The trailer for Julia Ducournau’s Titane is an experience. It’s the type of teaser that punches you in the stomach and spits in your face. Weirdly enough, the only appropriate response to that is, “thank you, may I have another.” Flashes of violence, sex, muscle cars, butts, x-rays, and medical devices become the stuff of nightmares (or, at least, an update of some early-90s Nine Inch Nails videos) in this clip. Whatever it is, it’s fucking cool.
Premiering at Cannes, Titane is Ducournau’s follow-up to Raw, the movie about veterinary students who go on the cannibal diet in a sickening twist on the freshman fifteen. Titane avoids such easily spelled out log-lines. The only synopsis for the movie is a definition:
TITANE: A metal highly resistant to heat and corrosion, with high tensile strength alloys, often used in medical prostheses due to its pronounced biocompatibility
The trailer and title card give us some clue into how this movie uses metal. Shots that resemble a European art-film version of Saw feature a child whose skull is encased in an Erector Set of pain, as the title card features x-rays of skulls. (Looks like head trauma is back on the menu, boys.) Meanwhile, an older man (Vincent Lindon) struggles with his red room of mirrors and a flaming ceiling, which are notoriously difficult to extinguish. There’s also an unnamed woman played by Agathe Rousselle who has a lot going on in her life, too. Judging by the scars on her temple, she wore the head brace as a child. But her journey didn’t end there. She also gets in nude fights with another woman and falls down a flight of stairs, dances on cars, and eats toilet paper—all in a day’s work. And, in an inspired touch, the Zombies song “She’s Not There” plays over the soundtrack, a perfect counterbalance to the violence and sex flooding the screen. A lot is going on here, and all of it looks, for lack of a better phrase, wild as hell.
Titane is premiering in competition at Cannes, but it’s also become one of our most anticipated movies of the summer. Watch it and be in awe.