Julia Ducournau’s ‘Titane’, a wild body horror thriller featuring sex with a car and a surprisingly tender heart, won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, making Ducournau just the second female filmmaker to receive the festival’s highest honor in his 74 wins. years of history.
Saturday’s win was incorrectly announced by jury chairman Spike Lee at the top of the closing ceremony broadcast in France on Canal+, unleashing some moments of confusion. Ducournau, a French filmmaker, did not take the stage to receive the award until the formal announcement at the end of the ceremony. But the early hint didn’t diminish with her emotional response.
“I’m sorry, I keep shaking my head,” Ducournau said, catching his breath. “Is this real? I don’t know why I speak English now because I’m French. This night was so perfect because it wasn’t perfect.”
After several false starts, Lee begged Sharon Stone to make the Palme d’Or announcement, explaining, “She won’t screw up.” The problems started earlier when Lee was asked which prize would be awarded first. Instead, he announced the evening’s final prize as fellow judge Mati Diop put her head in her hands and others rushed to stop him.
Lee himself spent a few moments with his head in his hands before apologizing profusely for taking a lot of tension out of the evening.