Photo: ‘Crimes of the Future’
David Cronenberg’s new film which premiered at the Cannes film festival, ‘Crimes of the Future’ is a prime example of a quality film. However, the film especially fits well in the body horror genre. This is due in large part to the film’s effects which masterfully depict Viggo Mortensen’s bodily mutilation. These autopsies for the show are as gross as they are beautiful, and they are extremely gross.
Cronenberg takes the audience out of the comfort of their plush seats and forces them into a grotesque realm of literal blood and guts. This disparity for the human body then is multiplied by the furniture and machines which play a surprisingly strong role in the film. Their bone-like structure and jumpy and jittery movements once again remove viewers from their comfort zone and instead forces them into the dark depths of Cronenberg’s decrepit mind. No one is safe who watches this film and everyone who does will no doubt come out of the experience with a deep-seated respect for the man who came up with all these grand and vile ideas.
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Cronenberg’s use of body horror and mutilation in his scary new film ‘Crimes of the Future’ as a way to bring up and talk about something bigger than horror itself
Cronenberg is no stranger to using disgusting material on screen in order to reach a conclusion on some topic with importance to society. Whether it is sex with wounds like in ‘Crash’ or creepy and intimidating surgery instruments in ‘Dead Ringers’, Cronenberg always has something to say and usually uses horror as a way to say it. Put another way, Cronenberg uses the horror of life and death-defying situations as an avenue to bring about important topics in society. Cronenberg does not use horror simply for the shock value instead, he uses it as a way to bring about ideas that are important to him and close to his heart and mind. There is no change for Cronenberg’s new film ‘Crimes of the Future’.
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Here Cronenberg manages to take advantage of and make use of mutilation, body parts, and other frightening subjects and artifacts to get his point across. There are many ideas that Cronenberg throws at the wall with this film and most of them stick; questions about art and the will of the artist, the impending disaster of climate change and waste build-up, and humanity’s dark desires are all present in ‘Crimes in the Future’. And after Cronenberg introduces each of these questions in his film he makes sure to expand on each of them and explain his stance on the issue. Without a doubt, this is not a film that is gross just to be gross. Instead, this film by David Cronenberg serves a deeper purpose and meaning to not only inform the audience but also warn them about the future. However, these big questions and answers are not the only aspects of the film which make it great.
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The many various practical and tangible reasons behind Crimes of the Future’s wide and deserving success with the majority of critics and mature audiences alike
No review of ‘Crimes of the Future’ would be complete without mention of the incredible score by Howard Shore. Shore is a long-time collaborator with David Cronenberg and his new score for this film is one that is not only futuristic but also hauntingly seductive. The score perfectly captures the mood that Cronenberg paints throughout the film. Shore’s score is present through the entirety of the film’s cohesive three acts and at times elevates it to a point beyond what is simply seen on screen. The score itself is also used masterfully by ‘Crimes of the Future’s’ editor Christopher Donaldson. All in all these aspects of the film which surround Shore’s magnificent score work together to turn ‘Crimes of the Future’ from a standard body horror film to one which is remembered by audiences long after they leave the theater.
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Another powerful aspect of Cronenberg’s new film is the shot and cut selection as well as the film’s lighting. The film is full of long shots that hold on to characters and cease to cut away. This adds emphasis to what the characters are doing in the shot, whether that be cutting into each other or eating purple candy bars, and also adds to the weirdness of what is happening on screen in most shots in the film. The lighting present in the film is also used extremely well as the lighting crafts scenes in the film which at times are full of vibrant colors and at other times full of darkness.
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Finally, one must mention the look of ‘Crimes of the Future’ when discussing the practical reasons behind its success as a piece of art. The film itself is representative of the film noir genre, full of classics such as ‘In a Lonely Place’ and ‘Double Indemnity’. ‘Crimes of the Future’ itself is simply caked in darkness. Nearly all of the film is either shot outdoors during the night or in dark rooms. This aspect of a lack of light not only adds to the film’s deep emotional meaning about the possible future of the world but it also looks extravagant. Cronenberg and his team are able to light each scene in a way to highlight various aspects in the night and put a strong emphasis on the characters on screen. There is no doubt that darkness plays an important role in ‘Crimes of the Future’ and that Cronenberg along with the film’s lighting director uses that darkness to full effect.
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David Cronenberg’s new film and Cannes premiere ‘Crimes of the Future’ looked at entirely, a complete whole, from the internal workings to the external theatrics
In conclusion, David Cronenberg’s ‘Crimes of the Future’ is an extremely well-executed body horror film. While the film itself is full of blood and gore there is also lots of underlying meaning present throughout the film. These themes encompass the climate crisis, the dark desires of human beings, what art and the artist exactly are, and more. These messages then combine with the film’s excellent camera work by cinematographer Douglas Koch, the film’s superb use of lighting to create dark spaces where characters and props are still visible, and finally the film’s surreal score by Howard Shore to create not only a fantastic body horror film but a great film in general by one of the greatest directors ever to grace the silver screen. David Cronenberg’s next project ‘The Shrouds’ starring Vincent Cassel is currently in pre-production and is set to hit theaters in 2023.
Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Kristen Stewart, Lea Seydoux
Cinematography: Douglas Koch
Editor: Christopher Donaldson
Director/Writer: David Cronenberg
Executive Producers: Christelle Conan, Jeff Deutchman, Joe Lacono
By Nathaniel Lee
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