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Thread: Crimes of the Future (Cronenberg, 2022)

  1. #21
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    I think it has much to say about the artist who is aging and the creative process of making art in general.

  2. #22
    Senior Member Blanche's Avatar
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    For a film about human evolution and technological progress, this felt oddly repetitive and dreary. It has interesting concepts but I don’t think it works past its premise. The first twenty minutes or so are outstanding but then it introduces so many storylines that felt ill-conceived and even negligent. I was personally a bit confused about the film setting an analogy between sex and surgery and then performing an autopsy in the naked body of a kid. For a second, I thought that it was there to show how gruesome all the other interventions actually are, but then Viggo and Lea are even more invested in redesigning the human body, so the way it was handled felt a bit icky.

    I really have a problem with the characters as well, as they rarely made sense to me: Stewart’s stylistic choices were fun but random; I have no idea what role the police guy or detective was playing, and it’s even clumsy to have this figure play such an impartial part in a film about industrial dehumanization; I have even less of an idea about what the women who fixed those beds or whatever were doing throughout the film or who is that first blonde guy they killed lol. And it’s not just the characters, the world-building is rather lackluster as well. I wish this had been a mood piece instead of a faux-philosophical and aimless work.
    Last edited by Blanche; 06-22-2022 at 10:21 AM.

  3. #23
    Senior Member rima's Avatar
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    Loved it. At first I was a bit turn-off by the expository dialogue, and boy does the first 30 min or so have a LOT of them, but slowly I started to get into it and all of its crazy ideas. The performances are great though it felt like all 3 of them are in different movies, but they (especially the main couple of Viggo and Lea) bring a certain humanity to this world that it's the emotional core of the film for me. It worked. Visually it is great and filming in Greece did wonders for the post-apocalyptic world-building. The script could've been better but I liked that it's, as someone mentioned in the film thread, all killer no filler. Made me want to rewatch it as soon as it as over. Top 3 of the year with Batman and The Northman, and probably my top 5 Cronenberg with Crash, Eastern Promises, The Brood and Videodrome.

  4. #24
    Senior Member bippycup's Avatar
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    The autopsy of the child makes me cry every time I see it. Living in America and hearing the things that Lea Seydoux says about how "we call this the first autopsy because we know there will be a second, and a third" right off the heels of another horrific mass murder of children hits way too closely. We have abandoned the future, and the only course left it seems is to adapt to the bleakness of what's coming and what's already here. Eat the plastic.

    Also, a writer on letterboxd wrote beautifully about the trans subtext of the film if anyone is interested:

    https://letterboxd.com/estheronfilm/...future-2022/1/

    the horror is not in the changes to the body, but in the different ways people try to force meanings onto it. the dead boy, brecken, will never get to decide for himself what his body means. his lifeless corpse becomes the site of relationship arguments, radical transhumanism, regressive political sabotage, a setting for someone else's art. everyone is trying to make meaning out of his body, and he'll never get the chance to have a say. "the boy's not talking" as his father flippantly says. when caprice introduces the question of consent into the planned performance, he retorts, "i'm the boy's father, i give my consent." it's astonishing that this film was released in the exact moment that it was, when every day we have to listen to politicians litigate the bodies of trans kids, forcing their own agendas and meanings onto children who just want to live comfortable, healthy, normal lives. "and now why know why there will be a second autopsy, and a third," caprice says, in tears at what the world has done to this child. the government stepped into brecken's autopsy behind the scenes, making his organs appear brutally ordinary and generic, to avoid public reveal of just how different he was. detective cope shrugs off the desecration of brecken, whose true nature we never see. "you wouldn't have known what you were looking at."

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by bippycup View Post
    The autopsy of the child makes me cry every time I see it. Living in America and hearing the things that Lea Seydoux says about how "we call this the first autopsy because we know there will be a second, and a third" right off the heels of another horrific mass murder of children hits way too closely. We have abandoned the future, and the only course left it seems is to adapt to the bleakness of what's coming and what's already here. Eat the plastic.

    Also, a writer on letterboxd wrote beautifully about the trans subtext of the film if anyone is interested:

    https://letterboxd.com/estheronfilm/...future-2022/1/
    That was beautifully written.

    Perhaps the reaction to the film that was the most intense for me was an anguished sense of knowingness of how vulnerable we are as inhabitants of bodies.

  6. #26
    HE Warrior CMBYNMafia's Avatar
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    Speaking of the ending again, I find it hilarious how people felt it just ended without feeling complete or that they were shocked when it ended, etc. It is such a natural close of the story. Like were you sleeping the entire film??

  7. #27
    Montgomery Clift GeorgeEastman's Avatar
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    This film seriously have the line "What if I won for best original organ?" I should have known a film starring ColdStew and Seydull would be a disaster, but I wasn't prepared how truly lifeless and boring this felt after all the pre-Cannes hype. 2/10

    "And there on top of his head were faces like she had seen only in a dream, almost too beautiful to be recognized as people at all:
    the most beautiful woman and the most beautiful man in the world, she the female version of him, and he the male version of her
    "

  8. #28
    Noli Me Tangere lazarus's Avatar
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    Saw it again in the theatre last night, and there was actually a decent-sized crowd for a Tuesday.

    The jokes/dark humor landed just as well for me this time around, and whatís really amazing is how Cronenberg takes a bit of depressing trivia (how much microplastics are present in most peopleís bodies), and uses that as a jumping off point to satirize the art world while seriously ruminating on bodily autonomy, the act of creation, climate change and pollution, etc. Itís quite a balancing act of tone, particularly for a relatively short running time.

    Something I didnít put together on my first viewing: the woman who chats with Saul during an event and gives him the business card has a discussion with him about how his new organs are created. Saul seems to think that itís random chance, but the woman suggests that itís an act of will, and that he may be subconsciously causing the organs to grow (I believe K-Stew has a similar thought when showing Saulís organ portfolio to the detective. We know that Speedmanís character invented this plastic digestive system and had it installed in himself and his followers, but his son Brecken somehow was born with it. The final scene confirms for us what Speedman said to Saul: that Saul has somehow manifested the same digestive system in himself, just like Brecken. How early that happens, how much of it is intentional, is for us to think about.

    Very fascinating stuff.
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  9. #29
    Senior Member aikugur's Avatar
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    Oh, that's a great theory. Another question would be how many people approached him with that intention. If his organs were at the beginning randomly generated until they planted on his subconscious the idea of a new digestive system so he can evolve (and human race with him) into that direction, there could be several characters who could have planted that seed on him, willingly or not. But, despite how powerful that scene was, with this take I would have prefered not seen Brecken eating plastic, so we wouldn't know if that part was true or just a fiction to make the lead character evolve in that direction. Of course, the scene we "witnessed" could be just the fiction they are going to tell, but "it felt true".

  10. #30
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    Decently acted, good looking hogwash. The body horror didn't turn me off. The script did. Was hoping to love it.

  11. #31
    Senior Member allmyatoms's Avatar
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    Loved the world building of a dystopian future. Needed more Berst and Router!

  12. #32
    Senior Member afilmcionado's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeEastman View Post
    This film seriously have the line "What if I won for best original organ?" I should have known a film starring ColdStew and Seydull would be a disaster, but I wasn't prepared how truly lifeless and boring this felt after all the pre-Cannes hype. 2/10
    Best Original Organ is one of the best jokes in a movie filled with great ones!!! Thought AW would eat that line up. Had me rolling.

  13. #33
    Woke Flop mysteryfan04's Avatar
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    This screenplay needed surgery.

    More later.

  14. #34
    Noli Me Tangere lazarus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allmyatoms View Post
    Loved the world building of a dystopian future. Needed more Berst and Router!
    I've been trying to figure out their place in all this. They murder both the doctor Saul was referred to and Speedman's character, yet at the end the cop tells Saul he had nothing to do with those killings. If we take him at is word, it's clear there's a third faction. K-Stew's Timlin was working with the police (she did the organ replacement/tattoos on Brecken before the autopsy).

    So you basically have the police trying to prevent some kind of hysteria about this new evolution that Brecken represents, but then a more militant anti-evolution group that's resorting to murder to eliminate those trying to facilitate it.

    Part of me appreciates the economy of the film, but I wish Cronenberg was given to a budget to explore it further. This actually could have been a miniseries.

    Quote Originally Posted by afilmcionado View Post
    Best Original Organ is one of the best jokes in a movie filled with great ones!!! Thought AW would eat that line up. Had me rolling.
    Yeah, it was intentionally satirical so I'm not sure why one would criticize the line as "someone seriously said this". Cronenbeg isn't being serious, and I'm not sure Saul is either.
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  15. #35
    Senior Member aikugur's Avatar
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    The movie also drops the possibility of the murders being made by the pro-evolution group to turn their leaders into martyrs and get more sympathy towards their cause.

  16. #36
    Senior Member Allstar's Avatar
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    I didn't expect to particularly like this because of the reactions of some people, but, wow, I'm all the more pleasantly surprised. I thought this was stunningly rich, and so elegantly crafted. The mood and world building captivated me, in particular!

    I agree that the film promises on more than it can deliver, but much of its topical and emotional core, to me, is given the sufficient substance to work just perfectly in cooperation with the existing sense of mystery that may refuse to deliver an answer to all questions risen.

    As far as bodily autonomy, evolution, and controlled discourse on said goes, Crimes of the Future is explored perfectly to me. The last 30 minutes, from the boy's tragic autopsy, Lťa's instant theatrical manipulation (my personal MVP; alongside France I see growth as an actress, maybe she should just stick to satire from now on?), to the final shot of self-conjured change, or evolution: I was in awe how these themes were all pulled together by the final half hour so eloquently and actually surprisingly struck me emotionally. Again, the visual language Cronenberg utilizes and creates in this is key and pays off dividends.

    However, yes, the individual consequences of such could have been explored further and complemented the movie a lot. Say, if the characters had been more fully fleshed out, for example, the artistic symbiosis of Viggo and Lea's characters wouldn't have felt so lacking, and it would have perfectly fed the satire of the art world with more substance emotionally, too. But the film worked where it had to and, I cannot stress this enough, was extremely successful in doing so in mood and visual language. Some of the artificially cheap visuals reminded me almost of Annette from last year, in terms of how impressive they can look and contribute, when crafted willfully by the right hands.
    Last edited by Allstar; 06-23-2022 at 02:05 PM.

  17. #37
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    Loved it, it's so great to see Cronenberg doing body horror again. The performances were all great, I loved Viggo and Leas relationship and how it changes, by the end especially after she sees another performer Caprice was ready to take centre stage, I think she was the most human character like when she sees Breckens body you feel she was genuinely upset but by the performance you know that's what her main focus is now, also loved Saul's petty jealousy of any other performance artist. I thought Timlin and Wippet were hilarious especially the scene they had with the detective where she's comparing Saul to Picasso. It was really funny as well as gory, the sewing of the man's mouth and the cutting into the woman's foot had me closing my eyes and when Saul took control of the Sark I genuinely was dreading how that would go wrong. As has been mentioned I loved the last shot, it was the only time apart from when he is in the Sark that I felt Saul had any peace or comfort. Roll on Shrouds.

  18. #38
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    I need to dissect this one for a while. (Couldnít resist this pun heh)

    8 for now I guess

    Like a meeting of the two phases of his career. Absolutely gorgeous score by Howard Shore.
    Last edited by android; 06-25-2022 at 06:31 AM.

  19. #39
    Woke Flop mysteryfan04's Avatar
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    Now that I've had a few days to sit with it, I'm not as critical of it. But this was clearly a story that begged for a larger scope and richer storytelling, and I would've loved to see that version. I like the world of this movie, and how raw and stripped-down the production design is. Seydoux is definitely MVP, probably my favorite performance of hers. I don't think whatever KStew was doing worked for me, but I admired what she was going for. Mortensen doesn't do much except solemnly deliver his, this character is way less interesting than the ones he played in Eastern Promises and A History of Violence. I think Scott Speedman was second best in show for me? Lol. I'm not a huge fan of this movie but it definitely gives you some things to think about.

  20. #40
    Senior Member BraveSirRobin's Avatar
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    This is rather excellent. I didn't even realize how captivating it was, until an entire hour flew by in a flash. Whatever budgetery constraints Cronenberg had, I don't think it had any negative impact. The sparse and retro-futuristic production design is still well-imagined. The world building is immediately absorbing. Weirdly entrancing darkly lit cave-like rooms and empty streets. Sort of pre-apocalyptic, as if the sun is constantly setting, but never rising (reminiscent of the long night in Ferrara's Zeros and Ones). Like everything is coming to an end. Truly chilling, considering the film also touches on the loss of bodily autonomy and specifically government policing bodies (jesus, the timing of this VOD release), yet extremely funny? The balance is miraculous. The plot threads hardly make sense, most of them are red herrings (what was those two lesbian technicians/assassins' purpose anyway? does it matter?), but it's nevertheless really entertaining.

    Loved every single perfomance here (even Seydoux), everyone acting in different registers, yet perfectly attuned to the Cronenberg wavelength. KStew and Speedman's line deliveries are ingenious ("Yes of course I have the body of my son. Heismyson."), and Viggo's elusive presence and frail physicality is fascinating. And the last shot is stunning. The Passion of Joan of Arc reference is quite bold, sort of cheeky (in the spirit of the rest of the film), but that, too, is after all about fighting (patriarchal oppression) for the control of your own body. A woman cries out "the world is killing our children" to an indifferent crowd in awe of the male artist (but isn't she the one doing all the work?).

    In a rapidly changing world, not just on its own, but also because of human (destructive) influence, who shape everything around them according to their needs, the way to continue is to adapt and open up to the inevitable, not closing off from an ongoing progress. Incredible to see a filmmaker in his late 70s so intuitively forward-thinking and curious, stripped down of hollow provocations and just eager to speak directly about the feelings being evoked, even if his personal attitude towards the meaning of it all seems uncertain, which might just make this thorny and conflicting work truly timeless.
    Last edited by BraveSirRobin; 06-26-2022 at 10:42 AM.

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