Monday, July 4, 2022     Volume: 23, Issue: 18
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
A QUIET PLACE PART II
ANOTHER ROUND
BINGEABLE: 100 FOOT WAVE (2021)
BINGEABLE: ABBOTT ELEMENTARY (2021-present)
BINGEABLE: ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL (2022)
BINGEABLE: BARRY (2018-present)
BINGEABLE: CANDY (2022)
BINGEABLE: CASTLEVANIA (2017-2021)
BINGEABLE: CHEER (2020-present)
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG (2016-2019)
BINGEABLE: INVENTING ANNA (2022)
BINGEABLE: JOE PICKETT (2021)
BINGEABLE: KUNG FU (2021)
BINGEABLE: LIFE & BETH (2022)
BINGEABLE: LOVE ON THE SPECTRUM U.S. (2022)
BINGEABLE: MAID (2021)
BINGEABLE: MIDNIGHT MASS (2021)
BINGEABLE: MINX (2022)
BINGEABLE: OBI-WAN KENOBI (2022)
BINGEABLE: ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING (2021)
BINGEABLE: OUR FLAG MEANS DEATH (2022)
BINGEABLE: SLOW HORSES (2022)
BINGEABLE: SQUID GAME (2021)
BINGEABLE: STATION ELEVEN (2021)
BINGEABLE: SWEET TOOTH
BINGEABLE: TELL ME YOUR SECRETS (2021)
BINGEABLE: THE BABY (2022)
BINGEABLE: THE GREAT (2020-present)
BINGEABLE: UNDER THE BANNER OF HEAVEN (2022)
BINGEABLE: UNDERCURRENT: THE DISAPPEARANCE OF KIM WALL (2022)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: COWBOY BEBOP (1998)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE CAT RETURNS (2002)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX (1999)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE PRESTIGE (2006)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE SHOOTING (1966)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: WILD AT HEART (1990)
C’MON C’MON
CRIMES OF THE FUTURE
DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS
EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE
GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE
GUILTY PLEASURES: GUNPOWDER MILKSHAKE
GUILTY PLEASURES: JOLT
HAVE A GOOD TRIP: ADVENTURES IN PSYCHEDELICS
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM (1996)
I CARE A LOT
I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS
JURASSIC WORLD: DOMINION
LICORICE PIZZA
LIGHTYEAR
MEN
NEW FLICKS: ANTLERS
NEW FLICKS: ARMY OF THIEVES
NEW FLICKS: CRUELLA
NEW FLICKS: DON’T LOOK UP
NEW FLICKS: ENCOUNTER
NEW FLICKS: FINCH
NEW FLICKS: FRESH
NEW FLICKS: GEORGE CARLIN’S AMERICAN DREAM (2022)
NEW FLICKS: HUSTLE
NEW FLICKS: I WANT YOU BACK
NEW FLICKS: KATE
NEW FLICKS: RED NOTICE
NEW FLICKS: THE NORTHMAN
NEW FLICKS: VIVARIUM
NEW FLICKS: WATERMAN (2021)
NINE DAYS
NINE PERFECT STRANGERS (2021)
PIG
SOUL
SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME
THE ADAM PROJECT
THE BATMAN
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM (2019)
THE LOST CITY
THE LOST DAUGHTER
THE MAP OF TINY PERFECT THINGS
THE NEW MUTANTS
THE PAPER TIGERS
THE SUNLIT NIGHT
THE TENDER BAR
THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH
THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT
TOP GUN: MAVERICK
TV REVIEW: BATES MOTEL
TV REVIEW: DEFENDING JACOB
TV REVIEW: EXTERMINATE ALL THE BRUTES (2021)
TV REVIEW: HOMECOMING
TV REVIEW: HOW TO WITH JOHN WILSON
TV REVIEW: I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE
TV REVIEW: I MAY DESTROY YOU
TV REVIEW: LENOX HILL
TV REVIEW: LITTLE AMERICA
TV REVIEW: MARE OF EASTTOWN
TV REVIEW: MRS. AMERICA
TV REVIEW: ONE MISSISSIPPI
TV REVIEW: PAINTING WITH JOHN (2021)
TV REVIEW: RAMY
TV REVIEW: RUN
TV REVIEW: SPACE FORCE
TV REVIEW: TABOO (2017)
TV REVIEW: TED LASSO (2020-present)
TV REVIEW: THE BOYS
TV REVIEW: THE END OF THE F***ING WORLD
TV REVIEW: THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT
TV REVIEW: THE LAST KINGDOM
TV REVIEW: THE MIDNIGHT GOSPEL
TV REVIEW: THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA
TV REVIEW: THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT
TV REVIEW: UNDONE
TV REVIEW: WARRIOR
TV REVIEW: WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS
TV REVIEW: ZEROZEROZERO
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS (2005)
UNDERRATED: THE KINGDOM (2007)

‘Crimes of the Future’ finds auteur David Cronenberg returning to earlier themes

CRIMES OF THE FUTURE

PHOTO BY , COURTESY OF ARGONAUTS, BELL MEDIA, AND THE CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION

CRIMES OF THE FUTURE


Where is it playing?: Downtown Centre of San Luis Obispo

What's it rated?: R

What's it worth?: $Matinee? (maybe) (Anna Starkey)

What's it worth?: $Full price (if you like weirdness) (Glen Starkey)

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

Writer-director David Cronenberg (The Fly, A History of Violence, Eastern Promises) helms this sci-fi horror film set in the future, where performance artist Saul Tenser (frequent collaborator Viggo Mortensen) has his organs removed before a live audience with help from his assistant and partner Caprice (Léa Seydoux). Saul suffers from “accelerated evolution syndrome,” which causes him to grow new organs, but his performances draw the attention of the National Organ Registry, its chief bureaucrat Wippet (Don McKellar), and his assistant Timlin (Kristen Stewart), who develops an unhealthy fascination with Saul after witnessing a performance. (107 min.)  

Glen: I’ve seen most of auteur David Cronenberg’s films, but two in particular seem to be informing Crimes of the Future: Crash (1996), about a group of sex fetishists who are erotically satisfied by experiencing body-mangling car crashes; and eXistenZ (1999), about a video game designer who’s created an apparatus that looks like something alien yet organic, which is an interface to a virtual world. In this film, Saul has three similarly weird devices: He sleeps in an OrchidBed that’s supposed to aid in his rest; he has a chair designed to help him eat and digest food; and he performs in a device originally designed to perform autopsies. He and Caprice’s performances are highly sexual. As one character says, “Surgery is the new sex,” and indeed, in this futuristic world humans don’t seem to feel pain as we do, and many are growing new organs that may be a step in human evolution, such as an underground group that’s developed a digestive tract that can eat and digest plastic. It feels like a commentary on the increasingly synthetic and toxic environment we’ve created, as well as a comment on extreme body modification and sadomasochistic sex practices. It’s a weird, challenging film, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since I saw it. 

Anna: For some reason, I can’t keep the title of this film straight—maybe some weird brain thing that puts Crimes of the Future and Crimes of Grindewald too close together, so every time someone has asked what we watched this week I end up saying, “Some really weird horror movie,” and then go on to explain (or try to) the premise of this film. All that’s to say that my review of this film may be a bit stunted, quite frankly, because I kind of just don’t get it. I actually really appreciate when a film has the wherewithal to make me uncomfortable; it can show some great skill on the part of the filmmaker when it’s done in a way that isn’t just for jump scares. I did feel uncomfortable here, and Cronenberg definitely has a skill for this type of work. He paints a bleak future full of abandoned ships, lurking figures, and the mundane shop talk of Saul and Caprice’s uncomfortable and visceral business. The film is certainly offering up commentary on our world and the razor’s edge we walk with fascinations of violence and death. Was it a fun watch for me? No, but it worked hard at evoking feeling from its audience.

Glen: Early in his career, Cronenberg made a film with the same unmemorable name, but that Crimes of the Future (1970) focused on a dermatologist and a plague that killed all sexually mature women who used cosmetic products. Can we just agree that Cronenberg is a singular visionary? His ’70s and ’80s work was campy and intelligent  fun. Shivers (1975), Rabid (1977), The Brood (1979), Scanners (1981), and Videodrome (1983) were really interesting horror films. He found mainstream success with The Dead Zone (1983), The Fly (1983), and Dead Ringers (1988). This new film is straight-up weird, and I’m guessing a lot of people won’t like it. Its Rotten Tomatoes audience score is 45 percent. I’m glad I saw it, but go only if you want to revel in creepy oddity. 

Anna: It doesn’t fall into the category of “must see” for me, though the leads give it their all. Creepy, weird, how many different ways can I describe how odd and unsettling this film is? It’s a tough one to recommend, so trust your gut when it comes to taking this movie on—it isn’t going to be for everyone.

New Times Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey and freelancer Anna Starkey write Sun Screen. Glen compiles streaming listings. Comment at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.










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