The Cannes Film Festival is one of the most prestigious events in the cinematographic world and the Palme d’Or is its highest distinction, with past winners including Parasite, Tree of life, and The pianist. This year’s winner, however, is something a little different.
Titanium is an experimental horror film packed with sex and violence so confronting that some viewers passed out in their seats. During a recent screening of the film at the Sydney Film Festival, a spokesperson confirmed that 13 people passed out during a viewing.
Titanium follows Alexia, a woman who had a serious car accident when she was younger, leaving her with a horrific skull injury where a titanium plate must have been inserted into her skull. When she is older, the only physical vestige of the accident is a large scar on the side of her head, but the emotional vestiges of the event have left a much larger impact.
Alexia begins to murder a number of people, including her own parents, which leads her to become wanted by the police. She decides to run away and disappears by stealing the identity of a boy who had disappeared 10 years earlier. In order for her to convincingly adopt that identity, Alexia smashes her face in a bathroom sink in a highly graphic scene that’s sure to hurt some moviegoers. The scene can be seen as tame compared to others throughout the film which are much more graphic.
Nothing new for director Julia Ducournau, who is only the second female director to win the Palme d’Or. His films are known for their monstrous characters as well as for their confrontational and graphic content. His previous film, Raw (2016), is arguably just as gruesome, with reports that members of the audience had passed out during the screening of this film also at the Toronto International Film Festival. Raw follows a young vegetarian woman who develops a hunger for human flesh, a desire that turns into a full-fledged addiction that ends up consuming all of her waking thoughts.
If you have a stomach for it, you can watch Titanium in some cinemas and Raw on Netflix.