OK, Let’s Talk About Love
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Julia Ducournau at Cannes. Photo by Christophe Simon/AFP/East News
Art

OK, Let’s Talk About Love

An Interview with Julia Ducournau
Jakub Armata
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time 10 minutes

Sensational. Surprising. Shocking. These are the words that have probably been used most often to comment on the verdict of the 74th edition of the Cannes Film Festival. The jury, chaired by Spike Lee, awarded the Palme d’Or to French director Julia Ducournau for her subversive feminist body horror film Titane. Thus she became only the second woman in the festival’s long history, after Jane Campion, to receive the most precious laurel on La Croisette.

The 37-year-old Julia Ducournau made her name (also at Cannes) in 2016 with her debut feature Raw – winner of the Critics’ Week FIPRESCI Award. Immediately, she was dubbed the ‘queen of gore’, and has reaffirmed her title as the chief extremist of modern cinema with her latest work. She definitely does not shy away from extremes in Titane; the bodies are piled high, and blood gushes out in all directions. Those of a more sensitive disposition left the screening room in terror, while the more resilient wriggled nervously in their seats throughout the screening.

The protagonist of Ducournau’s film is a 20-year-old girl named Alexia (played by the excellent debutante Agathe Rousselle), who has to live with a titanium plate in her head due to a car accident in her youth. She works as a dancer, and after hours she is a ruthless killer who shows no mercy to anyone who stands in her way. When

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Reality Is Much Scarier than My Films
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Sion Sono (press materials – Five Flavours at Home VOD)
Art

Reality Is Much Scarier than My Films

An Interview with Sion Sono
Sylwia Niemczyk

For those familiar with his work, the Japanese film-maker Sion Sono needs little introduction. Yet – perhaps rather surprisingly, given his extensive filmography – Sono’s cinema often finds itself hidden behind the doors of film festivals or on boutique film distribution labels.

Best-known internationally for his 2008 feature Love Exposure – a four-hour epic that explores religion, crime, family and perversion, all with a darkly comic undertone – Sono is a prolific artist. Across a career spanning more than three decades, he has more than 30 film credits to his name, including the violent horror satire Suicide Club (2001) and the erotic ‘pink film’ critique Antiporno (2016). Along the way, Sono has directed musicals (Tokyo Tribe, 2014), serious dramas (Himizu, 2011; The Land of Hope, 2012), and a rather camp but gory vampire miniseries (Tokyo Vampire Hotel, 2017). Often difficult to pin down (it has been claimed that the director is both a misogynist and a feminist), Sono’s filmography is perhaps best characterized by its idiosyncrasy – after watching one of his films, it is sure to stay with you, for better or for worse.

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