Crimes of the Future details the wanderings of Tripod (Mlodzik), sometime director of a dermatological clinic called the House of Skin, who is searching for his mentor, the mad dermatologist Antoine Rouge. Rouge has disappeared following a catastrophic plague resulting from cosmetic products, which has killed the entire population of sexually mature women. Tripod joins a succession of organisations including Metaphysical Import-Export and the Oceanic Podiatry Group, and meets various individuals and groups of men who are trying to adjust themselves to a defeminized world. One man parodies childbirth by continually growing new organs which are removed from his body. Eventually Tripod comes upon a group of paedophiles which is holding a 5 year-old girl, and they urge him to mate with her. He senses the presence of Antoine Rouge. Written by
In a future imperfect all females have perished due to a deadly chemical outbreak, leaving the male population to fend for themselves. Among them Aaron Tripod (Ronald Mlodzik), a researcher coping in the new world now devoid of a moral compass. During his studies he encounters a patient, which emits mysterious excretions tasting of chocolate. Once the subject inexplicably disappears Aaron employs himself in another clinic, which serves as a compound for individuals with similar bodily substances. There he encounters the changing functions of the new man and its new flesh. All with true Cronenberg-esque style...
Similar in execution as "Stereo", with an upgrade from black and white into full colour, but still experimentally coping without sound, instead inputing odd disjointed sounds and a voice-over to convey the slightly misogynistic story. Rife with motifs featuring in Cronenberg's earlier works, like "Shivers", "The Brood" or "Scanners", this artsy feature remains an intriguing expansion of Cronenberg's cinematographic world-view. Despite a larger budget than "Stereo" and undeniably better technical resolution with some excellent framing of shots, "Crimes of the Future" is comparatively a step further into detrimental watching, making novelties like fast forward necessary to survive the viewing.
Nonetheless the overall experience remains an excruciating watch as a product of a student filmmaker, overawed by his own brilliance, but unaware that his supposedly nouvelle experiment in filmmaking is mostly unwatchable drivel. As such the style is almost unbearably self-defeating, making the story drown under the pretentious exposition and ultimate lack of direction. The script may sound cerebral (however truthfully strongly undercut by an intellectual overreach), but that does not excuse a total detachment from the viewing audience. Ultimately Cronenberg's venture feels overly childish in his introvert drive for novelty. Several scenes do manage to build a vague anxiety with it cold and distant atmosphere, especially the layered denouement involving a bout of paedophilia.
Best viewed for Cronenberg fanatics with a strong inclination towards understanding his perspective on film and exploring his growth as a filmmaker. Remaining subjects best resolve to focusing on his later works.
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