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Cronenberg’s visceral cinema returns to Cannes

David Cronenberg’s new film, “Crimes of the future”, promises to shake the Croisette with its images of blood and viscera this Monday, in the middle of the contest, when some films in contention for the Palme d’Or are already beginning to stand out.

Viggo Mortensen, Léa Seydoux and Kristen Stewart star in this story in which an artist tattoos his own internal organs live and which, according to the director himself, is not suitable for the most sensitive audience.

“I think there will be spectators who will leave the cinema,” explained the Canadian filmmaker to the American press. “People who have already seen this film said that the last 20 minutes will be difficult for some, and that there will be exits” from the theater, he continued.

“One man even said he almost had a panic attack,” the 79-year-old director warned.

Cronenberg knows the subject well. The first time he competed for the top award, in 1996, with “Crash,” a story of sex and car accidents, he took home the Special Jury Prize.

And precisely this controversial film was one of those that inspired the French director Julia Ducournau, who last year won the Palme d’Or with “Titane”, a mixture of sex and cars.

With “Crimes of the future” it is the sixth time that this cult filmmaker has aspired to the Palme d’Or. The last time was with “Maps to stars” (2014), about the obsession with popularity and starring Julianne Moore, who He won the award for best performance.

This time he also returns with his fetish actor, Viggo Mortensen, with whom he was already in Cannes in 2005 with “A history of violence”.

In addition to Cronenberg’s gory film, the other film in competition screened this Monday, Park Chan-Wook’s “Decision to Leave,” could also bring its dose of violence.

The South Korean director, who rose to fame with the ultraviolent “Oldboy,” now presents the story of a veteran detective investigating the death of a man on top of a mountain. The wife of the deceased appears as the main suspect.

Of the 21 films in contention for the Palme d’Or, half have already been screened and some of them are beginning to stand out.

Among them, “Triangle of sadness”, a fierce satire on the current world of the Swedish Ruben Ostlund.

Or James Gray’s “Armageddon Time,” a portrait of 1980s New York through the eyes of a boy and his friendship with a black classmate.

“The Woman from Chaikovksi”, by Kirill Serebrennikov, was exciting at the start of the competition, but was overshadowed by the controversy surrounding the presence of the Russian director, highly criticized by Ukrainian filmmakers.

“Holy Spider”, by Iranian director Ali Abbasi, shocked by its crudeness, describing violence against women in that country.

And the surprise of the contest comes with “Eo”, by veteran Polish filmmaker Jerzy Skolimowski, starring… a donkey. In this ode to the defense of animals and against mistreatment, the equine takes a journey through several unusual places for him and discovers human violence.

However, there is still a long way to go at the festival, with several cinema heavyweights already laureates with the highest award.

This is the case of “Tori et Lokita”, by the Dardenne brothers, about the friendship of two adolescents exiled in Belgium from Africa. And “Broker”, by Japanese Hirokazu Kore-eda, crowned in 2018 by “A Family Affair”.

The jury, chaired by French actor Vincent Lindon, will reveal the winner on May 28.

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