Titane ★★★★★


this movie isn't like crash at all. that's a good thing.

crash, fundamentally, is about human relationships, fetishism, and searching for eroticism in a cold, unfeeling world. people don't fuck cars in crash. they fuck each other in cars.

titane, on the other hand, is not an erotic film. for all its nudity and sex, it doesn't seek to tittilate. this film is a study of gender fluidity and our relationship to our own bodies. i find the comparisons to crash 1. inaccurate and 2. woefully unimaginative and do not do justice to either film, as both works tackle overlapping themes in their own unique ways.

titane is wonderfully refreshing in that it is a movie that centralizes transness and queerness outside of maudlin bildungsroman rights-based narratives. i'm never one to prattle on about media representation, but it almost shocked me how well it toes the line between allegorizing and literalizing the lived experience of gender non-conformity, presumably for a mixed cis and trans/nonbinary audience.

i often joke that cis people view gender as a game of snakes and ladders, while trans people are playing 7d chess. trans peoples' relationships to our bodies are simply on another level of conceptual complexity. it does not surprise me that titane has been (unfairly) charged with upholding transphobic and homophobic tropes. our addiction to solely seeing ""positive"" representations of queerness in media can lead one to think that violence, body horror, perversion, deception, and death can't possibly be inherent, even pleasurable parts of the trans experience. bodies run, bodies kill, bodies fuck, bodies give birth, bodies continually redefine how gender lives in and on it. here's to bodies in cinema forever!

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