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The director of Raw delivers a grandiose portrait of psycho-sexual frenzy and auto-eroticism that won it the top prize at Cannes.

Alexia’s history with cars goes back to the accident that saw a titanium plate inserted into her head. From there, she grows into Agathe Rousselle’s barely verbal transgressor, hell-bent on furthering her relationship with all things metallic – particularly if they have an engine. She passes herself off as male, claims to be the son of Vincent Lindon’s muscled-up fire chief and gets herself caught up in a series of violent incidents, some self-inflicted, which will likely have more squeamish viewers watching events through their fingers. If Titane is one thing, it’s not shy when it comes to taboos.

Deemed by some critics to be the most controversial Palme d’Or winner at the Cannes Film Festival, Titane continues Julie Ducournau’s pushing at the envelope of taste that she began with Raw. But whereas that film kept a tight rein on its narrative, here the filmmaker revels in the ambiguity of the world she is creating. It’s possible to come away with a variety of readings regarding what it is that Ducournau is trying to say with her film. It’s also possible to appreciate the film for its visceral thrills – an example of a body horror that refuses to limit its horizons.

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Directed by
Runtime 108 Minutes
Release date 2021
  • Certification: 18