Connect with us

Tech

Crimes of the Future Review: David Cronenberg salutes the old flesh

Published

on

Crimes of the Future Review: David Cronenberg salutes the old flesh

If Hell has an Ikea, it’s fully stocked with the designer grotesqueries that pass for furniture in Crimes of the Future. The latest bio-mechanical Tempur-Pedic technology has produced a new type of womb hammock that squirms to ease the pain of those slumbering in their folds. The chair is made of bone and jerks and fidgets hilariously to aid fussy eaters. An automated surgery pod with incising tentacles controlled by an insect-like remote is the most luxurious of organic-machine luxury amenities. The Geek Squad technicians ogle the appliance like a sports car, admiring its shiny surfaces and gleaming hospital hardware.

Who else than Carol Spier would have created this mutant showroom? This is her baroquely distinctive work, which gives us the first clue that we are watching someone fall off the wagon and into an all-night coma two decades after giving up on his worst vice. That someone, of course, is David Cronenberg, the Canadian director of such gooey, goopy triumphs as The Fly, Videodrome, and Naked Lunch. Creatively, his vice was once body horror. This is the queasy strain that he used to be corporeally fixed nightmare fuel. Cronenberg quit his vice at the end the last century and stopped wreaking havoc upon the spongiest parts of humanity. But after 20 years sober, he’s ready to party like it’s 1999. There is no safe place for any flesh, whether it’s old or new.

The future of Crimes of the Future is one where human evolution has sped up to accommodate the rate at which we’re poisoning ourselves and the planet. Pain is gone, and new mysterious organs appear in people with such regularity that an entire government agency was established to track them. Celebrity performance artist Saul Tenser (Viggo Morensen) is adapting to this new world order. He goes under the knife both for work and pleasure. His body is the canvas and the knife the brush. He straps himself in to the portable operating theatre, where Caprice (Lea Seydoux), his partner in art, and life, remotely removes an invasive tumor from his stomach. This is a scene that is a chorus of oohs, aahs, and giggles.

Kristen Stewart and Léa Seydoux look serious.

“Surgery is the new sex,” someone gushes at Saul after the procedure-performance. It’s one of a few lines in Crimes of the Future that flirt with outright self-parody of Cronenberg-speak, that singular alien language he’s been refining and expanding since the 1970s. The man’s movies can start baffling, overwhelming you with their oddball terminology and taxonomies. The viewer will feel fluent by the end. It’s like an expat who has been immersed in the language every day. Cronenberg is known for finding actors who can deliver his sci-fi vocabulary almost naturally.

He actually wrote Crimes of the Future in ’99. It might have felt like he was repeating himself back then — a greatest hits list of mutilation or pontification. Cronenberg has become more self-reflective since he was away from his wheelhouse. Crimes of the Future is maximalist in concept, minimalist in execution. The vision of the future has an industrial claustrophobia. It is all darkened, dank spaces. As in the last feature he scripted himself, the capitalism-in-decline art thriller Cosmopolis, Cronenberg limits his world-building mostly to conversations — Saul’s tete-a-tetes with a revolving cast of peers, functionaries, and fans with noir names.

The plot is, to be completely honest, inexplicable and borderline arbitrary. It involves the conflict among various political factions with differing opinions on the next steps for our species. Lang Dotrice (Scott Speedman), a father who has lost his son, wants Saul to incorporate the corpse of his deceased son into his next performance. In the opening sequence of the film, the child was smothered in his mother’s arms and ate plastic like candy. This is our only hope of survival: To be able to eat our synthetic imperishables. Although the narrative is full of philosophical questions, it doesn’t really connect and veers off to the end.

Viggo Mortensen wears a black cloak well.

It’s much easier to admire Crimes of the Future as a wicked art-world satire. For all the outre imagery that provoked walkouts at Cannes last month, Cronenberg isn’t really out to shock here. Cronenberg isn’t really trying to shock here, despite the outlandish imagery that prompted walkouts at Cannes last month.

Viggo is a puckishly droll, physically precise and clearly playing some version his director: A gray-haired provocateur of literal body horror. The filmmaker can use it as a self-deprecating self portrait by proxy. It allows him to reflect on his age as an elderly statesman of gross-out art. Cronenberg has Cronenberg warmed some over the years? Crimes of the Future is withering on the macro scale of mankind (this is not a hopeful vision of where we might end up), but surprisingly optimistic on the business of sharing a life and calling. Caprice and Saul exude the warmth of a happy couple who are well-suited for shared perversions. Seydoux is the only one who could make unzipping a stomach and tongue the intestines appealing.

It’s this artistic process that Cronenberg most skillfully slaps onto the slab. It is fitting that such anatomical obsessive films would look inward rather than outward to gain their greatest insights. Art is about showing one’s true self. How can an artist be more honest than by revealing what pulsates within their abdomen? Extraneous organs taken from Saul for the benefit of the bourgeoisie are inspiration in themselves. But does removing them and marking them reduce them somehow, the same way that no realization of a creative idea can compete with the pure version in your head? Caprice, who is slicing, dicing, and working from afar, could be the true artist. Cronenberg never did it alone. He relied on his collaborators from his earliest explorations into the complicated secrets of the mind and body.

The title, incidentally, is borrowed from one of those inaugural experiments — a low-budget, barely watchable campus art drama that basically amounted to Cronenberg rattling off all of the preoccupations he would later develop into revolting masterpieces. It’s tempting to think of Crimes of the Future as him going full circle, ready to reclaim the squishy subgenre he largely birthed. This isn’t a regressive victory lap, despite its transgressive echoes. It’s a movie about a prime old-master, laid back in its own funny way. A luminary reviews his kingdom and evaluates his place within it. Cronenberg returns to his most famous mode and slyly questions the expectations that artists have to live up to — to be able to adapt to another’s agenda, evolve, or stay the same. This insight cuts through as deep as any scalpel.

Crimes of the Future is now playing in select theaters. For more reviews and writing by A.A. Dowd, visit his Authory page.

Editors’ Recommendations







Read More

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Tech

FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are

Published

on

By

FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are
A player shouldering the ball



(Image credit: EA)

FIFA 23 might be the best game soccer game yet for terrible sports fans, as it lets you turn off commentary that criticizes your bad playing.

Now that the early access FIFA 23 release time has passed, EA Play and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can hop into the game ahead of its full release. But as Eurogamer (opens in new tab) spotted, they’ll find a peculiar option waiting for them.

FIFA 23 includes a toggle to turn off ‘Critical Commentary’. The setting lets you silence all negative in-match comments made about your technique, so you can protect your precious ego even when you miss an open goal or commit an obvious foul. The more positive commentary won’t be affected. 

Spare your feelings

A player dribbling the ball in FIFA 23

(Image credit: EA)

The feature looks tailored toward children and new players, who don’t want to have their confidence wrecked within mere minutes of picking up the controller. But even experienced players who just so happen to be terrible at the game might benefit.

It’s not perfect, though. According to Eurogamer, the feature didn’t seem to work during a FIFA Ultimate Team Division Rivals match, with critical comments slipping through the filter. Still, who hasn’t benefited from a light grilling every now and then?

Polite commentary isn’t the only new addition in FIFA 23. It’s the first game in the series to include women’s club football teams, and fancy overhauled animations that take advantage of the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S’s new-gen hardware. EA will be hoping to end on a high, as FIFA 23 will be the last of its soccer games to release with the official FIFA licence.

If disabling critical commentary doesn’t improve your soccer skills, maybe building a squad of Marvel superheroes will. Although you might not do much better with Ted Lasso wandering the pitch.

FIFA 23 is set to fully release this Friday, September 30.

Callum is TechRadar Gaming’s News Writer. You’ll find him whipping up stories about all the latest happenings in the gaming world, as well as penning the odd feature and review. Before coming to TechRadar, he wrote freelance for various sites, including Clash, The Telegraph, and Gamesindustry.biz, and worked as a Staff Writer at Wargamer. Strategy games and RPGs are his bread and butter, but he’ll eat anything that spins a captivating narrative. He also loves tabletop games, and will happily chew your ear off about TTRPGs and board games. 

Read More

Continue Reading

Tech

Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch

Published

on

By

Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch
The backs of the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro



(Image credit: Google)

We’re starting to hear more and more Google Pixel 7 leaks, with the launch of the phone just a week away, but tech fans might be getting a lot of déjà vu, with the leaks all listing near-identical specs to what we heard about the Pixel 6 a year ago.

It sounds like the new phones – a successor to the Pixel 6 Pro is also expected – could be very similar to their 2021 predecessors. And a new price leak has suggested that the phones’ costs could be the same too, as a Twitter user spotted the Pixel 7 briefly listed on Amazon (before being promptly taken down, of course).

Google pixel 7 on Amazon US. $599.99.It is still showing up in search cache but the listing gives an error if you click on it. We have the B0 number to keep track of though!#teampixel pic.twitter.com/w5Z09D28YESeptember 27, 2022

See more

According to these listings, the Pixel 7 will cost $599 while the Pixel 7 Pro will cost $899, both of which are identical to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro starting prices. The leak doesn’t include any other region prices, but in the UK the current models cost £599 and £849, while in Australia they went for AU$999 and AU$1,299.

So it sounds like Google is planning on retaining the same prices for its new phones as it sold the old ones for, a move which doesn’t make much sense.


Analysis: same price, new world

Google’s choice to keep the same price points is a little curious when you consider that the specs leaks suggest these phones are virtually unchanged from their predecessors. You’re buying year-old tech for the same price as before.

Do bear in mind that the price of tech generally lowers over time, so you can readily pick up a cheaper Pixel 6 or 6 Pro right now, and after the launch of the new ones, the older models will very likely get even cheaper.

But there’s another key factor to consider in the price: $599 might be the same number in 2022 as it was in 2021, but with the changing global climate, like wars and flailing currencies and cost of living crises, it’s a very different amount of money.

Some people just won’t be willing to shell out the amount this year, that they may have been able to last year. But this speaks to a wider issue in consumer tech.

Google isn’t the only tech company to completely neglect the challenging global climate when pricing its gadgets: Samsung is still releasing super-pricey folding phones, and the iPhone 14 is, for some incomprehensible reason, even pricier than the iPhone 13 in some regions. 

Too few brands are actually catering to the tough economic times many are facing right now, with companies increasing the price of their premium offerings to counter rising costs, instead of just designing more affordable alternatives to flagships.

These high and rising prices suggest that companies are totally out of touch with their buyers, and don’t understand the economic hardship troubling many.

We’ll have to reach a breaking point sooner or later, either with brands finally clueing into the fact that they need to release cheaper phones, or with customers voting with their wallets by sticking to second-hand or refurbished devices. But until then, you can buy the best cheap phones to show that cost is important to you.

Tom’s role in the TechRadar team is to specialize in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working in TechRadar freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. Outside of TechRadar he works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.

Read More

Continue Reading

Tech

DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

Published

on

By

DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

, , , , , ,

search relation.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

Read More

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2022 Xanatan