LONG LIVE THE NEWER FLESH!
David Cronenberg’s first film in eight years is a return to bloody, gristly body-horror form
things to come — it’s neither a remake nor a sequel to that earlier work. But it definitely suggests a full-circle notion of Cronenberg once again digging around in his roots and seeing what he can extract from the fertile muck.
Mortensen’s Saul Tenzer is a big deal in what’s now an extremely popular pastime: performance-art mutilation. He’s renowned for growing
If they do that, they run the risk of angering the “New Vice” cops and becoming outlaws. But they might also help move forward Lang’s mysterious agenda.
That’s the noirish engine thrumming beneath Crimes’ slick, viscous surface, and if you listen hard enough — or, as one supporting player in the movie does, literally cover your body with ears — you can detect the faint rumblings of an eco-thriller and a satirical swipe at today’s celebrity-industrial complex.
Yet abandon all hope, ye who grasp for a plotline to hold on to here. The conversion of new cult members is not on the menu. No, this is one for the Cronen-heads, a dense treatise aimed at those who already treat his more outré, boundary-obliterating works as gospel. It’s an opportunity to get Seydoux to purr lines like “An organism needs organization . . . otherwise, it’s just designer cancer.” It’s an excuse to have Mortensen fed like a baby in a “chair” made of janky, swaying bones.
Crimes of the Future is proof that some artists can keep finding fresh meat within decades-old preoccupations. This is what the work of a visionary filmmaker looks like. Forget the new flesh. Long live the old Cronenberg.
ORGAN GRINDER Above: Mortensen and Seydoux have an intimate moment between performanceart surgeries. Left: Stewart and Seydoux are rivals over a romantic partner and body parts.