All of a sudden there’s a surge of Cannes oogah-boogah, generated by three recently-screened titles. Things are happening, the communal blood is up, buzz is buzzin’, etc.
The craziest of the three is Julia Ducournau‘s Titane, an extreme wackazoid auto-erotic midnight movie (“very violent”) made for critics who love embracing the outer behavioral limits as a way of asserting their anti-bourgeois credentials.
The most quietly absorbing and perhaps the saddest and most compelling is Asghar Farhadi‘s A Hero, a reportedly subtle, solemn and very well made Iran-based drama about an indebted man, on a brief furlough from prison, trying to do the right thing only to suffer the ravages of social media.
And an impressive blend of scurviness, small-town desperation and humanist compassion is reportedly delivered by Sean Baker‘s Red Rocket, a small-time loser drama about an aged-out porn star (Simon Rex) flopping on his mother’s couch in Texas City, Texas (an oil-refinery suburb of Galveston) as he tries to somehow regenerate his life by finding a hot young lassie who might be interested in a porn career and may have the stuff that will strike sparks with the Los Angeles porn industry
Which of these films will most likely penetrate the thick gelatinous membrane of the American moviegoing consciousness (or at least movie-watching distraction)…which show will animate the attention span or activate the den of drooping cultural depression?
Obviously Baker’s Red Rocket (the term, by the way, is slang for a dog’s erection) because it’s American and involves banal oozy sex and general small-town, what-the-fuck depravity — familiar topics for many younger Americans these days.
Farhadi’s A Hero will travel with Farhadi fans (and that would include yours truly) and that in itself should suffice.
And Ducournau’s Titane is obviously made for the wackos and weirdos…have at it!