In David Cronenberg’s film, crimes of the future, which opens on September 23, the camera approaches deformed bodies with an unhealthy curiosity. At best, to inexplicable biological issues. It’s an explicit, and often cruel, exploration of the gory and downright disgusting. But still there is an elegance close to refined art in the parade of horrors that the director shows in a sober chiaroscuro.
Saul Tenser (Viggo Mortensen) and Caprice (Léa Seydoux), are two artists who live and work together. But what suggests an emotional bond—non-existent in the film, except for theirs—slowly transforms into something more grotesque.
Director of crimes of the future he takes a peculiar liberty to speculate on morality, time, pain, and the pursuit of individual goals amid chaos. In his film there is no order, but there is a search for power. Everything, while his characters fight against a type of circumstance that is beyond them and that, at first, is inexplicable.
crimes of the future
Crimes of the future, which moves between body horror and a version of dystopia close to the perverse, is disconcerting. However, it builds a space for reflection on the organic as a form of expression of human identity. Also about fear as a specific question. Can the body be a vehicle of horror and beauty? It’s not an easy dilemma, and Cronenberg forgoes his usual parade of grotesque monsters to answer it. Actually, he builds a space in which he needs to tell a story that could be, a hypothesis of the dark extremes of art. Can living flesh, which throbs and produces direct repulsion, become a symbol of beauty?
The monstrous, the beautiful, the artistic in crimes of the future
Saul suffers from a very rare syndrome that allows him to engender, in the most literal sense of the term, bodily appendages with no apparent use. This allows the stoic Caprice not only to analyze what happens to the human body, but also, to a certain extent, to experiment. Slowly, clinical aberration becomes an art form. In a duel of pain and pleasure that connects with what both she and Saul understand as love.
crimes of the future, which moves between body horror and a version of dystopia close to the perverse, is disconcerting. But at the same time, builds a space for reflection on the organic as a form of expression of human identity. At the other extreme, about fear as a specific question. Can the body be a vehicle of horror and beauty?
It’s not an easy dilemma, and Cronenberg forgoes his usual parade of grotesque monsters to answer it. Actually, he builds a space in which he needs to tell a story that could be, a hypothesis of the dark extremes of art. Can living flesh, which throbs and produces direct repulsion, become a symbol of beauty?
A long journey towards new and fearsome spaces
However, to achieve something similar, the filmmaker does not abandon his distinctive ability to create hair-raising scenes. Almost the entire film takes place in the semi-darkness of an indeterminate planet. Also, in the midst of unanswered questions about predestination to the terrifying.
Is man subject to the image and likeness of his greatest horrors? To cover such a broad subject, the director appeals to the allegorical. crimes of the future It has a mythological meaning. Not only because of the crime that triggers the events of the plot —a mother who murders her son—, but also because of its twisted way of showing horror.
Cronenberg, a veteran of using the twisted to tell stories about human nature, finds in crimes of the future debugging your style. Also, the definitive connection between his speech and a type of sophisticated violence that was already announced in The fly in 1986 and in eXistenZ in 1999. A look at a type of physical brutality that triggers emotional events. At the same time, creates an entirely new sense of fear.
Of course, for the director, called “creator of monsters” of all kinds and origins, his most recent work is a journey through his obsessions. From consumerism, to the uprooting and the fall into disaster of the spirit of civilization. Everything figures prominently in this exploration of despair. Specifically, what anyone can do on the edge of the abyss. For the occasion, Cronenberg dispenses with the context or real motivations for his characters.
For the filmmaker, what is manifested in the background of crimes of the future is more important than what is shown. What sustains a visually impressive film, loaded with references to contemporary art and with a very marked sense of the absurd. Even so, it is a horror movie, with an elaborate speech that surprises with its eloquence.
A fearful silence crimes of the future
In Cronenberg’s film there is no bodily pain and that is also a symbol. In the absence of limits, Saul’s body seems to become the center of silent and unrestrained terrors. But of course the director doesn’t do physicals just to show how raw he is.
In fact, crimes of the future speculates about a morality that becomes more and more flexible, fearful and blurred through the permissive. There is a “danger zone” in Cronenberg’s idea of the consumer society, the voracious perception of the collective appetite for horrors. Also, that of the other, converted into a general experiment of elements that become inexplicable.
Cronenberg, frequently accused of being excessive, disgusting and violent, provides crimes of the future a moral harshness in the subtext. This is precisely what sustains a film that would otherwise be impossible to understand as a space for deliberations on more elaborate topics. A trend that the horror cinema of 2022 takes to dark and unknown places, with enormous conceptual value.