Cronenberg tells Cannes festival that possible U.S. abortion ban is 'insane'

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CANNES, May 24 (Reuters) - The potential overturn in the United States of a ruling that established a nationwide right to abortion is "completely insane", Canadian director David Cronenberg said as he presented his latest film at Cannes, which explores his perennial themes of the human body and control.

"I did write it (the movie's script) 20 years ago, but ... even then, you could sort of feel that this was coming, this kind of an oppressive ownership of (body) and control," he told a news conference.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to strike down the 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, clearing the way for abortions to be banned or tightly restricted in 26 states, a leaked copy of a draft Supreme Court opinion showed earlier this month. read more

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"It's a constant in history that somewhere in the world, there's some government that wants to control its population," the 79-year-old director said as he presented his latest body horror movie "Crimes of the Future".

"In Canada ... we think everybody in the U.S. is completely insane...We think the U.S. has gone completely bananas and cannot believe that elected officials are saying the things that they're saying there. Not just about Roe versus Wade, but everything else," he said.

In his latest movie, Cronenberg continued his four-time collaboration with actor Viggo Mortensen, who plays Saul Tenser, a performance artist growing new organs inside his body. Lea Seydoux stars as his partner who performs surgery on Tenser for art.

"Crimes of the Future" is Cronenberg's seventh film at Cannes, and the gore and horror has previously made viewers walk out of screenings.

It is one of 21 films competing for the coveted Palme d'Or, the winner of which will be announced on Saturday.

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Reporting by Mindy Burrows; Editing by Ingrid Melander and Alexandra Hudson

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