Please Speak Continuously And Describe Your Experiences As They Come To You

***1/2

Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Please Speak Continuously And Describe Your Experiences As They Come To You
"He shows almost as much affection for body horror as his father David, and uses food to deliberately disgusting effect." | Photo: Courtesy of La Semaine de la Critique

Brandon Cronenberg's latest short seems to be a brain implant canape course ahead of his second feature, Possessor, starring Andrea Riseborough and Christopher Abbott, which reportedly sees a shadowy organisation use this sort of technology so that assassins can inhabit the brains of other people to carry out their deadly work.

Please Speak Continuously And Describe Your Experiences As They Come To You is a a creepily enigmatic nine minutes, in which we see psychiatric patient Emily (Deragh Campbell) experience the affects of an implant. The device itself is matchbox shaped and tends towards the steampunk end of sci-fi market, perching on top of her head and hidden beneath a wig. When she has sessions with her psychiatrist Dr Fino (Neil Bennett), he takes her, at the flick of a series of switches, into "a hybrid space" where she describes her dreams.

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Cronenberg goes retro all the way here, from the box on Emily's head to the techniques he uses to raise the chill factor, drenching his actress in different coloured environments or making it appear as if she has fragmented into a hundred Emilys, as though in a hall of mirrors. He shows almost as much affection for body horror as his father David, and uses food to deliberately disgusting effect. More of a mood piece than a narrative, there's a distinct sense of the director and his DoP Karim Hussain playing around with ideas here, as an embroiderer might work on a sampler, to see what works best. But if these are the sort of techniques they are using in the feature - currently in post-production - then it's worth looking out for.

Please Speak Continuously And Describe Your Experiences As They Come To You is available to watch for free on Festival Scope until June 2

Reviewed on: 25 May 2019
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Emily is a patient at an experimental psychiatric facility where a brain implant prototype allows her to relive her dreams.

Director: Brandon Cronenberg

Writer: Brandon Cronenberg

Starring: Deragh Campbell, Neil Bennett, Ian Goff, Deragh Campbell, Neil Bennett, Ian Goff

Year: 2019

Runtime: 9 minutes

Country: Canada

Festivals:

Cannes 2019

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