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Crimes of the Future

Entry updated 18 July 2018. Tagged: Film.

Film (1970). Emergent Films. Produced, directed, written and photographed David Cronenberg. Cast includes Jon Lidolt, Jack Messinger, Ronald Mlodzik and Tania Zolty. 70 minutes. Colour.

This cheaply made, inventive Canadian film, something between an underground and a commercial movie, is chiefly of interest as ushering in – along with Stereo (1969) – Cronenberg's distinguished, eccentric and (according to some) disgusting career in sf cinema. With hindsight, we can see many Cronenberg strategies and themes here in embryo: deliberately tasteless Satire, the moral corruption of society, human metamorphosis created by irresponsible Technology, sexual metaphor at the heart of the argument, and the contrast of sterile settings with ravages and mutations of the flesh. The film is set in a Near Future where humans are devolving (see Devolution) and all women of child-bearing age have been killed by an epidemic spread through a cosmetics additive created by a mad dermatologist (in the House of Skin), thus making procreative pedophilia a likely "crime of the future" and putting a five-year-old girl (Zolty) at the centre of the barely comprehensible plot. [PN]


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