EXCLUSIVE: Julia Ducournau, Agathe Rousselle, and Vincent Lindon have been met with a five-minute standing ovation after the premiere of Ducournau’s second characteristic movie Titane on the 57th annual York Film Festival. I might see emotion wash over the trio from the place I used to be sitting, as they turned overwhelmed by the second.
The subsequent day, I walked into the Le Meridien resort to speak to Ducournau and Rousselle. I used to be keen to listen to what was going via their minds watching the gang go loopy through the screening. The statuesque Ducournau and a wide-eyed Rouselle are each decked out, carrying black from head to toe. Seeing earlier footage of the 2 collectively at Cannes, black appears to be their favourite coloration.
“New York is my favorite city in the world!” mentioned Rouselle.
Doucounau provides, “I felt such love from last night in New York. For me, it was like being at Cannes all over again.”
Cannes 2016, is the place all of it started for Docournau. Raw, a movie about school and cannibalism, was her characteristic movie debut at worldwide critics week, profitable the FIPRESCI Prize. An spectacular accomplishment for a newcomer. Her second movie, Titane, went straight into the primary competitors and claimed Cannes’ highest honor: the Palme d’Or. What makes this movie so deserving of the win is its intriguing premise, the place Ducournau explores the uncircumstantial nature of violent ladies.
When requested in regards to the intersection of girls and their violent nature, her smile deflates and will get critical.
“I think my reasoning for continuing to write and explore women in this way is a very grounded reaction. Unfortunately grounded in a reality that men and women do not have the same apprehension of the public space.”
I had to consider what she mentioned, and I understood. Ducournau isn’t speaking about which gender commits a extra violent crime, however why aren’t ladies ever thought of culprits in heinous situations? This separation of the genders and the notion of social violence and who can inflict makes Ducournau offended, which is why Titane exists.
The movie follows Alexia, an absolute menace to society. As a baby with an odd affinity for automobiles, a automobile accident induced a titanium plate to be positioned inside her cranium. The movie purposely makes the supply of her insanity ambiguous, however the result’s the lady is a psychopathic serial killer. After occurring a homicide spree, one among her victims get away and experiences Alexia to the police, and the primary character has to go on the run.
Since Cannes, individuals have been buzzing about Titane’s Oscar probabilities. Rarely does the ceremony embrace an idea as weird as this. Either method, Doucournau tells me she would slightly discuss her movie. She put her anger, coronary heart, and soul into this movie, and I don’t blame her for specializing in her work slightly than discussing something awards-related.
I sat down with Ducournau and Rouselle to speak about Titane, violent ladies, and how the movie garners empathy from its viewers.
Julia, what was the primary movie that you just do not forget that empowered you in a method the place a feminine character was daring, daring, and violent?
It’s in Cria Cuervos, by Spanish filmmaker Carlos Saura. It tells the story of eight yr outdated Ana, who has numerous hassle grieving her mom’s dying. I noticed it for the primary time once I was eight years outdated (the identical age because the character.) In order to deal with the grief, she begins having violent ideas in regards to the adults round her, together with her father’s new mistress and her aunts.
What I like about that movie is that it doesn’t painting childhood as bliss or one of the best time of your life, or one thing harmless. Ana is way from harmless. She’s nicely conscious of all of the grownup innuendos, and what’s being hidden from her. The method she’s handled like she will be able to’t perceive issues makes her even angrier. It’s not graphic in the best way of gore, however there’s a poetic, melancholic really feel to and undoubtedly the primary one I keep in mind the place I felt this identification was a movie character.
I discover your first movie Junior begins with an adolescent highschool scholar, and then the second movie Raw is a couple of younger grownup in school. And then, Titane explores the life of somebody in their early 30s. Is there a sample the place you’re exploring subjects throughout age teams?
It’s true that I like to put in a type of affiliation between my movies, to make them by some means a steady gesture. It is smart to me to have this evolution between characters as a result of they bear the same names by some means mutating from one movie to the following. I undoubtedly consider them as totally different types of the identical character.
Your films handle to present violent characters an empathetic edge. How did you conceptualize that for Alexia in Titane?
Writing to Alexia was not simple for me as a result of theoretically she says one thing about my very own anger, however factually talking, I can’t relate to her as a result of she’s a psychopath, and it’s laborious to narrate to somebody who doesn’t present any feelings. It made me ask myself, if there is just one method to relate to a most important character that’s clearly not likable as she is, how can I obtain the alternative? So I assumed if I can’t empathize together with her thoughts, then I’m going to attempt to create some type of bodily empathy for her physique, that means that the viewers goes to really feel what she feels.
When speaking in regards to the character, Agathe, how did you get your self right into a violent headspace for this?
I watched every little thing online to be taught extra about psychopaths. Like archive interviews with Ted Bundy, Ed Kemper, and different serial killers and TED Talks about psychopathy. Movies like Monster, We Need to Talk About Kevin and Crash, to know what it appears like and appears like. I seemed for something I might discover to know how they operate of the thoughts that I can’t relate to.
Did you be taught something that shocked you?
Psychopaths are incapable of feeling, however are intelligent sufficient to mimic what they assume they’re purported to really feel. They can change their expression, however the eyes are at all times fully empty. If you watch interviews with Ed Kemper, he’s in all probability one of the best at that as a result of he’s a really charming character. But then, in the event you look into his eyes, it’s fully the lights are off. There’s nothing right here. No gentle. Nothing.
Julia, earlier we talked about empathy however how do you additionally handle to make your characters redeemable?
The movie stays at a really bodily POV degree of her ache. I believe that is what guides us by some means to the broadening of her spectrum. Leading us proper to the second the viewers sees the primary indicators of emotion. That is one thing we will relate to. And by that, I don’t even imply when Vincent arrives, I believe her emotional second comes sooner than that and I believe it’s through the dwelling killing spree. We really feel empathy for her for the primary time via her bodily tiredness and via her fatigue, and the truth that she doesn’t have management anymore.
Since the bodily element was so essential to Alexia’s character growth, particularly in the scene Julia simply described, as an actress how did you rise to the event and bodily put together for the position?
It’s fairly easy actually as I had fairly basic coaching with a coach to realize muscle and drop some weight. I needed to prepare with a dancer, who is definitely a pole dancer, and observe the stunts. That was for the bodily facet.
This is a very broad query. But what do you consider the state of violence and ladies in cinema?
I believe it’s remained one thing that’s fairly laborious to just accept. I believe that it feels far more unnatural and that it goes in opposition to nature to those that watch it. Often the necessity for violence usually comes from male characters. For me, it is a type of denial as a result of violence isn’t the monopoly of males.
It is a questioning of sexual constructs, however exhibiting the duality that males and ladies can exist in that house broadens the spectrum of what humanity actually is. When I say humanity, I imply gender and gender constraints particularly. The very concept of social constructions are irrelevant, mistaken, and limits our understanding of potential interplay or relationship we will have with others and the relationships we will have with issues like violence. So you see how detrimental that’s.
Agathe, what does that imply for you?
I believe we lack feminine characters who could be violent, and robust, and can kill males, with out them affected by a previous affliction. I need to see films the place ladies are unbiased, not giving a fuck, having the ability to reciprocate violence with violence. My go-to for that is David Fincher’s Gone Girl. Amy Dunne is a gorgeous girl with a seemingly regular life however we uncover she is to not be fucked with. Amy’s calm, intelligent, and resilient demeanor is what makes her so scary and unpredictable. I believe we’d like extra ladies who’re able to such atrocities and be unafraid to allow them to lead movies. Let ladies be harmful.