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David Cronenberg’s upcoming horror film Crimes of the Future has sparked walkouts from attendees during its screening at the Cannes Film Festival.
The film premiered at the invitation-only festival on Monday (May 23) with several scenes apparently too much for viewers, with reports from IGN indicating the majority of walkouts happened within the first five minutes.
Crimes of the Future features Lea Seydoux, Viggo Mortensen and Kristen Stewart and it's certainly not for the fainthearted.
The film is said to include gory autopsy scenes, shots of intestines, and perhaps the weirdest trope of all - characters who orgasm by licking each other’s open wounds.
However, according to Variety, the film may be one of the most polarising titles of the year as it also received a seven-minute standing ovation.
After the response, Cronenberg told the audience: “I’m very touched by your response. I hope you’re not kidding, I hope you mean it.”
The cast of CRIMES OF THE FUTURE takes the croisette for the Cannes world premiere. pic.twitter.com/YMSSEGs0Lx— NEON (@neonrated) May 23, 2022
The mixed response from the crowd was half-expected by the director himself, who anticipated a lot of people to be ‘revulsed’ by the movie.
During an interview with Deadline, he explained: “There are some very strong scenes. 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.”
Cronenberg had even hoped that viewers at Cannes would remove themselves from the viewing, seeing it as a badge of honour.
He continued: “But I’m not convinced that that will be a general reaction. I do expect walkouts in Cannes, and that’s a very special thing.
David Cronenberg predicted there'd— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) May 23, 2022
be Cannes walkouts during CRIMES OF THE FUTURE, and I counted around 15 who exited during the film's first press screening. Maybe walkouts are the new standing ovation!
"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.”
Cronenberg has a mixed history with the Cannes Film Festival.
In 1996, the premiere of Crash was booed by viewers as they stormed out of the theatre, while Map to the Stars in 2014 received a much more favourable response.
However, it sounds like Cronenberg got exactly the reaction he was after with Crimes of the Future.
The eerie first trailer dropped last month, with the synopsis reading: “As the human species adapts to a synthetic environment, the body undergoes new transformations and mutations.
“Accompanied by his partner, celebrity performance artist Saul Tenser showcases the metamorphosis of his organs.
“Meanwhile, a mysterious group tries to use Saul's notoriety to shed light on the next phase of human evolution.”
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