At 79, David Cronenberg has lost none of his audacity. The proof ? He hits our screens this weekend with Future Crimes, a subversive and provocative new film reminiscing about some of his most memorable works.
First, let's answer the question that's been on everyone's lips since Future Crimes premiered at Cannes last month: do you have to have a strong heart to appreciate – or even just watch – this film? Not necessarily.
Because yes, some scenes are visually confronting. They are therefore likely to raise the eyebrows of the most modest. But David Cronenberg always has his own way of approaching gore, either with an artistic or even sensual approach. And his new offering is no exception.
It must also be said that the subject of his Crimes of the future (Crimes of the Future in its original version) does not lend itself to a series of butchery scenes or excessive hemoglobin spills.
The Canadian filmmaker transports us to a near future where an artist (brilliant Viggo Mortensen) has developed the ability to generate new vital organs within himself. He then uses this "gift" to create performances in front of an audience where he lends himself to live operations, conducted by his partner (Léa Seydoux).
Horror and questions
You guessed it, this marks David Cronenberg's return to the field of body horror (body horror, in the industry's jargon), a genre he branded with a hot iron with La mouche, Videodrome and even Rage ( Rabid). And, like those masterpieces, Future Crimes won't appeal to all audiences.
True to form, the filmmaker immerses us in a singular universe – bizarre, even – of which we have very few landmarks. You have to accept this proposal with your eyes closed, in addition to accepting that you will come out of it with more questions than answers. But that's part of the fun.
Fans have learned it. They understand it. And they will be particularly well served by this Future Crimes which will remind them – for the best of reasons – of the excellent eXistenZ, Naked Feast and even Crash.