Their movie is one of the weirdest award winners of the year. Treat.

When Alexia’s breasts start leaking engine oil, there’s no doubt that the father of her child was the cheating Cadillac with whom she had violent sex after the erotic car show, the night she killed a man by stabbing him in the ear.

That’s before she embarks on a killing spree, breaks her nose and masquerades as the missing son of the fire chief on steroids who agrees: It’s his child.

This is just a glimpse of horrific events in “Titane”, Julia Docornau’s bold drama that opened on Friday. The film won awards and critical acclaim for its comedic carnage and gender reversal — and for its raw performance by newcomer Agathe Rousselle as Alexia, who is physically attracted to cars.

Titan also generates screams and jaw droppings from stunned moviegoers with its bloody, transgressive approach to the story of a woman who, in Docorno’s words, is “driven by her impulses and desires toward the dead metal” but “begins to connect with her humanity step by step.” one reviewer called him “The most shocking movie of 2021.”

Sitting in a sufficiently French bistro the day before “Titane” premiered at the New York Film Festival, the word Ducournau often used wasn’t “Rambunctious” Or any other seemingly intimidating adjective used by reviewers. The word was “love”.

“The whole point of my movie is to make you feel what the characters feel, but it’s hard to feel love, to feel it physically,” she said. “So I decided to do it as a challenge and ask: Can you do this with love?”

Russell also used the word to describe the film in a separate interview: “You have a beautiful love story between my character, who has never been in love before, and a father who doesn’t think he can ever love again and they find out what love means and what love means.” love He is the film.”

At the age of 37, after only two feature films, Ducournau, a native of Paris, is already a sensation in films. From the point of view Alexandra West, author Films of the new French extremism: visceral horror and national identity. Docorno’s work is “extreme and silly but also human” and “part of the driving force behind what’s to come to cinema.”

“It challenges audiences and urges audiences to interact with the cinema and talk to each other,” West said. “This is interesting.”

Director M Knight Shyamalan remarked: Dokornau directed two horrific episodes AppleTV + “Servant” series who is an executive producer. “Julia Ducornu killed her. Thinking, shocking and cinematic” chirp.

The ratings for “Titane” were mostly festive (Entertainment Weekly called it “extremely good”) while still conscious of her horrific courage )“A crazy work of fiction.” IndieWire Books). Others asked: To what end? in a reconsidering For The Times, AO Scott wrote: “Despite its reckless style and pace, Titane doesn’t seem to know where it wants to go.”

In July, “Titane” was the surprise winner of the Palme d’Or, the first prize in Cannes Film Festival. It was the first time a woman had won the award since Jane Campion in 1993 for The Piano. Docorno said she didn’t believe until she hugged Sharon Stone and didn’t let go. Then the actress asked how she was feeling.

“I said, I’m not sure yet, but it looks like a date?” Docorno said. ‘ She began to laugh, just the way Sharon Stone could laugh, without jitters or jitters and so brightly, and said, My dear, He is Date.”

Docornau was surprised at the start of the ceremony when Spike Lee, the jury chairperson, was asked to name the first prize winner but instead accidentally detected “Titane” was the first prize winner. is later She said He made a “mistake” and apologized to the festival organizers.

“At the moment, it was hard to find a sense of humor in it,” Ducornu said. “But later on, I find that a lot more.”

Docornu said she knew she wanted to play Alexia unprofessional. Ducornau said after her manager found Rousselle on Instagram, she brought Rousselle back several times over the course of six months before she gave her the job, and they worked together for a year before filming.

To prepare for a physically demanding role that involved intense transformations, Russell studied dance and boxing, and learned agonizing monologues from other films and shows, such as “Twin Peaks.” Cemetery letter Introduced by best friend Laura Palmer.

Russell also spent up to eight hours a day getting in and out of makeup and prosthetics that gave her bigger breasts, expanding belly shapes, and three different noses (to watch a nose-breaking scene). It helped her that she acted as a favorite role model for her bisexual children.

“Sex was never very relevant to me,” Russell said. “When I work in fashion I would take my clothes off for a fit and say, ‘You have boobs? I’d say yes, deal with it.’”

Under Blood is a soulful film examining love and family, produced by a director who cares deeply about family, identity, and, most tenderly, women’s lives.

Women in transformation, in fact. This is what Docornau explored in her short film “Carpentry” (2011), the story of a teenage girl whose body is leaking goo as she evolves from a tomboy to a feminine girl. She explored Metamorphoses again on her debut, “raw” (2017), the bloodstained coming-of-age story about a young woman who eerily transforms from vegetarian to cannibal.

She did it again in “Titane” with Alexia, a woman whose pregnancy (thanks to a Cadillac) and penchant for random killings are linked to the titanium plate doctors put in her head after a car crash she survived as a girl. (The word “titan” means “titanium.”)

“Titane” opened in France in July, and Roussel said she was relieved by the response to the “obsessed crowd of high school kids who play video games and have blue hair.” She said some have seen the movie multiple times.

Russell thought the movie could be important for teens “because it touches on questions about how you want to be, who you can be, how you can escape from where you are and how much control you can have in your life,” she said. “It frees them.”

Docorno said that while studying her next project, she found inspiration in the photographer’s work Here Goldin Directors are Stanley Kubrick, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and especially David Cronenberg. In his movies – like “Collide,” About people transformed by car accidents – she said that “whatever people find disgusting can appear as a human being.”

“The vision that goes beyond expectations inspires me a lot,” she said.

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