The Cannes Film Festival opens its 75th edition as the previous one closed: with blood and guts.
The Palme d’Or in 2021 went to “Titane”, a cyberpunk bomb signed by French director Julia Ducournau, who presented a story of transsexualism and obsession with cars, dripping with oil and gasoline.
The film fascinated and disgusted critics alike.
This year the contest prefers a more playful tone and will be inaugurated with “Corten!”, by the Frenchman Michel Hazanavicius, a story of zombies with an air of comedy.
Hazanavicius won an Oscar in 2011 with the black and white film “The artist” and is known in France for his series of agent 007 pastiches, “OSS 117.”
“Cut!” is Hazanavicius’ version of a Japanese feature film about the catastrophic shooting of an undead movie.
But the film that once again threatens to make the viewer gag is “Crimes of the future”, by Canadian David Cronenberg, in which Viggo Mortensen, who plays a “performance” artist, literally opens his guts before the viewer, with the help of Kristen Stewart and Léa Seydoux.
Cronenberg already won the Special Jury Prize in 1996 with “Crash” which, like “Titane”, narrates the morbid attraction of some human beings to cars, at the cost of their physical health.
And movie buff curiosities, the Canadian director, author of masterpieces of gore cinema, such as “The fly” or “Scanners”, already used the title “Crimes of the future” in one of his first films, from 1970.
The Directors’ Fortnight, a parallel section, will also have its doses of hemoglobin, but this time from a scientific perspective.
The documentary “De humanis corporis fabrica” examines the figure of André Vésale (1514-1564), the first anatomist and inventor of the dissection of the human body.
“Festivals like Cannes are known for showing cinema that transcends limits, films that may not be appreciated initially but are later acclaimed,” Kate Robertson, an expert in cinema and art history, told AFP.
Gore films are currently some of the most “unique, creative and innovative”, in his opinion.
Cannes regularly serves indigestible film rations.
“La gran comilona” by Marco Ferreri (1973), narrated an endless and nauseating feast of a group of “gourmets” willing to die eating.
And in 2002, the Croisette was shocked by the film “Irreversible” by Gaspar Noé, where a rape scene caused even fainting.
Cannes is known for those blows of effect, but the vocation of horror and hemoglobin cinema continues to be provocation on the sidelines. And the festival is above all a showcase, not a closed club.
“The award to [Julia] Ducournau last year was an exciting surprise for many,” explains Kate Robertson.