David Cronenberg has said he’s expecting audience walkouts during the premiere of his new film, Crimes Of The Future.
The director, best known for sci-fi horror films Shivers, Scanners and The Fly, is set to debut his latest project at this month’s Cannes Film Festival (May 17-28).
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Speaking to Deadline, Cronenberg said he expects some “very strong scenes” will provoke walkouts among the festival audience.
“There are some very strong scenes,” Cronenberg said. “I mean, I’m sure that we will have walkouts within the first five minutes of the movie. I’m sure of that. Some people who have seen the film have said that they think the last 20 minutes will be very hard on people, and that there’ll be a lot of walkouts.
“Some guy said that he almost had a panic attack. And I say, ‘Well, that would be OK.’ But I’m not convinced that that will be a general reaction.”
Cronenberg doesn’t believe however it’ll provoke a response comparable to his 1996 film Crash, which was booed at the festival due to its depictions of graphic sexual acts.
“I do expect walkouts in Cannes, and that’s a very special thing,” Cronenberg added. “People always walk out, and the seats notoriously clack as you get up, because the seats fold back and hit the back of the seat. So, you hear clack, clack, clack.
“Whether they’ll be outraged the way they were with Crash, I somehow don’t think so. They might be revulsed to the point that they want to leave, but that’s not the same as being outraged. However, I have no idea really what’s going to happen.”
He also doesn’t expect a similar response because there’s “really no sex” in the film.
Cronenberg continued: “I mean, there’s eroticism and there’s sensuality, but of course, part of what the movie says – and one of the characters says it very straightforwardly – is that surgery is the new sex. If you accept that, then, yeah, there’s sex in the movie, because there’s surgery! So, people might be put off by that.”
Crimes Of The Future is a body horror film starring Viggo Mortensen, Kristen Stewart, Léa Seydoux, Don McKellar and Scott Speedman.
A synopsis reads: “As the human species adapts to a synthetic environment, the body undergoes new transformations and mutations. With his partner Caprice (Seydoux), Saul Tanser (Mortensen), celebrity performance artist, publicly showcases the metamorphosis of his organs in avant-garde performances.
“Timlin (Stewart), an investigator from the National Organ Registry, obsessively tracks their movements, which is when a mysterious group is revealed…. Their mission – to use Saul’s notoriety to shed light on the next phase of human evolution.”
Top Gun: Maverick and Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic are set to be screened at the festival, although they’ll be played out of competition. George Miller’s first film since Mad Max: Fury Road, titled Three Thousand Years Of Longing, will also make its debut.