Possessor – Streaming on Modern Films

Tom Grieve, Cinema Editor
HOME

Possessor at HOME Manchester, Manchester 27 November 2020 — 31 January 2021 Tickets from £9.99 — Book now

The arrival of Brandon Cronenberg’s visceral new techno-thriller on streaming means that UK audiences can finally get acquainted with one of the undisputed films of the year. Possessor wastes no time in setting out its stall with a brutal pre-title sequence in which we witness a woman penetrating her scalp with a mysterious probe. She cries as she turns a dial. Cut to a gaudy, gleaming, crowded function room where she murders a man in a frenzied attack with a steak knife, her pristine white trainers squeaking in the blood. “Pull me out.” the woman says to an empty room, putting a pistol in her mouth…

As an opening, it is demonstrative of the kind of verve, mystery and extreme violence that characterise the film. Slowly, Cronenberg introduces us to a world of biohacking, murder-for-hire and corporate espionage. Andrea Riseborough plays Tasya Vos, an assassin who, through a grisly technological hook-up, quite literally takes control of the bodies of others in order to carry out her profession. Taking on different personas allows her to gain proximity to her targets, and as long as she ensures that her host body is destroyed in the aftermath, then the police have no leads.

Cronenberg uses his sci-fi scenario to explore base notions of identity, gender and penetration

Possessor is reminiscent of such art house provocations as Olivier Assayas’ Demonlover and Abel Ferrara’s New Rose Hotel in its slick, nihilistic depiction of the extreme logical conclusion of cutthroat capitalism. But there is more here. We see Vos begin to physically and mentally disintegrate as she takes a new host, Colin Tate (Christopher Abbott) — a man dating the daughter of his corporate overlord, and surveillance tech tycoon, John Parse (Sean Bean).

Vos has to live in Tate’s body for a few days. She slips his hand between his legs. She works his job. She has sex with his girlfriend. Cronenberg uses his sci-fi scenario to explore base notions of identity, gender and penetration as Vos prefers to execute her business with steak knives and fire pokers rather than the firearm with which she is issued. The director’s father is the illustrious Canadian auteur and Videodrome director David Cronenberg and their shared interest in relating bodily violence to philosophical ideas has been widely noted. But with this follow-up to his queasy debut Antiviral, it is clear that the younger Cronenberg is staking out a style and territory that is all his own.

Please note that 50% of your rental fee can go towards supporting Manchester independent HOME when you stream via virtual cinema by Modern Films.

Possessor at HOME Manchester, Manchester 27 November 2020 — 31 January 2021 Tickets from £9.99 Book now

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Where to go near Possessor – Streaming on Modern Films

Manchester
Restaurant
Indian Tiffin Room, Manchester

Indian Tiffin Room is a restaurant specialising in Indian street food, with branches in Cheadle and Manchester. This is the information for the Manchester venue.

The Ritz Manchester live music venue
Manchester
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The Ritz

The Ritz was originally a dance hall, built in 1928, has hosted The Beatles, Frank Sinatra and The Smiths and is still going strong as a gig venue now.

Homeground
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Homeground

Homeground is HOME’s brand new outdoor venue, providing an open-air space for theatre, food, film, music, comedy and more.

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Burgess Cafe Bar
at IABF

Small but perfectly-formed café – which also serves as the in-house bookstore, stocking all manner of Burgess-related works, along with recordings of his music. It’s a welcoming space, with huge glass windows making for a bright, welcoming atmosphere.

Rain Bar pub in Manchester
City Centre
Bar or Pub
Rain Bar

This huge three-floor pub, formerly a Victorian warehouse, then an umbrella factory (hence the name), has one of the city centre’s largest beer gardens. The two-tier terrace overlooks the Rochdale canal and what used to be the back of the Hacienda, providing an unusual, historic view of the city.

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The Briton’s Protection

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