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David Cronenberg attended the Cannes press conference for his film “Crimes of the Future” and called the United States “completely insane” for potentially overturning Roe v. Wade, which has kept basic abortion rights legal since its 1973 ruling. The director’s new film, which is a return to his body horror roots, addresses “who owns who’s body,” Cronenberg said.

“I did write [the script] 20 years ago but you could feel, even then, that this was coming,” Cronenberg said. “A kind of oppressive ownership and control. It’s the constant in history, that somewhere in the world that wants to control its population. That means, once again, body is reality. You control people’s bodies — that’s speaking, expressing themselves, that’s control.”

“In Canada, we think everybody in the U.S. is completely insane, that the U.S. has gone completely bananas, and cannot believe elected officials are saying what they’re saying,” the director added. “Not just about Roe v. Wade but everything else . Its strange times.

The film tells of an advanced society where “the human species adapts to a synthetic environment, the body undergoes new transformations and mutations,” according to an official synopsis. Viggo Mortensen plays a celebrity artist who shares the metamorphosis of internal organs as performance installations, with the help of his partner Lea Seydoux. Stewart plays a government investigator tracking both these hybrid organs (fun!) and the couple relentlessly, as a shadowy new group comes to light in search of “the next phase of human evolution.”

At its Monday world premiere, dozens of attendees walked out of the Grand Palais starting with the film’s unflinching depictions of body horror. While most of the walkouts were squeamish elderly viewers, audiences can’t say they weren’t warned — Cronenberg’s work is notoriously visceral, from “Eastern Promises” to “The Fly” to “Existenz.” Despite the bloody show, “Crimes of the Future” still earned a 7-minute standing ovation.

“I’m very touched by your response,” Cronenberg said after the warm reception in a crowd that included lauded French movie star Isabelle Huppert . “I hope you’re not kidding, I hope you mean it.”

“Crimes of the Future” is set to roll out in U.S. theaters on June 3.