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Weird and wonderful new boundaries breached by alternative last Inverness Film Festival movie Titane

By Margaret Chrystall

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Inverness Film Festival

REVIEW: Titane (12A)

This was a great film to end the festival with.

In the other screen, the already well-known story of TV evangelist Tammi Faye Bakker was playing out in The Eyes Of Tammi Faye.

Titane with Agathe Rousselle. Picture: Carole Bethuel
Titane with Agathe Rousselle. Picture: Carole Bethuel

But with Titane, French director Julie Ducournau really took us out there in what is categorised as science fiction/horror.

It took us to a place where the human body morphs and evolves. Boundaries crash as fantasy meets a new reality.

But characterisation with a group of actors the director has used before, is not compromised. And from unlikely, initially unsympathetic lead characters, the story has a surprisingly tender conclusion.

For anyone who saw the director’s first film Raw at its Scottish premiere at Inverness Film Festival in 2016, the map was already drawn. When that arrived, the story had previously been in the press that audience members had been sick at its original premiere, telling the story of a vegetarian venturing into cannibalism.

This film begins with a difficult child Alexia in a car with her dad, when an accident means she needs a metal plate – titanium, hence the film title - put in her head. Cut to a car fair with female dancers cavorting round. Alexia (Agathe Rousselle), now grown up, undulates in an erotic dance across a fire-painted Cadillac in one of the visual highlights – there are many – in the film.

What follows is human-machine interaction, murders, transformation and a central relationship between Alexia seeking a new identity and a grief-stricken, addicted fireman (Vincent Lindon).

Celebration, gender-morphing and a search for love, all wrap themselves around the beautifully slow unfolding of the central relationship of the film.

Bold, bonkers, beautiful – push your boundaries and don’t miss it when it returns MC

French with subtitles. Winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes this year.

Short review: Messed-up Alexia seeks refuge with a dad who long ago lost his son.

Best quote: Fireman to Alexia: Anyone who hurts you, I’ll kill them. Even if it’s me.

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