The Crimes of the Future: A playful and hypnotic SF fresco [critique]

David Cronenberg returns to his obsessions in a work as shocking as it is testamentary, which plays with everything with mischief and irony.

He had announced to stop the cinema, and seemed absent from his last films, but Cronenberg is back. From the first minutes, it is a question of operated bodies, of abdomens that are opened, of madness and of the multi-socket connection of individuals. In a near future devastated by the climate crisis, we follow the adventures of a couple. Saul Tenser (Viggo Mortensen) is a performer who stages the mutation of his internal organs in avant-garde shows. Caprice (Léa Seydoux) is his accomplice. As their number takes a more sexual turn, an official asks questions, a cop enters the dance and a group of activists seek to take advantage of Saul’s notoriety. The Crimes of the Future therefore looks like an atlas of the Cronenbergian psyche, tirelessly returning to the body, technology, sex and disease… But it has a more personal dimension than his great 80s and 90s opuses. As if, as he grew older, the filmmaker’s fetishes became strangely more intimate. The film thus functions as a tour of the owner, literally a stripping bare (poetic with these decrepit sets of a poisonous beauty that summon the specter of Resnais), in which Cronenberg has fun multiplying the references while developing his political intrigue. . Above all, the whole is charged with a subtle derision. Shore’s music, Stewart’s hallucinated acting, the almost comical exaggerations of certain situations, the twelve-tone structure or the sometimes absurd chatter install an amused distance. It is this distance that makes this SF fable strange, playful and hypnotic.

Of David Cronenberg. With Viggo Mortensen, Léa Seydoux, Kristen Stewart… Duration: 1h47. Released May 25, 2022

Leave a Reply