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Titane may not have been the best film at Cannes, but it had guts, drive, and an anthro-automotive hybrid devil child | Cannes 2021

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Titane may not have been the best film at Cannes, but it had guts, drive, and an anthro-automotive hybrid devil child |  Cannes 2021

C.Anne let a punk power chord of glorious mischief strike as she handed the Palme d’Or to Titane, Julie Ducournau’s gonzo genderqueer body-horror shocker, and the jury and the film’s many fans will have savored the delicious thrill of it all. the épat since Lars Von Trier won it for Dancer in the Dark and, more importantly, it’s an award that makes Julie Ducournau the second female Palme winner in festival history, since Jane Campion.

I must admit that I was not a fan of Titane, since in my opinion it was not the best film in competition, nor the best film that Ducournau has directed, being less interesting than his first film, the most complex and most shocking of Raw. But I’m a huge fan of defying consensus and overriding the tyranny of anemic good taste, and maybe there’s something about the perennial majesty of cinema that cries out to be trolled, a little bit. Tonight, Titane passed her steel-toed boot through the origami flower of received wisdom. And there is something refreshing about that.

“Titane ran her steel-toed boot through the origami flower of received wisdom.” Photographer: Carole Bethuel

Newcomer Agathe Rouselle gave everything she had, which was so much, as Alexia, a young woman who has grown up with a titanium steel plate on her head, after surviving a childhood car accident caused by her useless father. She makes a living as a dancer, takes extreme retribution action against a creepy and abusive male fan, and goes on the run disguised as a boy, where she eventually falls under the unexpectedly tender protection of Fire Chief Vincent (played by grizzled French cinema and wrinkled). veteran Vincent Lindon).

But she has also had Ballardo-Cronenbergiano transgressive sex with an antique Cadillac, leaving her pregnant with an anthro-automotive hybrid devil child. Titane might as well come to be savored as a cult classic to rival Eraserhead, though perhaps having been rejected by the Palme d’Or would have done the same for that elevation. I have to be honest and say that I still found something a bit silly and nonsensical in Titane, but it’s obviously the work of an extremely talented filmmaker who calculates its effects with masterful precision, and we’re looking at the beginnings of a movie. Great race.

Asghar Farhadi in Cannes.
Asghar Farhadi in Cannes. Photographer: John MacDougall / AFP / Getty Images

The second prize was divided between two films: Compartment No. 6 by Finnish director Juho Kuosmanen and A Hero by Asghar Farhadi. This latest film was much admired here in Cannes and was awarded by many for the grand prize: the complex and subtle story of a man imprisoned for debt who believes he can get out of his jail sentence by paying his creditor by secretly selling the gold coins. . that his girlfriend has found at a bus stop, and then when that seems complicated, he heads for another idea: pretend to be a hero of honesty and return them to their owner. It’s an intriguing elevated concept, although I did wonder about something quite forced and artificial in some of the plot transitions. He has an excellent and understated performance of Amir Jadidi as the self-pitying antihero. (I think I should have chosen better actor).

I loved Compartment # 6, and its unexpected success tonight was one of the true joys of the night: a love story aboard a train, with a touch of the French New Wave, as a Finnish archeology student falls in love gradually from a rude and rude Russian guy who has a heart of gold.

Elkin Diaz, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Tilda Swinton and Juan Pablo Urrego attend this year's Cannes closing ceremony.
Elkin Diaz, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Tilda Swinton and Juan Pablo Urrego attend this year’s Cannes closing ceremony. Photographer: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

It turns out that the “bronze medal” level, the jury’s award, was also a split decision. It was shared by Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s strange and visionary slow-motion cinema gem, Memoria, about an English expatriate in Bogotá (played by Tilda Swinton) who hears the strange rumbling noises (perhaps like the terribly elemental ou-boum noise in A’s cave). Passage by EM Forster). to India) and Ahed’s Knee by Nadav Lapid, about an Israeli film director affected by rage and guilt for being an accessory to the institutional cruelties of his country. For me, Ahed’s Knee was directed, illuminated, and edited with an exciting energy and hyperactivity that mimicked its hero’s confusion, but its script led to some weak evasions. Memory is a wonderful movie, but I can see how it would divide a jury.

Ryusuke Hamaguchi with his award.
Ryusuke Hamaguchi with his award. Photographer: David Fisher / REX / Shutterstock

My own (inaccurate) tip for the Palme d’Or itself was Ryu Hamaguchi’s fascinating and mysterious Drive My Car movie, elegantly inspired by Murakami’s tale; As it turned out, Hamaguchi had to settle for the best screenplay award with his co-writer Takamasa Oe, and there is justice in this: the script was extremely well crafted both in the basic components of the narrative and in line-by-line distinction. of their dialogue.

The Mael brothers in Cannes.
The Mael brothers in Cannes. Photographer: John MacDougall / AFP / Getty Images

Leos Carax has found that the fact that films have been such a personal test in recent years is kind of nice to see the best director award go to him for the booming and tonally ambiguous musical Annette, composed by Ron and Sparks’ Russell Mael and starring Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard as the comedian’s bad boy and refined opera singer who have a child together – the troubled singer of the title. Again, Carax’s direction was authoritative enough, especially since he was working in English, but I would have preferred this award to go to Sean Baker for Red Rocket, his story about a failed Trump porn star, or Jacques Audiard for his Paris. , 13th. District, the love stories that are interspersed in the Les Olympiades neighborhood, movies that were sadly overlooked tonight.

As for the acting awards (and it is arguably a mark of Cannes’s more intellectual image that these are less important than for the Oscars), Caleb Landry Jones, who often has challenging and haunting roles, won the award. Best Actor for Haunting Performance as Martin Bryant in Justin Kurzel’s Nitram: Australia’s Most Notorious Mass Killer. It’s a powerful performance, although there is something a bit obvious about this choice.

Renate Reinsve in Cannes.
Renate Reinsve in Cannes. Photographer: Ian Langsdon / EPA

My favorite award of the night was the best actress award for the relatively unknown Norwegian actress Renate Reinsve, in Joachim Trier’s relationship comedy The Worst Person in the World, for her superbly judged and seductive and vulnerable performance as a woman. young man who realizes that falling in love is making an unalterable life choice. I was not the only one in Cannes who said, passed out: “A star is born”, but it is true.

But the real star that will be born tonight is Ducournau for his movie Titane; has made history with his win, and what a rock’n’roll finale to a very enjoyable festival.

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