starring Viggo Mortensen, Léa Seydoux, Kristen Stewart, Scott Speedman
written and directed by David Cronenberg
by Angelo Muredda "It's not a completely bad feeling, at least not uninteresting," muses performance artist Saul Tenser (Viggo Mortensen) about his scratchy throat during a quiet moment in David Cronenberg's career-capping Crimes of the Future, a tender affair about listening to and affirming one's aging, sick, and mutable body--contrary to all the pre-hype about walkouts and the director's supposed return to his grimy horror roots. Saul lives with a radical disease called Accelerated Evolution Syndrome, which causes him to rapidly spawn superfluous organs. Surgical and life partner Caprice (Léa Seydoux) removes them on stage in underground live shows that fall somewhere between medical procedures you might gawk at on YouTube and ecstatic religious ceremonies. Saul is a full partner in these sensual spectacles, writhing in an open sarcophagus while Caprice mythologizes his new developments like a curator at a Francis Bacon show. Here, though, Saul is simply taking the opportunity to mind the sensations produced by his latest corporeal work of art, noting his symptoms with the observational humour and delicacy of previous Cronenberg protagonists who double as archivists of their changing forms. It's a trait common not just to scientists spliced with houseflies but to most people living with chronic illnesses.