The French director is only the second woman to win the top prize in the 74-year history of the Cannes Film Festival.
“Titane,” a fantastic film about a serial killer who has sex with a car, has won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
Saturday’s victory makes French director Julie Ducournau the second female filmmaker to receive the highest honor in the festival’s 74-year history.
His violent film divided critics, some praising his originality, but others, postponed for his frantic and messy approach. Described as a “body horror” film and based on a character with a titanium plate on his head, the film impressed with its energy.
“Ducournau’s fantastic dark, twisted fantasy is a nocturnal but funny and comical filth of sex, violence, terrible lighting and shocking music,” critics of the BBC broadcaster said.
“It is also impossible to predict where it will go.”
Jury President Spike Lee erroneously announced the victory for Titane at the top of the closing ceremony, triggering some moments of confusion. Ducournau did not come on stage to accept the award until the formal announcement at the end of the ceremony.
But the first idea did not diminish because of his emotional response.
“I’m sorry, I’m still shaking my head,” Ducournau said, catching his breath. “It’s real?”
He thanked the jury for “letting the monsters in” and then acknowledged to reporters their place in the story. But she also said her victory “can’t be reduced to just being a woman.”
More women will come after her, Ducournau said. “There will be a third, there will be a fourth, there will be a fifth.”
The only previous female filmmaker to win the highest honor at Cannes – one of the most prestigious film awards – was Jane Campion for “The Piano” in 1993.
In recent years, frustration over Cannes ’gender parity has grown, even in 2018, when 82 women, including Agnes Varda, Cate Blanchett and Salma Hayek, protested against gender inequality on the Cannes red carpet. . Their number meant the total number of women’s films selected to compete for the Palme d’Or, 82 compared to 1,645 men-directed films.
This year, four out of 24 films screened in La Palma were directed by women.
The Cannes Film Festival is the largest in the world and has returned to the Côte d’Azur this year after a 2020 hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event drew stars such as Matt Damon and Sharon Stone to the red carpet, with filmmakers and actors delighted to return, although attendance dropped from previous years.
Once the awards were officially announced on Saturday, other big winners were Leos Carax, who was chosen best director for “Annette,” a musical about two artists caught up in a love affair.
The second prize was shared between Juho Kuosmanen’s “Compartment No. 6”, about a woman embarking on a train journey through Russia, and “A Hero” from Iran, Asghar Farhadi, which features a prisoner who he is faced with a moral problem.
The Japanese Hamaguchi Ryusuke and Takamusa Oe won the best screenplay for their sad and lost story “Drive My Car”.
It was also a huge night for Norwegian actress Renate Reinsve, a hitherto unknown person, who was rocked to the stars for her role in “The Worst Person in the World.” Joachim Trier’s film is a modern romantic comedy that was a huge hit among critics.
Caleb Landry Jones, who starred in the Australian film “Nitram”, won Best Actor.
The Jury Prize, another second prize for best film, went to two films: “Ahead’s Knee” by Israeli Nadav Lapid and “Memory” by Thai Apichatpong Weerasethakul.