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Titane – first-look overview

Julia Ducournau’s sensational second characteristic affords an intoxicating mixture of grease, gore and gasoline.

Prior to the Cannes premiere of Julia Ducournau’s second characteristic movie Titane, only some particulars have been made public. One was an intriguing log line that’s been kicking round for some time now: “Following a sequence of unexplained crimes, a father is reunited with the son who has been lacking for 10 years.” The opposite was extra esoteric, a easy definition of the aspect titanium: “A metallic extremely immune to warmth and corrosion, with excessive tensile power alloys.”

When the teaser trailer dropped every week earlier than the pageant, hypothesis was rife, with many drawing comparisons with the work of physique horror maestro David Cronenberg. Having now seen the movie, one has to wonder if Videodrome and Crash have been formative viewing experiences for Ducournau. 

The story centres on Alexia (newcomer Agathe Rousselle) who sustained accidents in a automobile accident as a toddler which left her with unusual predictions. As a younger grownup she makes cash as a mannequin and dancer at automobile reveals, however her true passions are decidedly extra uncommon. They quickly land her in a sticky scenario which in flip leads her to the doorstep of grieving father Vincent (Vincent Lindon), whose younger son went lacking 10 years in the past.

The extra titillating parts of Titane will doubtless be condensed into Letterboxd and Twitter fodder earlier than the movie receives a wider launch (it opened the day after its premiere in France). There’s actually no scarcity of hanging photos liable to make audiences wriggle of their seats: the glint of grease, gore and gasoline permeates every little thing, creating an alluring visible nightmare you’ll be able to’t draw back from.

To wit, Rousselle is as completely solid as Garance Marillier was in Ducournau’s first movie, Uncooked (she additionally makes an look in Titane). Her character is essentially mute which makes intense physicality important; Rousselle delivers a number of the best ocular performing in display screen historical past, whereas reverse her Lindon is tender, unnerving and brutal in the identical breath. There’s a simple uneasiness between them, with an underlying risk ever-present of their relationship. 

If Uncooked manifested feminine need as a really actual gnawing starvation, Titane is equally audacious in the way it tackles gender, sexuality and masculinity. Ducournau’s potential to search out humour in essentially the most horrifying eventualities is much more evident right here; the grotesque and the absurd go hand in hand in her supernatural imaginative and prescient, whereas her command of color and sound borders on seductive. Jim Williams – who composed the superb rating for Uncooked – returns on music duties with a choral-heavy symphony harking back to Handel, lending Godliness to scenes of depravity.

The place Uncooked took viewers on a clearer narrative journey, Titane is a barely extra freeform affair – a chromatic puzzle which leaves loads of blanks to fill in. Ducournau continues to construct on her spectacular physique of labor, pushing the boundaries of style and decency to current confronting cinema which leaves a pointy metallic style on the tongue.

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Printed 14 Jul 2021

Tags: Cannes Garance Marillier Julia Ducournau Titane Vincent Lindon

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