You Owe It To Yourself To See Titane Knowing As Little As Possible [Fantastic Fest]

As someone who works as a writer and editor on a movie website, I tend to know at least a little bit about every movie we cover. Sometimes, news about upcoming movies slides across my desk. More often, I find myself editing reviews and spoiler posts about releases I have not yet had a chance to see. It's part of the job. It goes with the territory. I've long held the opinion that if a spoiler ruins the experience of seeing a film, that film has pretty major issues.

So it's rare when I see a fairly major movie knowing absolutely nothing about it, including its basic premise and characters. And it's even rarer when I see that fairly major movie and realize "Oh wow, I'm genuinely glad I knew nothing about this, holy sh*t, what the absolute f*ck did I just watch?"

Folks, that's "Titane." And I strongly recommend you follow in my tracks and see this movie knowing as little as possible. The rest of this post won't touch on any plot or character details. I promise.

What I Knew (and What You Can Know, Too)

Here's what I knew about "Titane," the winner of this year's Palme d'Or at the prestigious Cannes film festival, when I sat down to watch it during the opening night of Fantastic Fest. I knew many critics and journalists were over the moon about it. I knew it had elicited some very strong responses due to its content. And I knew it was the new film from director Julia Ducournau, the French filmmaker whose 2016 debut "Raw" bowled me over when I saw it (and you should see it, too — it's the sweetest cannibal movie ever made).

Heck, another editor even took on /Film's review of the film, so I didn't even read that. I won't link it here because that would defeat the purpose of this article. Sorry.

I had also seen the trailer, which was cleverly cut by distributor Neon to not feature any dialogue or even tease the plot, instead leaning entirely on unusual, out-of-context imagery. I didn't realize until after the credits rolled on "Titane" how effectively spoiler-free this trailer really is, and how it left me throughly unprepared for what was to come. I tip my hat.

And since I had seen "Raw," and since I had seen the visceral reactions out of Cannes, I knew this was a film that would test the nerves and stomachs of even seasoned genre fans. Consider that a warning for folks who don't like to indulge in boundary-prodding cinema.

That's it. I didn't realize how powerfully unprepared I would be for the actual movie.

Taking the Bonkers Train to Bonkersville

Since I'm not even offering a single spoiler here, let's just say that "Titane" left me exhausted and unsettled. I somehow thought about both the South Korean thriller "I Saw the Devil" and the '90s family comedy "Mrs. Doubtfire" while watching it. It's been a long time since I've seen a movie where every scene feels like an adventure — you literally don't know where this movie is going to go on a scene-by-scene basis, and you watch, jaw agape, as it propels you in directions only a maniac could've predicted.

This film is the express train to a very intoxicating hell, and Ducournau is the conductor who needs to prep another journey soon. I need more of her movies in my life.

Watching "Titane" without knowing a damn thing was a shot of adrenaline to the soul. You don't realize just how boilerplate, how predictable, most movies are until you watch the least predictable movie of the past few years without any prep whatsoever. And while I'll continue to be spoiled on movies by the very nature of my job, this was a reminder that I, and you, should allow this to happen more often. Every once in awhile, let's skip the trailer, skip the reviews, and just let a movie happen to us. And believe me, you'll want "Titane" to happen to you.