Car crash? Sexy French horror flick rattles Cannes

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Thursday, June 20, 2024

Car crash? Sexy French horror flick rattles Cannes
French actress Agathe Rousselle speaks during a press conference for the film "Titane" at the 74th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, on July 14, 2021. John MACDOUGALL / AFP.

by Jürgen Hecker

CANNES (AFP).- Cannes was punch-drunk from a wild, violent and sexy French shocker on Wednesday with critics unsure if they had witnessed the birth of a genre or the worst flop in years.

"Titane" by French director Julia Ducournau tells the story of a young woman who has sex with cars, kills without a care, and pretends to be a boy despite being pregnant by a vintage Cadillac. Not the most common of plots.

Ultra-violent scenes had some cinema-goers shield their eyes at the film's early festival screenings, as sharp intakes of breath alternated with nervous giggles. The movie still won a long standing ovation at its opening night on Tuesday.

Acknowledging that some scenes were difficult to watch, Ducournau told reporters that even the goriest bits had narrative meaning. "I hate gratuitous violence, I really do," she said.

The film drew some flattering comparisons with "Crash" by David Cronenberg -- another controversial look at driving and eroticism -- and "Blue Velvet" by David Lynch, both of which became instant classics after premiering in Cannes.

The Hollywood Reporter said the movie, which is competing for the Palme d'Or, might herald a "French-Punk-Queer Wave", while IndieWire said it was "one of the wildest films ever to screen at Cannes".

'A desire for metal'

Others clearly hated "Titane".

The Guardian newspaper called it a "car crash" because of its "sheer silliness and towering pointlessness", French paper Liberation said the storyline was "pretty much inarticulate" and Switzerland's Le Temps wondered what the film-maker had meant by her "pretentious" offering.

While some felt let down by the French director -- whose cannibalistic debut "Raw" delighted critics a few years ago -- others gave her full marks.

"Ducournau breaks all the rules, to our greatest pleasure," gushed French magazine Les Inrockuptibles. "Her furious film is like no other."

The director herself said she felt "a lot of anger" while writing the film.

"Trump had just been elected, and the world was not a happy place," she told AFP in an interview.

"I was very pessimistic about the future and about a society that has no room for fluidity, transformation, for change and inclusiveness," she said, adding: "There was also a desire for metal and skin that I can't really explain."

The main character is played by newcomer Agathe Rousselle.

She stars alongside French veteran Vincent Lindon, her surrogate dad in the movie, who told reporters that lifting weights every day for two years for his role as buff fire brigade commander had been "the biggest risk I took for the role, because I am 62".

Lindon, who won Cannes' best actor award in 2015, said working with Ducournau had taught him "to let go", making him "a better actor and a better man".

Both characters are broken, their lives "scorched earth", said Ducournau.

"To show how love and humanity are born, I had to take that scorched earth and make it blossom, like light makes the darkness blossom," the director said. "The film is a film about love, about unconditional love."

"Titane" is among 24 films competing for the Palme d'Or, to be awarded on Saturday.

© Agence France-Presse

Today's News

July 15, 2021

Newfound sections 'prove' ancient wall protected Jerusalem's east flank

Jeff Bezos gives $200 million to National Air and Space Museum

New exhibition presents major works on paper from the Hessel Collection

Genius at work: 29 MacArthur fellows show their art in Chicago

Exhibition of recent paintings by Archie Rand opens at TOTAH

Phillips Asia announces 24/7 Online Auction

What does it take to be like Mike? 1,264 ticket stubs.

Jane Kaufman, artist who celebrated women's work, dies at 83

For Keioui Keijaun Thomas, the body becomes a vessel

The fate of the Met Opera's fall season lies in its orchestra pit

Rare and elegant 1965 Iso Rivolta to be offered at Ivoire Troyes

Mariët Westermann appointed to Rijksmuseum Supervisory Board

Buddhist digital amulets mark Thai entry into crypto art craze

Single-owner collection of oil and petroliana will be auctioned online

Intersect Aspen announces details of August 1-5 pop-up art fair

Kristen Richards, 69, dies; Reshaped architecture journalism online

Bernette Ford, who made children's books more diverse, dies at 70

Paul Huntley, hair master of Broadway and Hollywood, is dead at 88

Cannes: Anatomy of a standing ovation for 'The French Dispatch'

Murano chandeliers, Tiffany & Co. period jewels and a Henrietta Berk painting offered at Michaan's

Grounds For Sculpture announces new leadership appointments

Charlie Robinson, actor best known for 'Night Court,' dies at 75

Car crash? Sexy French horror flick rattles Cannes

After virus closures, Shakespeare returns... outside

Online gaming in Australia: business features

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Truck Accident Attorneys
Accident Attorneys

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful