Options this weekend include returning David Cronenberg in Crimes Of The Future, queer comedy Fire Island and come-of-age mob A Chiara
Earlier this spring, David Cronenberg auctioned off his past kidney stones as an NFT, which was a savvy way to market his new body horror flick and address where we’re all heading. Crimes Of The Future is a knowing return to the Cronenberg of eXistenZ, Crash and Dead Ringers. There are several callbacks to those past titles in this dusted-off script about an evolution of the human body.
There are people in the future who are sprouting new organs. One of them is a performance artist played by Cronenberg muse Viggo Mortensen who, along with his charming partner (Léa Seydoux), surgically removes each new organ in public.
Captivated fan, Kristen Stewart delivers the thesis of the film: “Surgery is the new sex. The line is an updated version of Videodrome’s “Long Live the New Flesh”, which is fitting because, at its best, Crimes Of The Future simply adapts Cronenberg’s old fixations, about the need to feel pain and its potential. erotic, to a new era. with an evolved society and a different (political) body.
Ideas exceed execution. You can see the missed thriller potential that Cronenberg was able to achieve with the kind of budgets, time and energy that fellow Canadian Denis Villeneuve now enjoys. It is also a familiar story for Cronenberg. 107 mins. Now playing in theaters everywhere. NNN (Radheyan Simonpillai)
Fire Island will not replace Clueless as the most cutting edge romantic comedy inspired by a Jane Austen book. But its innovative setting, utterly queer creative team, and — for a movie streaming (in Canada) on Disney+ — refreshingly candid gay sex scenes make it a terrific Pride Month viewing.
While at the eponymous queer summer mecca, besties Noah (writer Joel Kim Booster) and Howie (SNL’s Bowen Yang) meet their Darcys and Bingleys, here named Will (Conrad Ricamora) and Charlie (James Scully). Howie and Charlie form an adorable bond, but Noah overhears rich and sexy Will say something that puts a damper on that relationship – not to mention Noah’s interest in Will.
What follows is a charming, if clumsy, series of misunderstandings, social blunders and revelations, proving that finding a partner is the same as in Regency England, except about Fire Island underwear parties, drugs partying and engaging in the back room bar sex also enters the equation.
Kim Booster’s script could have used an extra pass or two, and Ahn is no Amy Heckerling. But there are some great sight gags and campy pop culture references. And it’s very refreshing to see hot gay actors and other POCs burning up the screen and challenging the stereotype of the buff white circuit party. Read the full review here. 105 mins. Now streaming on Disney+. NNN (Glenn Sumi)
Remember the college episode of The Sopranos, when Tony’s daughter Meadow confronts her dad about his mafia antics? Imagine this story as a low-key, tender coming-of-age story. Fifteen-year-old Chiara (played by captivating non-actor Swamy Rotolo) discovers in the headlines that her doting dad is a suspected mafioso, which sends her into a rebellious spiral as she tries to find the truth. Italian-American filmmaker Carpignano offers compelling insight and perspective into familiar territory, focusing on how the fallout of a crime family affects a young girl’s sense of self. If his whole life has been devoted to family, how do these revelations fracture his identity? Capignano stays wisely close to her star, who has a firm grip on the material even as the story around her runs wild at the end. 121 mins. Now playing at Imagine Cinemas Carlton. NNN (RS)
Also opening in theaters this week
Jazz Fest: A History of New Orleans
Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffett, Katy Perry and Earth, Wind & Fire; Directed by Frank Marshall and Ryan Suffern
Mark O’Brien, Mimi Kuzyk, Henry Czerny; Directed by Mark O’Brien
Everything on streaming platforms this month: