Five years after breaking out on the international film circuit with her acclaimed horror film “Raw,” French filmmaker Julia Ducournau is back with a new thriller and her first Palme d’Or contender. Premiering in competition at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival this July is “Titane,” a mysterious new Ducournau movie starring Agathe Rousselle and Vincent Lindon (who won the Best Actor prize at Cannes 2015 for his performance in “The Measure of a Man”).
Ducournau is no stranger to Cannes. Her short film “Junior” premiered at Cannes 2011 and won the Petit Rail d’Or, while “Raw” debuted at Critics’ Week during Cannes 2016 and won the FIPRESCI Prize.
“Titane” is so mysterious that Neon is not even providing an official synopsis for the movie. Instead, the studio provided a definition for the movie’s title: “A metal highly resistant to heat and corrosion, with high tensile strength alloys, often used in medical prostheses due to its pronounced biocompatibility.”
Ducournau is one of four women directors selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at Cannes 2021 alongside Ildikó Enyedi with “The Story of My Life” (Enyedi’s “Body and Soul” won Berlin’s Golden Bear), Mia Hansen-Løve with her long-awaited “Bergman Island,” and Catherine Corsini, who will premiere “La fracture” two decades after her “La Repetition” competed. Other filmmakers in competition at Cannes 2021 include Wes Anderson (“The French Dispatch”), Paul Verhoeven (“Benedetta”), Sean Baker (“Red Rocket”), Leos Carax (“Annette”), and Apichatpong Weerasethakul (“Memoria”). Unlike all of these directors, Ducournau is competing for the Palme d’Or this year with just her second feature directorial effort.
IndieWire awarded Ducournau’s feature directorial debut “Raw” a B+ review, calling it “David Cronenberg for teen feminists.” Critic Jude Dry wrote, “Female sexuality carries the same taboo as a ravenous flesh-eating teenager in this provocative feature debut. … Ducournau tears down the walls of a genre so often identified with male filmmakers. Shrewdly using the art-horror format to upend the traditional teen Bildungsroman, ‘Raw’ makes it impossible to look away — as much as you might want to.”
“Titane” does not have a U.S. release date yet from Neon. The film will world premiere at Cannes next month. Watch the first trailer for the movie in the video below.