Titane ★★★★★

TIFF 2021! Part 2

Watching a film this profoundly insane while high as part of TIFF’s Midnight Madness programme might be the best experience of my life. I am incredibly excited to report that Julia Ducournau’s “Titane” is an arthouse cinema masterpiece, and undoubtedly my favourite film of the year.

The film is incredibly disturbing, with cringe-inducing body horror grotesque enough to make John Carpenter, David Cronenberg and Shin’ya Tsukamoto themselves proud, and filled to the brim with dark emotional intensity. This is the power of what creative, visionary arthouse horror can be. 

The editing, cinematography and sound are handled with complete precision in order to create a deeply twisted atmosphere that keeps you fully enthralled, from the first sound to the closing image.

Laced with so many layers of absurdity, the film is also incredibly hilarious, rooted in dark comedy with a twisted sense of humour.

Yet despite these darker moods, Titane is ultimately an incredibly wholesome and touching story about love, the emptinesses we all use it to fill, and the broken puzzle pieces who find each other and can grow in unexpectedly beautiful ways. I’m not ashamed to say this film moved me to tears.

Furthermore, and perhaps most pressingly, Titane is a fresh, bold and necessary vision in queer cinema. What is gender? What is identity? What is sexuality? What is love? Can these things be so simply categorized? Can they even be understood? How do they relate to the human body? Titane forces us to radically consider all these questions and frames the film’s body horror as a vehicle for queer themes that will likely be studied for decades.

To close off, Julia Ducournau directs Titane masterfully. It is a film that had me fixed on the screen, unable to look away, chills down my spine, a grotesque sickening in my gut. My favourite film of 2021 and sure to be a landmark film in queer horror and queer cinema. I strongly strongly recommend seeing this film, and make sure to find out as little as you can about it beforehand.

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