Here's an unsettling NSFW short film from Canadian body-horror maestro David Cronenberg. Watch this one out after office hours, so no one will be quietly judging you as you watch a naked woman in an unbroken 9-minute short ask to have an unlicensed mastectomy from a creepy unseen doctor.
The Nest was commissioned by the International Film Festival Rotterdam for a retrospective exhibition at EYE Film Institute in Amsterdam. In the short, Cronenberg continues to explore familiar themes—from the relationship of body and mind to the fear of authority. The film opens up with a topless Celestine (Evelyne Brochu) sitting uncomfortably on the edge of a metal table and speaking directly to one Dr. Molnar, played by Cronenberg himself. The setting, which appears to be a garage or unfinished basement, is obviously an unorthodox place to have major surgery. Celestine does not mention the setting and instead questions the doctor’s credentials and convictions. She grows more troubled as the conversation progresses, revealing the purpose of her visit, stating that she believes insects have infested her left breast. The work maintains a pitch black humor in its exchanges. Frank conversations about the value of an entomologist and ways to eradicate the nest of insects by removing her nipple and creating a sort of “hatch” for them to escape into some sort of jar they would prepare drive the emotions, if not a plot. Dr. Molnar is there to play the devil’s advocate, noting that the insects may not wish to come out. They may cower in fear or may be unable to fly. All shot in one take, point-of-view from Cronenberg’s head-cam, The Nest builds in complexity as each character’s beliefs and intentions remain uncertain in a state of reality and Cronenbergian sci-fi horror.
The film will be online until September 14, coinciding with the end of the exhibit in Amsterdam. Watch, share, and be well.
Jeffrey Bowers is a tall mustached guy from Ohio who's seen too many weird movies. He currently lives in Brooklyn, working as an art and film curator. He is a programmer at Tribeca Film Festival, Rooftop Films, and the Hamptons International Film Festival. He also self-publishes a super fancy mixed-media art serial called PRISM index.