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Crimes of the Future review: David Cronenberg’s queasy body horror is strangely fascinating but disturbing

‘Surgery is the new sex,’ purrs Kristen Stewart seductively into Viggo Mortensen’s ear: this is definitely a film from renowned body-horror director David Cronenberg, who shocked the world with his car-sex film Crash in 1996.

The futuristic sci-fi is set in a queasy dystopia where performance art involves removing growths in front of an audience – and a lot of them seem to get off on it. Viggo plays Saul Tenser, a celebrity in the underground art world, who submits to the tender sculpting of his surgeon/partner Caprice (Bond star Léa Seydoux).

He also sleeps in a bed that looks like an alien object, which responds to his pain.

Stewart is Timlin, a primly dressed bureaucrat/surgeon who gets visibly turned on by poking around inside Saul’s body. Yeah, everyone’s a surgeon in this place.

This is a weird world where many people feel no pain, and some are spontaneously growing new body parts that can evolve and change their behaviour. Most of the characters are either policing this ‘new vice’, exploiting it or both.

Like all Cronenberg’s work, it’s startling, strangely fascinating, and not for everyone: there were walk-outs in the screenings at Cannes, especially during a disturbing autopsy scene.

It’s not a deeply satisfying film, nor is it Cronenberg’s best work – but it does have a tangible atmosphere, a terrific cast and food for thought – though you might not want to eat first.

What is Crimes of the Future about?

The film has proved divisive (Picture: Neon)

The latest body horror from Cronenberg follows a world renowned performance artist couple in a climate-ravaged world.

A synopsis reads: ‘Humans adapt to a synthetic environment, with new transformations and mutations.

‘With his partner Caprice, Saul Tenser, celebrity performance artist, publicly showcases the metamorphosis of his organs in avant-garde performances.’

Joining Kristen and Viggo in the cast are Lea Seydoux, Scott Speedman, Yorgos Karamihos, and Tanaya Beatty.

It’s reportedly set for release in the US on June 3 but does not yet have a UK release date.

What has the reception to Crimes of the Future been like?

The film has already proved divisive, prompting walk-outs within the first five minutes – as well as a standing ovation – at Cannes.

However, the walkouts weren’t unexpected, as Cronenberg actually predicted them before the screening.

‘There are some very strong scenes,’ he said, ‘I mean, I’m sure that we will have walkouts within the first five minutes of the movie. I’m sure of that.

‘Some people who have seen the film have said that they think the last 20 minutes will be very hard on people, and that there’ll be a lot of walkouts. Some guy said that he almost had a panic attack,’ he added to Deadline.

Crimes of the Future does not yet have a UK release date.


Credit: Source

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