Cronenberg’s first feature film in eight years brings him back to his body horror roots Viggo Mortensen and Léa Seydoux play surgical performance artists who publicly display the metamorphosis of human organs in avant-garde performances. When her actions draw the attention of a National Organ Registry investigator (Kristen Stewart), the government’s true mission becomes clear: Organ transplants will lead to the next phase of human evolution. “Crimes of the Future” will premiere on Cannes this month before Neon releases it in the US on June 3rd.
More from IndieWire
That follower famously teased that “surgery is the new sex” and showed – among other graphic moments – a man’s eyelids being sewn shut.
“I expect strikes in Cannes and this is very special. There are some very strong scenes,” Cronenberg said meeting. “I mean, I’m sure we’re going to have strikes within the first five minutes of the film. I’m sure of it.”
And the ending isn’t much better: “Some people who have seen the film have said that they think the last 20 minutes will be very hard for people and that there will be a lot of strikes. Some guy said he almost had a panic attack,” the Fly filmmaker added. “People are always going out and the seats notoriously rattle when they get up because the seats fold back and hit the backrest. You can hear clack, clack, clack.”
Cronenberg wrote the screenplay, originally titled Painkillers, over 20 years ago. The History of Violence director has revisited the story during the COVID-19 lockdowns, realizing that the future is even more terrifying now than it was then. Cronenberg swapped the title, borrowing from his 63-minute 1970 film Crimes of the Future; However, the two works are not related.
“Crimes of the Future” has already made waves afterwards Neon presentation at CinemaCon 2022but Cronenberg hopes Cannes audiences will go to the screenings… well, blind.
“It’s going to be the first time I’m seeing it with an audience that knows very little about the film, and so I’m going to get laughs where I think they should or shouldn’t be,” Cronenberg explained, while maintaining the graphic Films will retain its signature humor. “Of course there is also the issue of language and subtitles and so on, but French viewers who have seen the film will certainly understand the humour. Much of the humor comes from the dialogue, so you need to know what the dialogue is to understand the humor. But yeah, like all my films, it’s funny. It’s a funny movie. It’s not only funny, it’s definitely funny.”
Just don’t expect that same reaction when Cronenberg’s sex-obsessed “Crash” premiered at the 1996 festival.
“For one thing, there’s really no sex in the film. I mean, there’s eroticism and there’s sensuality, but part of what the film says – and one of the characters says it very bluntly – is that surgery is the new gender. If you accept that, then yes, there is sex in the film because there is surgery! That might put people off,” Cronenberg said.
He continued, “If they’re going to be as outraged as they were on ‘Crash’ I kinda don’t think. They may be disgusted enough to want to leave, but that’s not the same as being outraged. However, I have no idea what’s really going to happen. I think that’s the description of this film: it will either attract or repel people.”
It’s all relative, Cronenberg added.
“My understanding of what’s extreme, what’s overly violent, what’s overly sexual really has to do with what the tone of the film is in the world of film. That’s my job. I work there,” he said. “Once you’ve done that, you can have the distributors say, ‘I can’t distribute this film in my country’ because it’s too this or that. And at that point you’re like, “Well, that’s a shame. You don’t get to see it. It’s good.'”
And Cronenberg won’t “neutralize” the film by worrying about how it will be received internationally in countries like Jordan, Hungary, France or even the US
“I mean, there are so many approaches to censorship around the world – subtle and not subtle – that it would drive you insane,” Cronenberg said. “I mean, if you take all possible censorship to heart, you won’t say a word. you can’t speak The way the #MeToo movement can be used as a tool of censorship, for example, is a new approach, a new little arabesque of censorship, and it is used in that way politically or opposed as a censorship movement and not a censorship movement a kind of liberation. So all these complexities are involved.”
He concluded: “Again, you best ignore it, and then take the hits, I mean you’re out there. you are very vulnerable You expose yourself as an artist. Part of what you do is expose yourself and as a result you are susceptible to all kinds of criticism and anger and indignation and everything else.”
Yes, that also means strikes.
The best of IndieWire