Has the Cannes Film Festival fallen in love with gore?

After the coronation of blood Titanium, Cut! which opens the festivities and Future Crimes will test the nerves of the Croisette.

One year after the Palme d’Or in Titanium cyberpunk bomb, bloody and without taboo, David Cronenberg promises in competition to dissect living human beings: has the Cannes Film Festival fallen in love with gore?

From the start of the festivities, on the evening of May 17, the tone is set with the opening film Cut!signed Michel Hazanavicius, which is released simultaneously in theaters.

The pope of pastiche and mise en abyme, of The Artist which won him the Oscars at OSS 117, this time tackles zombie movies with real fake comedy. gore, “it has a super playful side, as westerns could be”, recognizes Michel Hazanavicius, interviewed by AFP, whose film is to be taken at 37and degree: in Cut!, “It’s about baby zombies!”, he smiled.

Remake of a Japanese film on the disastrous shooting of a zombie feature film, with Bérénice Béjo and Romain Duris in the cast, the film promises to make the Croisette drip with hemoglobin. It is also designed as an ode to genre films, long looked down upon by the keepers of the 7and art, but which now have the right of citizenship on the most prestigious red carpets.

“Film festivals like Cannes are known for shining a spotlight on cinema that pushes boundaries, films that may not be appreciated at their debut but go on to acclaim,” explains to AFP Kate Robertson, a New York expert in cinema and art history, for whom gore films are today one of the most “singular, inventive, and pioneers”.

The 75and edition of the Cannes Film Festival intends to prove it again this year, with the return to competition of David Cronenberg, who had already tested the nerves of festival-goers in 1996, with Crash, all about sex, violence and car accidents. His Future Crimes promise to return the guts: there will be question of ablation of living organs, with the cast Léa Seydoux and Viggo Mortensen.

The cult director of Fly therefore seems to be going back to the foundations of gore: the exploration on the cinema screen of the interior of the human body, a subject that has always fascinated him, notes Marc Godin, journalist at Technikart and gender expert. “The film promises to cleave, it’s not for everyone”, he analyzes, explaining that such a work “is not just made to revolt you” but falls under “brain gore”.

“Raise the mayonnaise”

Creating the event with a film or gorissime sequences seems to have become one of the obligatory passages of the Festival. reactions to Feast by Marco Ferreri in 1973 at the screening ofIrreversible by Gaspard Noé, in 2002, with its unbearable rape scene, “Cannes is still waiting for its scandal”, continues Marc Godin.

Almost a century after the Andalusian dog of Luis Buñuel, and his eye cut full frame with a razor, gore is today one of the means of arousing this “buzz” Cannes who will carry the films, for the greatest pleasure “journalists who raise the mayonnaise”. Even, perhaps, to exorcise our pandemic or environmental anxieties.

After the bloody end of Parasite Palme d’Or 2019, last year seemed to mark a consecration, with its Palme d’Or awarded to the most violent film of the selection, Titanium, signed Julia Ducournau, a director in her thirties crowned in two feature films new queen of gore. The heroine, camped by Agathe Roussellehas her body haunted by a growing mass of metal in her belly, as she sweats and bleeds motor oil.

But for fans of the genre, like Kate Robertson, this consecration remains the exception that proves the rule. “The lack of consideration of this kind of films is reflected in the prices” despite everything, she analyzes. “The coronation of (Julia) Ducournau last year was an exciting surprise for many, (who) perhaps promises that the world of cinema evolves even further”.

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Has the Cannes Film Festival fallen in love with gore?