To coincide with the release of Ben Wheatley’s film of J.G. Ballard’s High Rise (reviewed here by Smoke Screen), Deptford Cinema is taking a look at how the author’s other novels have been adapted for the screen.
J.G. Ballard on Film begins with THE ATROCITY EXHIBITION, an adaptation of the experimental novel from 1970, a book so controversial its American publisher pulped the entire first print run for the U.S. before it was even released. Today the novel is considered a cult classic and Jonathan Weiss’ adaptation tells the story of a psychiatrist’s mental breakdown while exploring the idea that, as Kurt Vonnegut said, “a sane person to an insane society must appear insane”.
The film mixes surreal imagery, documentary film, news footage, scientific archive and drama to deliver scenes and moments that are difficult, disturbing and at times beautiful. The Atrocity Exhibition is a film that is not easy to watch nor, once seen, easily forgotten.
WARNING: Contains Extremely Graphic Material