Crimes of the Future (1970)

Article #1753 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-1-2006
Posting Date: 5-31-2006
Directed by David Cronenberg
Featuring Ronald Mlodzik, Jon Lidolt, Tnai Zolty

In the future when a disease is killing off women who have reached puberty, a researcher who moves from occupation to occupation finds himself haunted by the memory of his former mentor, for whom the disease is named.

Heaven only knows what I would have thought of this bizarre art film if David Cronenberg were not now a well-known director whose various areas of obsession and interest were not well-documented. I think it would have been tempting to dismiss the film in that case, but there’s no doubt that it’s a lot more fascinating precisely because one sees so much of the thematic interests of later Cronenberg in the movie. It might take a few viewings to figure out the details of the storyline, though it is obvious that there is a unity holding it all together. The bio for Cronenberg on the DVD of this movie claims that he is trying to find the right balance between the intellectual and the visceral in his movies, and that certainly applies here; it is interesting to work out the details, while at the same time, I do find myself somewhat repelled by some of the subject matter, in particular the theme of pedophilia that pops up in the second half of the movie. According to the bio, Cronenberg himself saw that this type of art film led him to a creative dead end; he would eventually turn to the horror genre to help him flesh out his visions.

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