Los Angeles, May 24 (SocialNews.XYZ) In David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future, characters cannot feel pain. Unfortunately, that wasn’t true for the dozens of viewers at the horror drama’s Cannes premiere, who turned out mid-film because they couldn’t stomach exactly what was happening on screen.
The film also garnered a seven-minute standing ovation, suggesting it could be the most polarizing title to debut at Cannes this year, Variety reports.
The film reunites Cronenberg with Viggo Mortensen along with Kristen Stewart and Lea Seydoux. Also, for the first time since 1999’s “Existence,” Cronenberg finds himself back in his sci-fi/horror mode.
Crimes of the Future might not win the Palme d’Or, but it would snag an award for the craziest film at the festival. In this dystopian universe, Mortensen plays a performance artist whose organs are operated on in a pseudo-sexual ritual.
Stewart plays a transplant center employee who in one scene tells him, “Surgery is the new gender.”
The film contains a bloody child autopsy scene, shots of bloody guts and characters orgasming by licking each other’s open wounds. There’s also a chair shaped like an elongated human spine twisting at grotesque angles.
“I’m very touched by your reaction,” Cronenberg said after the ovation.
“I hope you’re not kidding, I hope you mean business.”
In a separate press screening for the film, critics largely remained silent for the film’s duration, with only five people exiting the theater. Although “Crimes of the Future” drew a whiff of applause upon its conclusion, it wasn’t exactly thrilled.
Cronenberg has had a rollercoaster history with the Cannes Film Festival.
He dropped a bombshell at the festival in 1996 with the premiere of “Crash,” starring James Spader as the film’s producer, who gets involved with a group of people who turn to car crashes to get sexually aroused.
Cannes audiences booed the film and stormed out of the theater, and even jury president Francis Ford Coppola said some judges abstained “very passionately” from the decision to give Crash a special jury prize. The jury gave Cronenberg a far more favorable vote in 2014 at the premiere of “Maps to the Stars”, which brought Julianne Moore the award for best actress.
Neon’s official synopsis for Crimes of the Future reads, “As the human species adapts to a synthetic environment, the body undergoes new transformations and mutations.” With his partner Caprice (Lea Seydoux), Saul Tenser (Viggo Mortensen) , celebrity performance artist, publicly displays the metamorphosis of his organs in avant-garde performances.
“Timlin (Kristen Stewart), a National Organ Registry investigator, obsessively follows her movements, and in the process a mysterious group is revealed… her mission – to use Saul’s notoriety to shed light on the next phase of human evolution.”
Cronenberg made headlines ahead of Cannes for predicting festival-goers would leave the film, but he clarified in a Variety interview, “I didn’t say everyone was going. The crowd in Cannes is a very strange crowd, normal crowd.
“A lot of people are just there for the prestige or for the red carpet. And they’re not cinephiles. You don’t know my films. So they could be strikes while a normal audience would have no problem with the film. So who knows? But certainly a lot of people left when we showed ‘Crash’.”
According to Neon, Crimes of the Future is rated R for “strong disturbing violent content and grisly imagery, graphic nudity and some language”.
“Crimes of the Future” hits US theaters on June 3.