was such a good workout for me back then. And it was helpful to see all the animosity I stirred up. I checked back because on my cosmopolisfilm2 blog I was looking up a search item someone used to find me and this site came up about 3/4 of the way down the page. Above this site are many references to DeLillo and Baudrillard, but in January I felt quite alone in connecting both authors. Now I see that I am in a mainstream of heavy academic hitters and I am also disagreeing with all of them. Gulp…..

    I just wanted to weigh in here because of the search engine so as not to leave the impression I was still thinking quite the same as here since I am not. I am more so and in much thicker quicksand now.