At least 13 people in Sydney reportedly straight-up fainted during a viewing of Titane, AKA the car sex movie, at the Sydney Film Festival last night.
ICYMI, Julia Ducournau’s Titane is a French body horror about a woman named Adrien (Agathe Rousselle) who, after a car accident as a child, has a titanium plate fitted into her head. From that experience, she appears to develop a fetish for cars as an adult, fucks one, and then gets pregnant and has its oily baby.
Based on the trailer, it looks like one of those films we’ll all be thinking about for years to come. The Black Swan meets Mother! of the Cars universe. A real trauma-bonding ‘you had to be there’ kinda experience.
Anyway, 30 minutes into the film, Adrien goes into hiding after a violent murderous rampage and finds a missing child report from years ago. She decides to disguise herself as the missing child by violently smashing her face into a bathroom sink to disfigure her nose to look like the child if they were an adult. Later in the film, she meets the father of that missing child.
According to multiple people who attended the screening last night, that intensely graphic film left people groaning, walking out, or straight up fainting and having panic attacks.
21-year-old Nathalie Macgregor was one of at least 13 viewers who reportedly fainted during the film, with an additional five or more walking out. Speaking with PEDESTRIAN.TV, she said that while she is someone who has fainted in the past, she had never fainted in the middle of a film until Titane.
“The mood in the crowd and the scenes were so violent that I started to feel really hot and overwhelmed,” she said.
“The main character kills this girl who you think she is attracted to – so that throws you off – and I couldn’t really watch that. Then she kills a man in the room too so you know she doesn’t really have much of a motive or it all seems quite apathetic.
“I think also the laughing and reactions from the crowd threw me off a bit because a scene so horrific like an abortion scene can be quite triggering for many women, but people were laughing,” she added.
“I fainted and my friend next to me was shouting and yelling but because of the film and the crowd no one really heard her, I was jerking my head around while unconscious. I woke up to her getting me up and we left the cinema.
“In the back area on the couches, there was another group of girls whose friend had just fainted. I had to talk through everything with the security guard who was trained in first aid and he said he’d been very busy that night and that there were people on every level fainting.
“Another security [guard] told us around 15 people had fainted and another five or so had walked out for whatever reason. I was feeling very nauseous and also threw up later, a friend of mine was with her friend who’d also fainted and she was quite angry saying she was about to leave early too and that there should have been trigger warnings at the beginning of the movie about the abortion and violence.”
It appears that Macgregor was not the only one who had this kind of reaction from Titane. In a message sent to PEDESTRIAN.TV, another viewer said that a woman in front of them fainted in the first 30 minutes. Their friend, who sat on the other side of the cinema, also told them: “The guy in front of us fainted and the chick to my right had a panic attack.”
Jocelyn Peter, who works at Pedestrian Group, added that the “film was so visceral I feel like I’ve got a hangover from it.
“We ran into so many friends leaving the cinema and everyone was just like… damn. [We] couldn’t articulate anything.”
In a statement shared with PEDESTRIAN.TV, a spokesperson for the Sydney Film Festival confirmed that 13 people had fainted during the Australian premiere of Titane last night.
“[The] Sydney Film Festival endeavours to fully describe films in the film notes so that audiences can make informed decisions,” they said.
“The Titane film note began and ended with, “The Winner of the 2021 Cannes Palme d’Or, Julia Ducournau’s (Raw) incendiary film combines body horror, serial killings, gender fluidity, extreme violence, family drama, and sex with cars… Proceed with extreme caution into this wildly inventive cinematic jolt”.
Titane is currently screening in limited sessions in Sydney for the Sydney Film Festival but debuts in theatres on November 25.