David Cronenberg returns to the Cannes Film Festival with Crimes of the Future, a science-fiction film that depicts the “inner beauty” of the human being in an emotionless synthetic world.
Cannes Film Festival 2022: Winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival with Crash, David Cronenberg continues his exploration of the human body in an agonising and monstrous way with Crimes of the Future. We are at a turning point in human history, and several questions arise: can the human body evolve to solve problems we have created? Already awarded the Grand Prix in 2004 for Old Boy and the Jury Prize in 2009 for Thirst, This is My Blood, Park Chan-wook returns to the Competition six years after Mademoiselle (2016), with the highly anticipated Heojil Kyolshim (Decision to Leave).
Heojil Kyolshim, murder and romance
Park Chan-wook returns to the Competition six years after Mademoiselle with the very beautiful film Heojil Kyolshim (Decision to Leave). The film depicts the romantic relationship between a homicide detective investigating the murder of a man and the main suspect – the victim’s wife. The two protagonists enter into an intricate relationship and the weight of the unspoken compromises the investigation.
In search of their humanity
David Cronenberg delivers this year a work in a darkly atmosphe, with an eerie soundtrack, on a very special subject: can the human body evolve to solve problems we have created? As the human race adapts to a synthetic environment, the human body is subject to new transformations and mutations. But the police are watching, as acquired mutations begin to be passed on genetically. Having become insensitive to pain as well as to emotions, the human being goes in search of his humanity.
A form of deviant sexuality
Caprice (Léa Seydoux) and Saul Tenser (Viggo Mortensen) are a couple of celebrated performance artists who take advantage of Saul’s propensity to constantly generate new organs to create avant-garde shows. Saul’s body creates a new organ, which they both admire endoscopically; Caprice tattoos it before removing it by remote control surgery from Saul’s painless body, installed in a “sarcophagus”, the Sark. The surgery takes on a sexual resonance, a form of deviant sexuality: the penetration of a sexual organ, one into the other, is replaced by the pleasurable penetration of scalpels into the flesh of both. Timlin (Kristen Stewart), an investigator with the National Organ Registry, follows their practices closely.
Planned to be shot in Toronto, the film was finally shot in Athens, where, following the financial collapse in 2008, many buildings are rusting, abandoned, and serve as a post-apocalyptic setting. To this setting, David Cronenberg contrasts the search for the inner beauty of human organs, some of which, like those of plastic eaters, are corrupted by the ugliness of tomorrow’s world, a world in decay with incredible environmental damage. The film is disturbing, but those who stay despite the painful introduction will find much food for thought in this slow-paced film, where the body art suggests that the body is constantly evolving. It remains for the emotions to follow…
The Red Carpet of Decision to Leave
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