Titane


Viewed – 28 February 2022 online rental

I certainly like movies that are different and push boundaries, and the various French movies I have seen over the years have certainly done that. The last one to really stay with me was ‘Raw’, a nice little coming of age movie… with cannibalism. So when i saw all the attention that movie’s director, Julia Ducournau was getting for her follow up, the Palm D’or winning Titane – I just had to see it. This tells the story of a young woman, Alexia who when she was a child was involved in a car accident, and had a titanium plate placed in the head. As an adult she is a dancer at an auto-erotica show fetishising cars when an encounter with an over-zealous fan ends tragically.

Like a French take on David Cronenberg’s Crash, complete with his brand of body-horror this started out interesting, but quickly took a turn for the worse as the main character goes on the run, changes her sex and reacquaints herself with her weirdo fire-fighter father. As an exploration of a disturbed individual, it makes little coherent sense, throwing in a phantom pregnancy and drawn-out scenes of homo-eroticism and borderline incest. There’s some hints if you look for them of why characters are doing what they’re doing, but its all incredibly vague snd I just watched this with a puzzled expression on my face.

Performances are ok, the main actress is involved in some challenging scenes and comes across convincingly unhinged. There’s also an underlying LGBTQ message here too, but it mostly went over my head. Overall, this was one of the most bizarre movies I’ve seen for a while, and sadly not in a good way. Another acclaimed movie that disappoints.

Verdict: Poor

Raw


Viewed – 02 October 2017  Online-rental

I think it can’t be argued by anyone familiar with French horror cinema, that they certainly challenge boundaries and cross lines on what is acceptable or even tolerable in a horror movie.  The infamous Martyrs proved that and now we come to this latest, French-Belgian offering that quite literally goes for the jugular.

RAW

Justine (Garance Marillier), a gifted female student starts her first week at Veterinary school where she finds herself involved in a brutal hazing ritual.  Whilst getting covered in Horse blood and generally abused by the seniors, despite being a devout  vegetarian, Justine is pushed into consuming raw meat.  However the experience unlocks a new found craving and it’s not long before Justine finds herself developing a hunger for human flesh.

Part coming-of-age movie, part sexual awakening with a twist … this gritty, somewhat tongue-in-cheek drama is equally distasteful and weirdly fascinating.  The movie jumps from development to development a little too quickly for me, with Justine’s cannibalistic cravings coming as a bit of a leap.  However with at times artfully stylish and unflinching direction from first timer Julia Ducournau – I couldn’t look away.  Even during some of the sicker sequences, with a stomach churning finger-eating like it’s KFC scene almost reaching my limit.  It never gets as gory as suggested though, but is effectively disturbing in it’s rather ‘matter of fact’ approach to something unthinkable.

Certainly not for a wide audience and well, left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth (no pun intended) … but as an example of daring, provocative movie making, this still proved effective.

Verdict:  3.5 /5