Crimes of the Future

Crimes of the Future ★★★★½

Now that I think about it, there aren't many filmmakers who have the stamina and guts to think about the future while reflecting on the present. This is my favorite of the late Cronenberg films (and one of the very best in general), the earlier ones haven't had any particularly notable impressions on me although I can applaud their ideas and aspirations. As someone who has only lately become very aware of their body and its limitations, this struck a very specific chord with me. How much must we suffer with our bodies and on the other hand, where does it go if we keep constantly developing them? That being said and what is very clear in this film, there is no constant with the body. We can't trust it as much as we'd hope and this leads to existential panic about our relationship with the future. Everyone, unless completely in denial, must understand by now that the external forces, whether climate or society, are tearing us apart but at the same time we face this inner threat as well.

And as people have (at least seemingly) become more and more aware of the dangers posed by capitalism or climate disaster, I think we have also become more aware of our bodies. Or perhaps people have always been this way but now it is out there, we are talking about it. But there is also danger in how we are talking about it or showcasing our bodies. Do we really understand them or are we still talking about how we should react to them? Ignorance leads nowhere but at the same time, when does it become a morbid curiosity in the sense that we can't realize what these bodies are doing in society? Cronenberg explores these lines by introducing this dark world where everything seems to obsessively revolve around bodies as if they were distracting the people. The political situation, exemplified in the assassinations and double-agents, goes almost unnoticed. These murderers can live among these people almost freely and do their deeds without being noticed. And at the same time, it is highlighted that threat comes from somewhere else in the form of terrorists. It's as if Cronenberg would consciously want us to focus on the morbid happenings so that they are what we remember and not this political dystopia. And when we realize this political dystopia beneath this spectacle of the body, it stops our breathing.

In the cultural landscape where people are talking about nostalgia and constantly awaiting new franchise sequels and remakes, Cronenberg possesses one of the strongest opposition voices since he is constantly thinking about the future. Adorno writes in his "Aesthetic theory" something in the lines (free translation from Finnish to English so I might be losing something): "one answers to what art is by outlining what art has been but art becomes only justifiable through what it has become and it must be open to what it would want to and could become". When I was reading that point after seeing Crimes of the Future, this is the film I kept thinking about.

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