Film review: Rawby James Robins
Welcome to the unholy realm of French cannibalism.
We are, if it wasn’t apparent from the shocked reports emerging from festival showings of Raw, in the unholy realm of cannibalism. As such, the film takes a healthy interest in human bodies and the multitudinous variety of ugly cruelties which can done to them, with them, or otherwise emerging unwillingly from them. Raw’s most wince-inducing scenes are not of anatomical banquets, but of suppurating rashes being itched and half-digested hair coughed up, the camera preferring to linger in extreme close-up far longer than many horror pictures would dare. In this way, the film bears something of a passing resemblance to David Cronenberg’s Crash, examining the unnatural and fetishising the perverse.
Unlike Crash, Raw can’t quite maintain its chilly, deeply unnerving mood and collapses before long into silliness (“You taste like curry,” Justine tells her sister.) Far more impressive is 19-year-old newcomer Marillier, looking fresh-faced, virginal, and shy at first, before letting lose some kind of dormant animal as Justine’s compulsion for flesh takes over. Her frankness in submitting to the sweaty, crazed convulsions of bloodlust is something to behold. •••½
IN CINEMAS NOW
Auckland rapper JessB is making her mark in the male-dominated hip-hop scene with the release of her much-anticipated debut EP Bloom.Read more
Defence Minister Ron Mark is denying any inappropriate use of military aircraft after revelations he has used them to fly to and from home.Read more
Corrections says it will review its processes after it was discovered 11 sex offenders were living less than a kilometre away from an Auckland school.Read more
When he arrived here from Ireland in 1960, Rodney Walshe had nothing but a suit and the gift of the gab. They took him a long way.Read more
The nomadic New Zealander who’s set his sights on space travel is no longer an alien.Read more
The Anarchist jeweller has a remarkable show at new Te Papa gallery, Toi Art.Read more