Julia Docournau’s uncompromising newest film is a beautiful analysis of unconditional love and family.
If you know me, you know that I have been eagerly and anxiously awaiting this film. I knew about Julia Docournau’s first film, Raw, and when she won the Palme d’Or my anticipation for Titane shot right up. That first trailer dropped and I could not stop watching it, so before I could get to this film I had to finally check out Docournau’s first film. I loved Raw and hope to write a piece on that very soon. Sadly, I was not able to watch this in the theatre as the closest one stopped showing it after a week and it was too far from me, so I waited until this was finally released for rental/purchase. Of course, France has officially selected the film to be their entry for Best International Feature Film at next year’s Academy Awards. Did Titane crash and burn or was it another strong outing from Julia Docournau?
Titane is written and directed by French Palme d’Or winning director, Julia Docournau. The film stars Agathe Rousselle, Vincent Lindon, Garance Marillier, and Laïs Salameh. Docouranu reunites with her cinematographer from Raw, Ruben Impens. The film also features a score by Jim Williams. Titane looks at the journey of a car model Alexia who has a titanium plate inside her skull after experiencing a car crash at a young age. Throughout the film, we embark on this quest for Alexia to find a chosen family as she escapes the perils of her own personal life. If you know anything about Julia Docournau, you know that this is a body horror film and does not stop to incorporate that into the very foundation of her movie.
Titane is the epitome of cinematic boldness and a truly uncompromising vision that excels on all of its expectations from the get-go. I know it is hard to think about it this way but Titane is beautiful in every single way. The film heavily discusses themes like chosen family, gender identity, and unconditional love. Agathe Rousselle’s performance as Alexia is well thought out even though so aggressive is so easy to sympathize with. She brings so much love and cares for the character that it is so hard to believe she has never acted a day in her life before. Of course, it is not just Rousselle who excels in this but Vincent Lindon is magical and encapsulates an old man who fears growing old in his weakening body. The musical choices for the soundtrack blend so well to continue telling the story of Alexia within the movie. The film’s cinematography is so rich and lit beautifully that truly sets it apart from Raw while keeping true to Docournau’s style.
Titane works well to create a film that will be a big piece of discussion in the coming months leading into the Academy Awards. I am all aboard the Julia Docournau hype train and cannot wait for what comes next in her career. I hope to see Agathe Rousselle in more films because she is truly a talented up-and-coming actress. I am sure that this film will not escape my mind anytime soon. This will definitely receive rewatches as time goes by because it is that damn good of a film.
Watch Titane by renting or purchasing it on most video rental services.
Another podcast is upon us and today we finally conclude our yearly horror film month. We have had quite the good horror month on the podcast. We have talked some cult classics to some modern hits. Today we discuss a Japanese horror film directed by Kaneto Shindo as we look at his film, Kuroneko. Listen to find out what these nerds thought about this film!
IMDb Synopsis: “Two women are raped and killed by samurai soldiers. Soon they reappear as vengeful ghosts who seduce and brutally murder the passing samurai.”
Luis and Raul are all wrapped up with their coverage of Nashville Film Festival. They get together to discuss what they watched and how it went at their first film festival. What was their top 5 they watched? What could have been improved? How tired are they? Find out on this episode!
Luis sits down virtually with one of his last interviews of Nashville Film Festival as he talks with director of Les Grandes Claques, Annie St. Pierre. The two have a wonderful conversation about a very heart wrenching short film. Annie St. Pierre discusses how it was to work with children on set. Check the interview out to see the rest of the conversation!
The Good Traitor is an interesting look into the life of Henrik Kauffmann that falls apart because of its uneven storytelling choices.
I adore my historical dramas especially as someone who is a major history buff, I can thank my brother for teaching me that. This film caught my eye because this was always something about World War II that interested me. I never thought that I would see a biopic on Henrik Kauffmann ever be made. Also, it was being presented in conjecture with the upcoming Nashville Jewish Film Festival which caught my eye while watching the introduction before the film. This was my last film of the festival but I did not want to end my coverage on such a negative note so I still have much to discuss.
The film is directed by Christina Rosendahl and written by her along with Kristian Bang Foss and Dunja Gry Jensen. The film stars Ulrich Thomsen, Denise Gough, Mikkel Boe Følsgaard, and Zoë Tapper. The Good Traitor looks at the life of Henrik Kauffmann who was the Danish ambassador to Washington DC during the beginning of the second world war. Kauffmann helped to sign the United States’ acquisition of Greenland in order to help his country of Denmark. Sadly, I cannot report back that The Good Traitor is anything other than a messy depiction of a flawed man.
This film is beautifully shot by the cinematographer, Louise McLaughlin. I actually do like Ulrich Thomsen’s quiet and patient performance. My main gripes with this film comes from its very clunky script. The film tries to juggle his personal affairs in his family life while also trying to remind the viewer that the nation of Denmark is occupied by the Nazis. Every time we somewhat get to the interesting fluff of the film it gets interrupted by having to go back to the lackluster depiction of his tumultuous relationship with his wife, Charlotte. A clunky script followed by an uneven pace that makes having to get through this film difficult. I also just could not get behind some of the performances other than Thomsen in the film. I did find the set design and overall production design of the film to be exquisite. You could tell that the team was dedicated to portraying the time period in Denmark accurately. Even though, I did not think highly of this film, I do recommend people watch it as it is discussing an important part of world history that easily helped the US’s involvement in World War II.