In David Cronenberg’s latest genre twister, Crimes of the Future, Viggo Mortensen and Lea Seydoux plays partners who are performance artists, engrossed in performing surgery (largely on the former) for public nightclub spectacle. They’re enthralled with the freedom they can take on each other’s bodies. All of this in a governing society that’s not too fond of it.
The NEON release opens on June 3 at a time when Roe vs. Wade is in jeopardy at SCOTUS.
Cronenberg acknowledged at the Cannes Film Festival press conference that the movie “addresses, though not overtly political way, the question of who owns whose body.”
“I did write it 20 years ago, but you can feel that this was coming, this kind of oppressive ownership and control,” said the filmmaker about how issues of rights over one’s body against ruling governments hasn’t gone away. “It’s a constant in history: There’s some sort of government that wants to control its population and means once again, body is reality.”
And that control then leads to the government having sway over “speaking, your brain”.
“In Canada, and I have said this recently, we think everyone in the U.S. is completely insane, I think the U.S. has gone completely bananas, and I can’t believe what the elected officials are saying, not just about Roe vs. Wade, so it is strange times” said Cronenberg about the right leaning political attitudes stateside.
“We talk about Putin and the invasion of Ukraine, but then south of the border in Canada we feel the vibrations that are weirdly similar,” the filmmaker said.
“The movie is not overtly political. But to me, all art is political or innately political. It is an expression of culture, context and intellect, of a very specific language, so in that sense it’s political, whether the creator of the work is conscious of it or not.”
The press conference moderator asked about the notion of climate change in the film, specifically pointing out the boy who eats a plastic pail at the onset of the pic.
Consider it intentional on behalf of the Crash filmmaker and a nod to the burgeoning use of microplastics in the globe.
Cronenberg mentioned how stopping the Earth’s production of plastics is challenging. How about we embrace plastics as food? “(It would) solve the problem of famine,” he said.
“It’s a Jonathan Swift, modest proposal, satirical suggestion, but at the same time there’s some reality,” Cronenberg conceded.
Deadline’s Todd McCarthy exclaimed about the pic, the filmmaker’s sixth title at Cannes, “Cronenberg hasn’t made exactly a comedy with Crimes of the Future. But what could have been a grossly and even off-puttingly gruesome display of torturous experiments and corporal corruption has been treated with an unexpectedly light and even playful hand, a sense underlined by the characters’ tacit as well as explicit admissions that they don’t entirely know what they’re doing in their adventurous search to meld the human and the mechanical.” Rotten Tomatoes off 21 reviews counts a 90% fresh score.
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