© Weltkino Filmverleih

Crimes of the Future
Canada/Greece/U.K. 2022

Opening 10 Nov 2022

Directed by: David Cronenberg
Writing credits: David Cronenberg
Principal actors: Viggo Mortensen, Lihi Kornowski, Léa Seydoux, Scott Speedman, Kristen Stewart

Director David Cronenberg’s dark, dystopic science-fiction/body horror self-mutations film takes performance arts and artists to a uniquely unconventional level. In this Cronenbergian landscape the epochal scale of human species evolutionary wonders and biotechnology merge into a believably unbelievable storyline. Humankind’s biological alterations and aberrations, much accelerated for many, comprises resistance to pain and infectious diseases—a performance artist’s bonus. Contrarily, some people’s physiology drastically alter. Biotechnological advancements keep pace, designing mechanical and/or electronic equipment, e.g., massaging pod-like beds and quivering chairs to feed people.

A young boy (Sozos Sotiris) is murdered, and dad (Scott Speedman) sets a plan in motion, convinced his ex-wife (Lihi Kornowski) is out to get him. At their career zenith, Saul Tenser (Viggo Mortensen) is cashing in on his “accelerated evolution syndrome” disorder, i.e., new vestigial organs nonstop growth; performance partner Caprice (Léa Seydoux) operates the biomechanical device that removes organs in front of live audiences. Much in demand, Saul feels much pain; his body needs constant care and regeneration, plus LiveForceWare’s two agents (Nadia Litz, Tanaya Beatty) continually fine-tuning the biomedical equipment. They meet with the government bureaucrats at the National Organ Registry, established to track uncontrolled freak growths and abnormalities; Saul dazzles Wippet (Don McKellar) whereas bewitched, Timlan (Kristen Stewart) schemes. Saul and Caprice likewise monitor other artists' performances and have separate involvements, e.g., Saul’s with Detective Cope (Welket Bungué) of the New Vice Organization—“new crime like the present.” Although somewhat elusive, Lang’s tempting offer is two-fold for the duo to stretch their bailiwick, no matter the cost.

This is not a remake of writer-director Cronenberg’s eponymous and dissimilar 1970 sci-fi comedy. Rather it is a dispassionately droll and caustically suppressed prognostic diagnosis of human’s fatalistic future. The encroaching irreversible environmental damage; political, moral, and ethical challenges, and the detrimental prospects particularly for children. The cast sagely portray their discomfiting characters. Carol Spier’s mood-setting production design, Dimitris Katsikis and Kimberley Zaharko’s art direction peculiarities, and Dimitra Sourlantzi’s soulfully aberrant dystopic set designs strengthen Douglas Koch’s amazingly resolved many low-light challenges, and Christopher Donaldson’s editing momentum that dovetails Howard Shore’s divergent music’s pacing. Crimes of the Future is not for the weak of heart and yet, it is worth the experience. (Marinell Haegelin)

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