TIFF posted this great BTS video last year of the riot scene in Cosmopolis last year and it’s included in the David Cronenberg: Virtual Museum. We see Robert Pattinson and Samantha Morton talk about the urge to destroy and the background getting ready for battle. It’s a great look back at the making of this intellectual film.


Behind the Scenes: Cosmopolis: A Specter is Haunting the World

Much of Cosmopolis takes place in the back of Eric Packer’s (Robert Pattinson) limo, which has been cork lined—or “Prousted”—to block out the sounds of the external world. While the limo provides a very intimate setting for Eric and his occasional companions as they make their way through the streets of New York, more than 160 extras were employed as the mob of protestors running rampant outside of the car. This video takes a closer look at the sound design of this film, and the technical challenges of balancing the chaos of a crowd with the extreme quiet inside the limo.

Transcript after the cut

Transcript: Cosmopolis: A Specter is Haunting the World

NARRATOR: Stage 7, Pinewood Studios, Toronto Canada. We study one hundred and sixty background actors, assembled to play a mob of protesters, recently dubbed today as the 99%, though the filming of this scene pre-dated the Occupy Wall Street movement by four months. Their mantra is a derivation from the Communist Manifesto.

CREW MEMBER: Guys, quiet please!

WALTER GASPAROVIC: Once we’re rolling, I’m going to get you to start the chant. Just to get you going in that cadence, O.K.? When I call “Background Action,” you can keep the chant going. When I call “Rat,” you’ll start miming.

CREW MEMBER: Powdering bricks.

NARRATOR: One hundred and sixty years ago, Karl Marx wrote of a time when capitalism will have reached such a degree of expansion that society will move too fast for the people.

In Cosmopolis, Eric Packer is the 1 percent – the highest socio–economic layer, which controls the financial institutions and the corporations that shape the world.

WALTER GASPAROVIC: Background action!

CREW MEMBER: Background action!


NARRATOR: He does so from within the safety of a bullet-proof stretch limo, cork-lined to block out the fuss of social unrest outside. Such a vehicle only exists in fiction, as the modular limo set is decidedly not soundproof. The protesters become mute so as not to infringe upon the dialogue.

VIJA KINSKY: You have to understand: the more visionary the idea, the more people it leaves behind. This is what the protest is all about. Visions of technology and wealth, the force of cyber-capital that will send people to the gutter to wretch and die.

WALTER GASPAROVIC: O.K. Start rocking more violently, guys!


VIJA KINSKY: What would happen if they knew the head of Packer Capital was in the car?


VIJA KINSKY: You know what the anarchists have always said?

ERIC PACKER: The urge to destroy is a creative urge.

VIJA KINSKY: This is also the hallmark of capitalist thought. Enforced destruction.



VIJA KINSKY: Destroy the past, make the future.





NARRATOR: Walla. Walla is a sound effect for the murmur of a crowd in the background. The word was created in the days of radio when they needed atmospheric background noise. It was found that if several people simply repeated, “Walla, walla, walla,” it sounded like people talking.

MICHAEL O’FARRELL: This is the important thing: “A specter is haunting the world.” Again, one person starting, the rest growing in. Keep it going for a while.
That’s like a riot crowd. That’s, like, big cheers. “Yay!!!” Let it die out.


[TO EXTRAS:] There’s going to be a series of things that we need, sound effects-wise. So, I’m gonna just holler out things for you to say.




WALTER GASPAROVIC: When the glass broke. When the glass broke on the car. O.K., Ready? And…

CROWD: Yeah!!!

MICHAEL O’FARRELL: What’s on your signs? Your billboards?

WALTER GASPAROVIC: Let me bring some here. And then I could just put them up.


WALTER GASPAROVIC: They could just look at them.

Democracy now! Democracy now!
A specter is haunting the world! A specter is haunting the world!



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One of the great things about Cosmopolis is the ongoing conversation that is had. A recent blog post from Memoirs From A Culture Stalker took a look at Cosmopolis and Cronenberg’s use of bodies in the film. It’s a good read that adds more layers to a film that already unfolds like an onion.

Cosmopolis is a film about rapid, difficult conversations mostly taking place in a car. Its narrative stakes are obscure, it lacks anything like a climax, and it features some of the most soulless and alienated characters I have seen. Yet compelling direction from Canadian vet David Cronenberg and its timely indictment of our finance-driven way of life make it a bleak, deconstructive comedy worth watching.

For this post, I would like to narrow my focus to what I think is the master theme of the film: the human body. Cronenberg, who has directed such fleshly pictures as The Fly, Videodrome, Dead Ringers, and Crash (no, not that one), is obviously preoccupied with embodiment as a subject. For him, the body is a site of transformation, suffering, pleasure, and horror. But humans are not merely flesh but also psychology, and therefore a place where we can see “normative” boundaries between mind and body, inside and outside, and all sorts of others break down and blur. In Cosmopolis, Cronenberg investigates what I would call financial bodies, bodies that are abstracted, rationalized, and monetized into nonexistence or irrelevance.

We’ll be looking first at the body of our protagonist,  Eric Packer (perfectly embodied by Robert Pattinson). A financial wunderkind worth tens of billions of dollars, he initiates the plot of the film by setting out across New York City in search of a haircut. This day, however, the American President is also in town, as well as a mob of anarchist protesters and a so-called “credible threat” to Packer’s life. While this is going on, he is intentionally destroying his company and personal fortune through bad currency speculation. Much of the reasoning for this remains mysterious, though hints surface here and there. The film makes much of the tedium and arduousness of his slow advance through the city in a technically advanced and closely guarded stretch limousine, outwardly identical to all the others. While Packer is able to manage all aspects of his business using his networked car and its various computer interfaces, he must bodily move from one side of the city to another to get his haircut.

Click HERE to keep reading the analysis….

In conclusion:

Pattinson’s performance and Cronenberg’s camera are able to tell us that, whatever despicable things Packer has done, he is no less human than those protesters. Something admirable about Cosmopolis is that, while it is clearly a film critiquing the suffocating excess of wealth and its displacement and marginalization of the poor, it  does not let the audience off with an easy moral or a tidy political solution. This is why, even though the dialogue in the film is abstract and didactic, the film still feels unresolved and tense throughout. It might be obvious about what it’s about, but it’s far more obtuse about what it thinks we should do about it. It’s a film that points to the smouldering wreckage of global consumer capitalism while admitting that we in the first world have our entire identity invested in it.

Cronenberg is teaming up again with Robert Pattinson, Sarah Gadon, producer Martin Katz and more to film his next movie, Maps To The Stars. Follow our blog HERE if you’d like to keep up with the news. Production begins July 8th.

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Indiewire made a list of 2012 independent films that ranked in their Year-End Critic’s Poll that are now streaming on Netflix so “you can now have immediate access to  some of the most acclaimed recent films”. Cosmopolis is number 6 on the list. I checked out a few of these already but I’m most excited for Holy Motors since it was constantly mentioned with Cosmopolis last year (the year of white limos) and topped many lists. Click HERE to see the impressive Best of 2012 rankings list forCosmopolis and check our some of the films you probably recognize from joining Cosmopolis on those year-end lists.

France1. Holy Motors (Ranked #1 on Indiewire’s Year-End Critic’s Poll List)

2. Once Upon A Time in Anatolia (Ranked #8 on Indiewire’s Year-End Critic’s Poll List )

3. The Turin Horse (Ranked #9 on Indiewire’s Year-End Critic’s Poll List)

4. The Deep Blue Sea (Ranked #14 on Indiewire’s Year-End Critic’s Poll List)

5. Oslo, August 31st (Ranked #15 on Indiewire’s Year-End Critic’s Poll List)

6. Cosmopolis (Ranked #17 on Indiewire’s Year-End Critic’s Poll List)

7. The Kid With A Bike (Ranked #18 on Indiewire’s Year-End Critic’s Poll List)

8. The Loneliest Planet (Ranked #20 on Indiewire’s Year-End Critic’s Poll List)

9. Neighbouring Sounds (Ranked #26 on Indiewire’s Year-End Critic’s Poll List)

10. Bernie (Ranked #28 on Indiewire’s Year-End Critic’s Poll List)

Click HERE to get the streaming links for Compliance, Elena, The Imposter, How to Survive a Plague, The Cabin in the Woods, Take This Waltz, Goodbye First Love, Keep the Lights On, andAlps.

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"What does it mean to spend money? A dollar."

"It means you can see this movie on iTunes."

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 5.44.29 PM

Click HERE to rent Cosmopolis this week for only 99 cents!

"It's mine if I buy."

Click HERE to buy Cosmopolis for only $5.99!

Thanks, Al, for the tip!

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Grab your Sobieski!

Cosmopolis Blog discovered a fun reviewer that lists drinking games for the films they review.Movieboozer wasn’t a fan of the film but we think their game is pretty spot on for having an “enhanced” movie watching experience:

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: any time a rat is referred to or shown


Take a Drink: whenever anyone talks in convoluted finance-speak


Take a Drink: anytime anyone has or refers to sex


Do a Shot: whenever Pattinson tells someone his prostate is asymmetrical


And there you go! I bet Kendra would have liked to play but she’s a sloppy drunk and always spills drinks where they don’t belong.

I watch this movie all the time and will definitely test this out with Chauffeur Deb. The financial and sex talk ones are going to be the killer. Let us know if you try the game. You can always play with coffee and OJ but where’s the fun in that?


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The future is impatient. Pressing upon our characters, Eric Packer and Vija. Chief of Theory or not, you can’t stop birthdays from rolling around and today we celebrate Robert Pattinson and Samantha Morton who share May 13th as their day of birth.


They were not born to run. We look at them and know what they are. Two tremendously talented actors who continue to share complex, riveting characters on the big screen. We wish them all the best and continued success.

Chiaroscuro wrote a great review for Cosmopolis that’s a pleasure to read on this celebratory day. An excerpt:

‘Cosmopolis’ proves to be an outstanding and unflinching depiction of the current climate. The character of Eric Packer almost serves as a modern day martyr. His overwhelming sense of isolation from the real world or the growing disillusionment that comes with being wealthy, he seems relentless in his pursuit to reject any association with such a fatally mundane lifestyle.

In a real game changing role, Pattinson delivers his most accomplished and assured performance to date. Anchoring the film with meticulous poise and charisma, his thoroughly engaging protagonist here may finally put the doubters to rest in regards his acting abilities.

Cronenberg certainly hasn’t opted for the ‘hack and slash’ approach here either in his interpretation of Delillo’s work. The tongue twisting lengthy segments of dialogue literally torn from the pages are daringly faithful. The uninitiated perhaps will be left dumbfounded by the bamboozling of such intelligent jargon, others will find it refreshing and mesmerising. Whilst his directorial style remains intimate and precise, he certainly doesn’t shy away from the visual metaphors either. A particular highlight involving Pattinson facing up to Paul Giamatti’s antagonist Benno Levin, framed exquisitely within a wide angle shot emphasising the ever growing class divide between the rich and a disgruntled working class.

Overwhelming in its deconstruction of so many subject matters, it’s certainly too unusual and talky for the mainstream. For the more open-minded among us however, ‘Cosmopolis’ is an engrossing piece of cinema saturated in social resonance and intellect that deserves its intricacies to be deciphered.

Click HERE to read the review in its entirety! Click HERE to read more reviews!

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Cosmopolis will be shown at the Domestic Arrivals Festival on March 2nd in downtown London, Ontario at the Museum London.

10:00 pm
Cosmopolis, David Cronenberg, 2012, Canada, 109 min, 14A

Arriving in the wake of the Occupy movements and the recent financial collapse, David Cronenberg’s stylish and timely adaptation of Don DeLillo’s apocalyptic satire follows a billionaire financier (Robert Pattinson) as he creeps across an imploding New York City in a limo, his life of absurd luxury collapsing around him. It’s a scenario geared expressly toward Cronenberg’s sensibilities, playing out like Videodrom–or, as The New Yorker argued, Crash–transplanted to the endangered world of the one per cent. With Robert Pattinson, Paul Giamatti, Juliette Binoche, Jay Baruchel.

Canada’s Top Ten 2012

If you’re in the area, go show your support for this excellent film! Tickets are $10 at the door. Click HERE to see other pricing and to purchase.

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Cosmopolis is available NOW! Buy HERE and look for instant download links at the top of the sidebar. 

UPDATE: New lists added all the time. Scroll down and look for (new) to see if you missed any.


The film made appearances on MANY Best Of lists for 2012. We’ve been posting them but wanted to provide a cumulative post that we’ll sticky to the top of the blog. If you see any that are not included, drop us a tweet, email or leave it in the comments.

Congrats to David Cronenberg, Robert Pattinson, Don DeLillo, Paulo Branco, Martin Katz, Sarah Gadon, Paul Giamatti, Juliette Binoche, Kevin Durand, Emily Hampshire, Samantha Morton, Jay Baruchel, Mathieu Amalric, Patricia McKenzie, Gouchy Boy, K’naan, Howard Shore, Metric, and all the remaining crew and fans of Cosmopolis!


  • The Cinephiliacs/Peter Labuza: Number 1 film of 2012!
  • Cinemart: Number 1 Film of 2012!
  • City Connect: Number 1 Film of 2012! “I know this is going to raise a few eyebrows, but I can explain. Yes, the dialogue is strange – that’s why it’s the best written movie of the year. And yes, it makes no attempt to emotionally engage with the audience – but that’s the point. Cronenberg is presenting to us an uncomfortably realistic vision of the future, where capitalism leaves us as emotionless unsatisfied vampires. It’s proved to be a little too distant and unattached for some people, but for me it was a work of sheer brilliance.”
  • Art Forum/Amy Taubin: Number 1 film of 2012!
  • San Francisco Bay Guardian: Number 1 film of 2012!
  • Cahiers Du Cinema: 2nd out of 10
  • The Password is a Swordfish: 2nd out of 10
  • Huffington Post: 2nd out of 10
  • Out 1: 2nd out of 13
  • The Film Stage: 3rd out of 10 
  • Philadelphia Weekly: 3rd out of 10
  • Film Capsule: 3rd out of 10 – “Cosmopolis is a slow, maddening descent into the hollow center of modern America, a vain search for meaning in an age of endless, pulsating data, and a trip across town to get a haircut. In other words, Don DeLillo’s heady novel is perfect material for director David Cronenberg, who has long proven adept and unusually insightful at making our technological fetishes grotesquely literal.”
  • (new) This is Culture: 4th out of 5
  • L Magazine: 4th out of 25
  • Film News (UK): 4th out of 10
  • Phil on Film: 6th out of 10 
  • Some Came Running: 6th out of 25
  • MSN Movies: 6th out of 10
  • Achilles & the Tortoise: 6th out of 10 
  • The Alamo Drafthouse Programmers: 7th out of 10 – “In my experience, the audience laughed uncomfortably throughout, or walked out of the theater during, scenes that to me read as wholly sincere, unable to process its heady mix of intellectual demagoguing, primal attraction, and oddly uncinematic staging. There are moments in this narrative where nobody talks, where the walls of the white limo block out any outside sound whatsoever — in other words, moments of total silence. Robert Pattinson’s character and the story that surrounds him exist in a world within and yet without the real world — a kind of nothing space or vacuum that glides effortlessly through New York City for the most trivial of reasons — a simple haircut. I felt initially ambivalent towards this film, but could not stop thinking about it days and weeks afterward. Ultimately, I gave in to what felt right and decided I was in love with it.”
  • Smells Life Screen Spirit: 7th out of 10
  • Movie Mezzanine: 7th out of 50
  • White City Cinema: 8th out of 10 
  • Sight & Sound: 8th out of 10
  • The Bloodshot Eye: 8th out of 20
  • Movie City News: 9th out of 10
  • Arizona Newszap: 9th out of 10 – “Cronenberg is nothing if not consistently innovative, in terms of form and content. With Cosmopolis, we get him at his best in both.”
  • Movie Maker: 9th out of 12
  • Processed Grass: 9th out of 66 – “There’s this tense dichotomy between this safe space and an outer world in turmoil, that makes the collision of the two, both physically and found in Pattinson’s performance, all the more intense.”
  • The Gerogie Show: 10th out of 10
  • Chicago Reader: 10th out of 10
  • Cinemablend: 10th out of 10
  • Yuppee Mag: 10th out of 10
  • Time Out New York: 10th out of 10
  • Compulsory Internet Presence: 10th out of 10 – “A grand, weird, bold effort even by Cronenberg’s standards, this film is an absolutely mesmerizing adaptation of Don DeLillo’s novel.  I could speak here about how timely the film is with its unsparing critique of capitalist society.  Or how Robert Pattinson delivers an astonishingly assured performance that hopefully portends a career full of them.  Or how the score – a collaboration between Howard Shore and the band Metric – sustains and enhances the general mood of dread hanging over the entire film. But really, perhaps the best thing about this film is how it feels like the work of a completely vibrant, reinvigorated filmmaker.  I was not at all expecting a film this vital and meticulously crafted on the heels of his most recent effort – 2010’s A Dangerous Method – but here we are with what might be Cronenberg’s strongest and most unique effort since 1996’s Crash.  I want to shout it from the rooftops.  This film is a treasure.”
  • In Review Online: 10th out of 20
  • Screen Crush: 12th out of 20 
  • Slant Magazine: 13th out of 25
  • NY Film Society: 15th out of 20
  • Film Comment: 15th out of 50
  • The Village Voice: 16th 
  • Indiewire Critics Poll: 18th out of 50
  • Sound on Sight: 20th out of 40 
  • Criterion Corner: 24th out of 25
  • Total Film: 37th out of 50
  • Buzzine: 1 of the top 5 Indie movies
  • The Password is Swordfish: 1 of 2 favorites for 2012
  • Dread Central: Named Cosmopolis among the top 5 Best of 2012
  • Shoot the Critic: 1 of 6 in no order – “Robert Pattinson steps up to the challenge of playing the twisted, self-doubting, masochistic, and sexually insatiable protagonist. He has lots of sex, philosophizes on life, gets lectured on art and theory, faces death, kills, and gets half a hair-cut – among other activities, all shot in a typically artificial yet beautiful Cronenberg way.”
  • CineTalk: 1 of 10 in no order
  • Chicagoist: 1 of 10 in no order
  • TIFF: 1 of 10 best Canadian films of 2012



  • (new) Philadelphia Weekly: Who Should Have Won Overall – Best Adapted Screenplay –“David Cronenberg David Cronenberg’s script for Cosmopolis makes great a so-so Don DeLillo novel, although its real power emerged when the actors came to speak their lines. Who knew Robert Pattinson was put on earth to deliver overly-stylized DeLillo dialogue?”
  • (new) Philadelphia Weekly: Who Should Have Won Overall – Best Actor – Robert Pattinson “And I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Robert Pattinson wuz robbed—for Cosmopolis, not Breaking Dawn 2.
  • Vancouver Critics Awards: Best Supporting Actress – Sarah Gadon
  • The Film Stage: One of the Best Ensembles of 2012
  • The Password is a Swordfish: 2nd on a list of Best Screenplays – David Cronenberg
  • Processed Grass: 4th out of 5 Top Actors – “[Pattinson] delivers a pitch perfect performance in the role of a detached financial wunderkind. There’s a confidence and tragedy to Pattinson’s work here, but it’s toward the end, as the film’s world spirals out of control, that allows Pattinson to show why he belongs on this list and keeps his name as one to continue to monitor moving forward.”
  • The Password is a Swordfish: 5th on a list of Best Actors – Robert Pattinson
  • The Village Voice: 6th on a list of Best Directors of 2012 – David Cronenberg
  • The Password is a Swordfish: 7th on a list of Best Directors – David Cronenberg
  • Indiewire Critics Poll: 8th out of 50 Best Ensemble 
  • 24fps: David Cronenberg named Best Director and Pattinson, Best Actor
  • Indiewire Critics Poll: 20th out of 50 Best Director – David Cronenberg
  • The Village Voice: 13th on a list of Best Actors of 2012 – Robert Pattinson
  • Indiewire Critics Poll: 40th out of 50 Best Performance – Robert Pattinson
  • Indiewire Critics Poll: 39th and 46th out of 50 Best Supporting Performances – Paul Giamatti & Sarah Gadon
  • Indiewire: One of Favorite Unconventional Performances – Kevin Durand
  • Indiewire Critics Poll: 14th out of 50 Best Screenplay – David Cronenberg
  • Film School Rejects: 3 out of 12 best movie soundtracks and scores of 2012
  • Indiewire Critics Poll: 15th out of 50 Best Original Score or Soundtrack
  • The Village Voice: Paul Giamatti among a list of Best Supporting Actors
  • The Village Voice: Sarah Gadon, Samantha Morton, Emily Hampshire and Juliette Binoche among a list of Best Supporting Actresses
  • The Village Voice: Cosmopolis among a list of Best Screenplays
  • Vancouver Critics Awards: Nominated – Best Canadian film, best director, best actor for Robert Pattinson, and two best supporting actress nominations, for Sarah Gadon and Samantha Morton.
  • Online Film Critics Society: Cosmopolis nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay
  • Canadian Screen Awards: Nominated for Adapted Screenply, Score, Original Song
  • International Cinephile Society: Cosmopolis nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay
  • Flavorwire: 27 out of 30 for best movie poster 2012
  • FilmFest: Audience vote 1 of the 10 best of 2012
  • IFC: Unforgettable Movie Moments of 2012
  • Icon Film Distribution: Top 10 Actors of 2012 – Robert Pattinson for Cosmopolis
  • CriticsTop10: 25th out of 50 films making Best Of lists
  • Vulture: Critics list of cultural events of 2012 – Seitz: “David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis seems pretty much perfect to me. I saw it a couple of months ago, and not a day has gone by that I haven’t thought about it.”
  • Cinema Scope: Top 10 of 2012 – Honorable mention
  • (new) Saturn Awards – Best DVD/BluRay releast nomination
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The chauffeurs send huge congratulations to Sarah Gadon! We loved her performance as Elise “We will. We Shall” Shifrin and are thrilled to see it recognized last night by The Vancouver Film Circle Critics. :)


From The Globe and Mail:

On the Canadian side, Kim Nguyen’s haunting child soldier drama Rebelle and Panos Cosmatos’s feature film debut Beyond the Black Rainbow each received three awards. Rebelle was named best Canadian film, Rachel Mwanza best actress in a Canadian film, and Serge Kanyinda best supporting actor in a Canadian film.Beyond the Black Rainbow, a science fiction film set 20 years in the past, picked up awards for best director of a Canadian film (Cosmatos), best actor in a Canadian film (Michael Rogers), and best British Columbia film.

Rounding out the Canadian awards, Sarah Gadon was named best supporting actress in a Canadian film for David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis.

Congratulations Sarah! And congratulations to ‘Cosmopolis’ for all the nominations.

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‘Cosmopolis’ is starting 2013 with a BANG; it arrived on DVD and Bluray on Jan 1 and is showing up on an impressive number of “Best of 2012″ lists. Now, lucky Torontonians have another chance to see ‘Cosmopolis’ on the big screen at TIFF Bell Lighthouse this Friday and Saturday (January 11 & 12). As if that isn’t enough bang for your buck (see what I did there?) the man himself, David Cronenberg, will be addressing the audience at the Friday screening only.

You can click HERE to order tickets online or call 1-416-599-TIFF for further info.

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