David Cronenberg's 'The Shrouds': A Mourning Vision at Cannes

David Cronenberg's new film 'The Shrouds' premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. The deeply personal project, inspired by his grief over his wife's passing, explores themes of life, death, and technology. Despite its unique approach, critics found it challenging and unexpected.

Reuters | Updated: 21-05-2024 22:37 IST | Created: 21-05-2024 22:37 IST
David Cronenberg's 'The Shrouds': A Mourning Vision at Cannes

David Cronenberg, who has made a career out of the macabre, found that making his deeply personal new film "The Shrouds" did not lessen the grief he feels over his wife's death.

"I don't really think of art, and especially I don't think of my art as cathartic," the longtime Canadian director known for body horror classics like "The Fly" and "Videodrome" told Reuters on Tuesday at the Cannes Film Festival. "The Shrouds," which premiered on Monday evening, marks Cronenberg's seventh time competing for the festival's top prize, the Palme d'Or.

"The film is funny as well as being sad. It's a desire to, to play with the figurines in the sandbox, you know, and re-live things the way children do," Cronenberg said. "If you're grieving, it does not lessen the grief. But it means that you're addressing it and acknowledging it and playing with it in a way," he added.

Cronenberg began writing "The Shrouds" as a tribute to his wife of more than four decades after she died in 2017. Vincent Cassel stars as Karsh, a widower who has created a technology that allows relatives to watch their loved one decompose in the grave after his own wife died of cancer.

His dead wife, played by Diane Kruger, comes to him as a vision when he observes her body from an app. He notices strange growths on the body, kicking off a search for answers joined by his conspiracy-aroused sister-in-law, also portrayed by Kruger, and her paranoid ex-husband, played by Guy Pearce. Cronenberg said that "The Shrouds" may not be the most approachable film in how it handles the topic of life and death.

"People who are used to, you know, normal TV or streaming series and stuff might find the approach to life in this film to be unusual and edgy, and I accept that," said Cronenberg. "I mean, most of my films have had that, you know, tone."

Critics were disappointed, with entertainment news website Deadline writing: "Whatever else you may expect of Cronenberg as a distinctive auteur – wry humor, a measured pace, exultant wallowing in foul goo – you're not expecting the narrative to explode into bits. That really is a new kind of ick."

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Give Feedback