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TITANE

Julia Ducournau

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Julia Ducournau follows her debut, the cannibalism-themed Raw (2016), with the Palme d’Or-winning Titane. Taking its cue from kindred spirits such as David Cronenberg and Gaspar Noé, it begins in a hallucinatory rush as car show model Alexia (newcomer Agathe Rousselle, in a performance of fearsomely committed physicality) is revealed as a woman who kills for a variety of reasons, and whose only truly successful sexual encounters are with cars, one of which leads to pregnancy. Forced to flee as a result of her activities, she assumes the identity of a missing boy returning to his father, fireman Vincent (a grizzled Vincent Lindon). As the film changes gear to develop the complicated relationship between the two, it becomes a challenging and provocative meditation on gender identity and transformation, and of the differing experiences of parenthood and physical decline as Alexia’s gestation nears its end.

Notes by Kevin Coyne

108 mins, France-Belgium, 2021, Digital, Subtitled, F-Rated

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