Thinking Cronenberg – by Bianca Zasso

The first experiences with the cinema of talented directors are usually unforgettable and mark our anxiety to be in front of a new work of these creators. David Cronenberg is one of the most potent on this list. Scanners, The Fly and the masterpiece Crash – Strange Pleasures they even impact their revisions, who will say for those who are discovering the Cronenberg universe. Yes, because he is immense, with cuts, blood, scars, fluids and bodies in transformation and unusual movements. On the verge of turning 80, Cronenberg confirmed his wisdom and created a film about his own universe.

Crimes of the Future premiered in some movie theaters and on the Mubi platform. Obviously, the environment influences the absorption of this filmmaker’s essay on the body, art and desire, but it’s not a reason to run away from a session. Even in the living room of our homes, the film is powerful and resounds in our minds days after being watched.

Follow the pains and creations of Saul Tenser (an inspired Viggo Mortensen), an artist who, in a future of rusty and sepia-toned scenarios, transforms the removal of organs that grow inside him into spectacles. In the world created by Cronenberg, surgery is an event. The public wants to photograph, film, record the scalpel piercing the flesh and glimpse new flesh, which grows without explanation and appears with tattoos.

the atmosphere of Crimes of the Future it is visually somber, but there are moments of humor with the acidity that was already a trademark of Cronenberg and that, here, gains an extra attraction because it is a kind of text by the filmmaker about his entire career. The “new sex” scenes between Saul and his partner Caprice (Léa Seydoux, holding the role) make one think of the union of crashed cars and the lust of crash and even in the great scenes of the central couple of Marks of Violence.

The restless way and eternal sexual tension emanated by TimLim (Kristen Stewart, in great performance), the bureaucrat responsible for registering the new organs that appear in the humans of the future and who has to deal with the attraction of Saul Tenser’s surgeries, also makes us think in how to wish in Cronenberg’s films is something extremely complex and almost inexplicable by logic. It happens and you can’t always contain it.

By placing the extraction of mysterious organs as an artistic performance, the question remains whether we are dealing with a provocation or a joke. Is everything art? Does the modified human body need to be in the museum or are we the ones who don’t know how to deal with the changes and need to face it differently? Will our environmental crimes be fantasized about a new way of eating? Isn’t the garbage we mercilessly throw into nature proof of our savagery? Does cutting your own body mean anything to empty days?

With just over an hour and forty in length, Crimes of the Future It is a film that infests us with doubts. Good questions, which make us want to see it again and, who knows, listen to Cronenberg talking about the creation process. A man in his late 80s reviewing his incredible cinematic creations with a critical, intelligent and humorous eye.

Within the filmmaker’s filmography, it is not a great work, but it helps to enhance his most interesting works, including his short films. Cronenberg’s Best Movies Grow After We Watch Crimes of the Future. Which does not make it any less cinema, but proposes that a filmic work can philosophize about itself and contribute to our interpretations and questions not only about what we see on the screen, but about what surrounds us and leads us to this screen.

Does it look confused? Watch and see how easy it is. It is far from comfortable, but it makes new desires grow within us. Almost a new heart, a new look. Corneas and atria renewed without the need for a scalpel.

Crimes of the Future

Directed by: David Cronenberg

Year: 2022

In theaters and available on the Mubi platform

Bianca Zasso

, born in 1987, in Santa Maria, is a journalist and film specialist from the Centro Universitário Franciscano (UNIFRA). A cinephile since childhood, she started working on the research in 2009. Usually, her texts can be found here on Thursdays. Editor’s Note:

the images illustrating this text are for publicity.

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