The Output of Cronenberg
In Crimes of the Future, Cronenberg hasn’t explored a horror mode for more than two decades. His output is relatively normal, people can say more commercial than Eastern Promises or A Dangerous Method. After adapting Spider, Cronenberg stepped back from directing or industry after having isolated himself.
If not less attention is paid to how institutions and concepts shape the body, his return not only signifies his one of the most expressive and thoughtful features. However, his original scenario also always belittles critics. Like most of his films, Crimes of the Future offers technology, built from alien tissue and bones. The theme pits bodily invasions against tyrannical authorities in equal numbers of spy threads. The threads Cronenberg threads through the world of conceptual artists regard the human body as a piece of art.
Apart from returning to such a narrative model, the film critics called it vice versa unrelated. At first, the film, called Painkillers, was planned for the early 2000s. However, it was never produced. After refinishing the scenario in time to fit the modern culture wars, Cronenberg’s dystopian vision makes political and artistic statements an extract from the neuropathic organ. It is a familiar story about radicalism, trying to push humanity forward from the fringes of physiology.
The film auteur completes a thesis on the nature of radicalism in art. However, it’s also powerful and juggles all sorts of texts and movie themes. There are no limits in art, power will continue to try to curb the growth of agency by following outdated doctrines. Often, trauma plays an important role in art. Although driven by texts about artistic intrigue, the inevitable collision serves as a catchphrase that reads “body is reality.”
Body Is Reality
At first glance, Crimes of the Future unfolds in a complicated state of development. However, the film is set in the future but rust is worn out. Despite Cronenberg’s refusal to identify a specific government, the film lends an allegorical feel to its process. Saul, the protagonist, participates in suffering from Accelerated Evolution Syndrome. He also started growing evil organs.
To keep track of it, the Nation Organ Registry records new developments with a clunky paper filing system. While nature almost completely silences pain receptors, it makes desktop surgery commonplace among the untrained. Since there was also no risk involved, people began to explore sadomasochistic pleasures. The artistic limitations of body modification and dismemberment, want any pain to numb. On the other hand, Sault remains one of the few who still feels pain.
He required himself to sleep on the bed that shifted to react to his burning pain center. LifeForm manufactures the bed, as well as a Saul jerky dining chair. Mortensen’s character, in short, aligns the audience with his body in every scene, both in pleasure and pain. In the vampire’s black shroud that protects his allergen, Saul is always choking and hacking himself, narrowing through uncomfortable grimaces. By being refined, Cronenberg brilliantly makes Mortensen the most unique character of all dystopian body-horror films.
The Marketing Ploy
Crimes of the Future‘s reputation preceded itself as a marketing ploy, ensuring a challenging sale in reaching the arthouse Cronenberg intended. In addition, it meets the requirements of many niches and offers a whimsical image mixed with existential debate. The theme tells about the relationship that develops between the destruction of the environment and the human body. Before making his debut at Cannes, Cronenberg promised to come out with the first impression of his film.
According to reports, he saw large audiences walk out of the screening, confirming that he had written a body visceral horror marathon like The Fly. However, Crimes of the Future is not an extreme challenge that seeks to push the limits of horror, which is expected of many. The film contains horrific new sights, presenting a meditative film. Using provocative imagery to symbolize his ideas through artistic expression, the main character Saul Tenser and his lover Caprice become personal surgeons.
Caprice and Saul’s artwork represents the conscious reclamation of the body. In an avant-garde show, the audience snaps photos as Caprice uses the autopsy bed, and directs the scalpel arm to cut Saul and remove his new organ. Thus, the show replaces its meaning with symbolic intent. Broadly speaking, the characters in the film use the body as a medium and an artistic component. If Caprice and Saul’s art is uniquely self-referential in its physicality, so is Cronenberg’s art. Such a scenario reflects personally the experience of the director, telling how the audience listened to an inner beauty contest for the inside of the body.
The Complexity of Audience
In one specific character, the tendency toward the Crimes of the Future theme introduces Bungué, a detective who has asked Saul to gather information about subversives. The authorities want to stop Dotrice and head a group of environmental revolutionaries with an engineered new organ.
The entire digestive system allows the plastic to be processed and consumed as food, into industrial waste or junk food. In realizing such a discourse, Lang’s son who had died and was born with such abilities was strangled by his mother. His mother considered it an unnatural abomination, becoming a martyr of Lang’s revolution. He convinces Caprice and Saul to perform a live autopsy on the boy’s corpse to awaken his mutation and evolutionary movements.
In a typical Cronenberg fashion, he traces murders, double-crosses, and motives, along the way, proving a complexity in the minds of the audience. On the other hand, the resolution lies in an acceptance that the human body can change. It is dependent on many interpretations progressively. The glorious final shot also finds Caprice recording Saul in the throes of change rather than fighting it through the art of surgery in the setting. It plays and finds the perpetually restless Saul relaxing while mutating with nature naturally.
Apart from not missing the opportunity to explore the sexuality of each character, each character has a spike of nervousness. Timlin became the trigger character for Saul through his work at the National Organ Registry. For her, dissection of the human body became a new way of sex, imagining the penetration of alternation from masochism. Indeed, sex horror remains interested in examining holes and sexuality with the fascination of the world of medicine. Like Crash, a sexuality life about a car crash, Caprice and Saul find each other licking and entrail from a gaping incision in the stomach.
The difference between the film and Titane is that Cronenberg manages to evoke a kind of sensuality in the deviant sex scenes. For exceptions, there is no need for an exploitative root like an unnecessary return effect. To be sure, Cronenberg mines the unnatural. Unconventional, traditional, artistic but political in an academic style is not a warm emotional approach. It behaves in a related way. The actions and characters in the film feel symbolic. Therefore, it is more akin to conceptual art than traditional horror or science fiction.
Regardless of which, the film also serves as a strange sentimentality in a film that accepts every of each theme. The cinematography captures the drab set, acting as a stage that presents scenes that look and play like an art installation. Despite having a body horror characteristic, the film resonates more with art film fans. However, it’s not to show the audience that the film somehow lacks such things, just to note a more theoretical approach.
By having a statement in accepting the changes that are coming, Crimes of the Future does not fight the inevitable. In short, the film can’t help but feel that it represents ideas rooted in modernist culture. Such tradition also tries to preserve itself from the visual nature and disturbing Cronenberg concepts. A certain comic absurdity flows beneath the material where audiences don’t know whether to lean back, squirm, or laugh. On the other hand, there is no doubt that Cronenberg, ever since his debut, wanted various reactions.
In essence, he wants his audience to think about pain while feeling pain in the environment on Earth. Body and expressionism fit perfectly into such a sphere. On the other hand, Cronenberg, approaching the age of 80, almost certainly admired Saul’s ability to continue making art despite his physical woes. The willingness of the audience and Cronenberg to welcome a change while turning new concepts into art. Living and vital, the film views and appeals to the transformational reality of the body in a personal yet urgent way. The art and artists echo the work of the modern age, finding the film very paradoxical with a lot of material.