Kristen Stewart on body horror, Cronenberg and Cannes
Kristen Stewart reflected on how the themes of Crimes of the Future encapsulate and dovetail with her own artistic journey.
In David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future, in which an artist played by Viggo Mortensen has organs and tumors plucked from his body in performance art excavations, Kristen Stewart plays a timid bureaucrat swiftly turned passionate devotee.
In Cronenberg’s film, a Cannes Film Festival entry opening June 3 in theaters, Stewart’s character, breathlessly excited by what she’s witnessed, transforms into a fan and, maybe, an artist.
It’s a literally gut-wrenching film thick with metaphorical meaning about art making that Stewart deeply connects with. It’s appropriate, too, that the film again brought Stewart to Cannes, a prime platform for Stewart’s own transformations for the last decade.
“There is a certain commitment to what feels like radical art here that is so unabashed and audacious and so sort of arrogant in a beautiful way,” Stewart says on a rooftop terrace overlooking Cannes’ Croisette. “Nobody has to defer and say, ‘Well, I guess what we do isn’t saving lives.’ It’s like: ‘Yes it is! Art actually saves lives.’”
In an interview, Stewart reflected on how the themes of Crimes of the Future encapsulate and dovetail with her own artistic journey.
The attitude about “radical” film that you’re describing certainly applies to Crimes of the Future, but Cronenberg has had difficult getting funding for films. Do you ever feel frustrated by how dissimilar Hollywood is to Cannes?
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Yeah, it’s an industry. It’s driven by how much money you’re making. We call it the movie business over in Los Angeles. I’m into that because I want everyone to see the stuff that we do, but it’s perspective. If you don’t focus on it, it doesn’t touch you. But, oh, I resent it so deeply. (Laughs)