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Cannes 2022: Crimes of the Future Director David Cronenberg Says 'US is Completely Insane'

News18 logo News18 25-05-2022 Gautaman Bhaskaran
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At the ongoing Cannes Film Festival, Canadian director David Cronenberg – whose controversial competition title, Crimes of the Future, earned walks-outs and a seven-minute standing ovation at the screening – told a Press conference on Tuesday that "we think everybody in the US is completely insane". He was responding to a question about the threat to Roe vs. Wade – the US legislation that protects a woman's right to have an abortion.

"We think the US has gone completely bananas – we can't believe that elected officials are saying the things they're saying," said Cronenberg. "Not just about Roe vs. Wade but about everything else."

Probably, he would have been much more caustic had the Texas shootout on Tuesday, in which 19 children and two adults were gunned down, happened before the Cronenberg conference.

Crimes of the Future is set in a dystopian environment where a celebrity performance artist publicly showcases the metamorphosis of his organs. The movie "addresses in a not-obviously-political way the question of who owns whose body" said the director. "Even 20 years ago, you could feel that this was coming – an oppressive ownership and control of bodies" he averred referring to Roe vs. Wade. Case. "It's a constant in history that somewhere in the world there's some government that wants to control population."

When a journalist questioned Cronenberg about ageing and death, he quipped: "I'm actually older than the Cannes Film Festival…Death and ageing are in every film…As soon as you take a photograph it's ageing; and after ageing, death." (The 75th edition of Cannes is now taking place.)

The conference also had the movie cast –Viggo Mortensen, Lea Seydoux, Scott Speedman and Kristen Stewart – participating.

"I know the first film of David's that I watched was Crash," said Stewart. "I was too young to watch it; I felt like I was going to get into trouble."Everyone loves to talk about how some of his movies are difficult to watch, and it's fun to talk about people walking out of Cannes screenings," added Stewart referring to his oeuvre.

However, for her, there is beauty here. "Every single gaping, bleeding, weird, pulsing bit of hurt, every bruise in his movies, it makes my mouth open. You want to lean towards it; it never repulses me ever. The way I feel is really visceral desire. That's the reason we're alive; we're really pleasure sacks."

Mortensen, whose role in Crimes of the Future marks his fourth collaboration with Cronenberg, called himself "a willing slave" of the director, adding that he was "pounded into submission" long ago. Seydoux called him an "icon of cinema."

Cronenberg ended the conference with "I hope to commit a few more cinematic crimes before I'm finished". He is now 77 years old.

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