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“Titane.” The movies aren’t meant to be a heart event, but it’s sometimes hard to hold your breath amidst the hot-blooded automatic mania Titane – who wins the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and certainly one of the most distinctive experiences on screen this year.
You may love it, you may hate it; you may need to think carefully about your relationship with your steering wheel. French filmmaker Julia Ducournau dips her hot body (this Friday) into blood and fat until you finally find yourself under your nails.
Titane: Horror Movie! Review
From the little sight of her little girl, it is hard to know whether Adrien (Agathe Rousselle) was born badly or accidentally left in a car accident leaving a metal plate on her head and a large flying scar, circling like a seashell with a keloid around her ear; and it seems to surgically remove all sensitivity and pressure control.
(A painting engraved between her breasts that reads Love Is a Dog From Hell neatly summarizes her life philosophy, at least. When a man follows him into the parking lot behind the gig, confident of autograph and kissing, he finds what he has come for.
After that, he finds what he thinks he deserves, and that quickly becomes a theme: when Adrien’s independence is threatened or his emotions just turn, people die, and they don’t go well. He loves cars to people anyway, and it is not much you can say about his physical relationship with the Cadillac sedan that is less comfortable in the personal room except that yes, it is detrimental to mental cleanliness and biology – and the fruits of that mechanical union will greatly suppress his need to enter the unknown.
But it would also be unwise to question the extent of the tactics he will try to defend himself, or how far it will take him in the next 90 minutes or so.
There is a kind of kinetic neon nihilism in Titane that can definitely be read to some degree as annoying because of it; a deliberate desire for shock and devotion. If the movie were just a casual style exercise it would have been easy to get into the embarrassing pieces and move on, but Ducournau – who won the first prize of the 2016 festival, the next-generation flu-like fever – has a lot of thrumming under the hood that can be blown out of this cool air.
Although Rousselle’s Adrien roams the earth like a wild animal, seemingly merciless or remorseful, he is not a simple psychopath, and as the high-profile fence is sharp – sexually explicit ideas and its true self-deception along the way – the result of the collection is shocking. At a time when almost everything that can be done in a film has always been like that, Titane built something exciting from muscle and pure metal and made it new. Titane.
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