The 2021 Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, awarded to Julia Ducournau for “Titane”, still arouses as many reactions. The film divides and echoes weigh more and more on this next flagship release. Judgment on a controversy, soon on the big screen …
The festival opened with great discoveries, such as those of “Annette” by Leos Carax on July 6, 2021, followed by “Benedetta” by Paul Verhoeven. From July 6 to 17, 2021, the festival took place to the rhythm of various films from all over the world, until the screening of “Titane” by Julia Ducournau which provoked the ire of festival-goers and the astonishment of critics. The film won the supreme prize at the closing ceremony, making Julia Ducournau the 2e director in the history of the Cannes film festival to have won the Palme d’Or.
A palme d’or awarded to a film of the genre… advertised as “gore” or even “horror”. Announced as transgressive at will, the synopsis – without dwelling on it at length – is focused on the runaway of a serial killer who, in order to escape the police, intends to pass himself off as the son, disappeared ten years earlier, of a firefighter officer devastated by grief. This duel, led by Vincent Lindon and Agathe Rousselle father / daughter-son, has already divided opinion, remained perplexed in the face of the ambiguity of the relationship and the sorrow of a father, eager to find his son at all costs, even if it means transposing this attachment to this serial killer. The film, long before being awarded the Palme d’Or, had already been released in theaters for three days and offered the general public the opportunity to immediately get an idea of this unexpected award.
To sell itself, and through pitches and media passages, the film was advertised as a creation that would cause hospitalizations, discomfort, vomiting and fainting of masses in Cannes and elsewhere, which is exaggerated for the public who saw it. . Film students hastened to make the comparison with “Grave”, the director’s first feature film, which was visually much more gory, and had a much more relevant human and social scope: the director had indeed dissected psychology. adolescents, their setbacks in the midst of a crisis, the awakening of the senses, impulses and sexuality. In “Titanium”, scenes of admittedly violent masochism built the sulphurous reputation of the film, but without much surprise: the warning intended for spectators over 16 years old is correct. To have reported it at 18 or 12 would have been exaggerated or permissive.
Far from being a display of raw violence, “Titane” deals with two futuristic and fashionable themes, namely “Transhumanism” and the fact that the heroine is endowed with a mechanical device introduced into her brain. following a car accident which would have alternated his mood and his personality. The 2e theme is “Transgenderism” and the fact that she has to appear like a boy in order to escape and cause police surveillance. While waiting to get an idea for yourself by going to discover it at home or in a cinema, “Titanium”, for good or for bad, will not leave you indifferent …
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Julia Ducournau’s “Titanium”, Palme d’Or at the 74th Cannes Film Festival: Judgment on a controversy | The Tunisian Press