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Antiviral/Errors of the Human Body, Girls, Heavy Traffic 

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click to enlarge Antiviral / Errors of the Human Body

Antiviral / Errors of the Human Body (NR)

IFC Films

The heirs of David Cronenberg, both literally and spiritually, are out in full force with this duo of entertainingly repulsive explorations of the human body. With Antiviral, Cronenberg's son, Brandon, has crafted a masterpiece. In a celebrity-obsessed alternate present, people get closer to their favorite stars by injecting themselves with their viruses. But things go wrong when a virus salesman injects himself with a black-market sickness. Devastatingly bleak, it's a brutal commentary on TMZ culture. Errors, by Eron Sheean, is more subtle in its approach, detailing the psychological downfall of a scientist determined to find a reason for the bizarre malady that killed his newborn son. It's a slow burn of a film that obviously owes a debt to early Cronenberg, but with a heartbreaking payoff that the legendary filmmaker himself would be too emotionless to write. — Louis Fowler

click to enlarge Girls

Girls (NR)

HBO

The debut season of creator Lena Dunham and executive producer Judd Apatow's cable ensemble dramedy, which was Emmy-nominated for Best Comedy Series, spawned a lot of heavy lifting. Every week, a new controversy arose, from the cast's lack of diversity to whether or not Dunham's maddeningly flawed Hannah Horvath was helpful to feminism. By the end of each half-hour, Dunham's way with words and co-showrunner Jenni Konner's disciplined story architecture would diffuse one land mine, only to trigger another. Girls' sophomore season set about widening the rifts developing between Horvath and her rudderless friends while she tackled 20-something drama both pressing and patently ridiculous. In the end, Dunham has kept us coming back for more — HBO has ordered a third season in January — without sacrificing her vision. — Justin Strout

click to enlarge Heavy Traffic

Heavy Traffic (R) (Blu-ray)

Shout! Factory

No other animator has been as revolutionary and cutting-edge as Ralph Bakshi. Using innovative techniques, surreal landscapes and storytelling that's as gritty as the classic New York City streets it depicts, Bakshi is definitely an acquired taste. (It took a few viewings of Fritz the Cat and Wizards to lure me in completely.) His absolute work of art, however, is his semi-autobiographical 1973 excursion Heavy Traffic. Michael Corleone is a young cartoonist trying to find his way on the inner-city streets of an apocalyptic NYC. Coming in contact with hookers, murderers, gangsters, winos and worse, Michael navigates his way into a grotesque search for some sort of meaning to his life, which is hard to watch, because at times he's not any better than the scum he spits on. It makes Heavy Traffic heavy viewing. — Louis Fowler

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