Raw will be released on Blu-ray on the 26th by Second Sight in limited release in the UK. April 2021 published. Characteristics:
The Girl Can’t Help It: new interview with actress Garance Marillier
Making Ends Meat: new interview with producer Jean Ducourno
New audio commentary with film critic Alexandra West
Audio commentary with Julia Ducourno and film critic Emma Westwood
In the Name of Raw: Interview with director Julia Ducourno
A Family Affair : A new video essay by film critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
Raw À Votre Goût – short film with Julia Ducurno and film critic Emma Westwood
Quick Bites with Julia Ducurno and film critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
Genre Matters Panel Discussion
Introduction to Australian Premiere
Australian Premiere Q&A with Julia Ducurno and Kier-La Genisse
Alternate Opening, Deleted Scenes, Trailer
Booklet with new essays by Hannah Woodhead and Emma Westwood and an interview with Julia Ducourno by Lou Thomas
In the meantime, here’s our previous review of Cheese:
What do you want?
Raw is a 2016 French-Belgian horror film about a young woman training to be a veterinarian who develops a craving for human flesh.
The film is written and directed by Julia Ducournau and stars Garance Marillier, Ella Rammpf and Rabah Nait Ufella.
Ducaurnau explains that his approach to film was heavily influenced by Canadian auteur David Cronenberg (Broad; Videodrome; Naked Lunch).
According to The Guardian, paramedics were called after the film was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September 2016. An ambulance had to be called to the scene because the film became too loud for some customers, Ryan Werner, who markets the film, said in a statement.
All members of Justine’s family are vets. And a vegetarian. At sixteen, she is a bright and promising student. When she goes to veterinary school, she finds herself in a decadent, carefree and dangerously seductive world.
During the first week of her bullying, she deviates from her family’s principles by eating raw meat for the first time because she wants to belong to the group at all costs. Justine is soon faced with the disastrous and unexpected consequences of her actions, as her true self is revealed….
Scream Factory will present Raw on the 23rd. Released March 2021 on Blu-ray in the United States and Canada.
Written and directed by Julia Ducourno, Raw is a drama/horror for the body. Justine (Garance Marillier), a student and vegetarian, gets a taste for human flesh after undergoing an initiation ritual during her first year of veterinary medicine. The class is splashed with blood and forced to eat rabbit kidneys, which Justine initially refuses. Her older sister Alexia (Ella Rumpf), who also goes to the school, persuades her to go.
Justine’s cravings range from raw meat to human fingers when Alexia has an unlikely accident with a bikini wax and scissors and Justine starts chewing on an act like a chicken wing. The sisters’ animal nature comes to a head when the car crashes on a deserted road and Justine is forced to stop Alexa from eating one of the passengers.
But as her own desire grows stronger, she begins to hit on her gay friend and roommate Adrian (Rabah Nait Ufella) and eventually loses her virginity to him. Her desire for sex clashes with her desire for flesh, she tries to bite him several times before biting her own arm. Instead of panicking, Adrian strangely accepts this abnormal urge.
Like Justin getting drunk at a party and ending up in the morgue. She remembers nothing until Adrian shows her the video on his phone. Justine is horrified to see her cringe like an animal while Alexia stands before her corpse as if it were bait.
The sisters fight in front of everyone, and Alexia bites off a piece of Justine’s face before biting off her own limbs and almost getting satisfaction from the disgusting act. This strange behavior culminates in Justine finding Adrian dead in bed, with half of his leg gnawed off and a knife stab in his back. Alexia is covered in blood and seems to be in shock. Despite Justine’s grief, she decides not to take revenge and cleans her sister in the shower.
Even though Alexa is going to prison, the girls understand and love each other, which is nice to see. At home, Justine’s father (Laurent Lucas) tells her it’s not her fault, and he makes a shocking revelation when he opens his shirt to reveal his mutilated torso. His mother has the same problem, and he insists that Justine find a solution. Ironically, Lucas also starred in a similar French body horror film, In My Skin (2002).
Justine’s animalistic urges and inner struggle to become a woman are reminiscent of the critically acclaimed film Ginger Snaps (2000), and director Julia Ducourneau has repeatedly spoken of the film’s bold expression of female sexuality. Raw breaks many gender stereotypes, from sisters playing video games to dropping pants and peeing on the floor for laughs.
The film received high praise and has much more psychological depth than the usual cannibalism-fest, despite inconsistent graphic content and reports of people fainting and vomiting at the screening. Raw manages to get under your skin in more ways than one.
Although rooted in the territory of art house cinema and particularly inspired by the films of David Cronenberg and David Lynch, Raw proves to be a wild beast in its own right. He has rightly earned the hype surrounding the film, and DuQuernot’s uncompromising vision is something to behold. Reading list
The rough exploration of the potential canvas of cannibalism seems fresh. It’s not so much a cruel practice as it is a sad and pathetic one, something that generates as much hatred from the devourer as from the devourer himself. Justine does not have the privilege of being undead when she sinks her teeth into another human being; she witnesses her own descent into animality as helplessly as we do. Vulture
An allegory about the discovery of identity, the evolution of sexuality, the sexual power of women and the first steps to adulthood, this is a unique and rare film that will hopefully (and rightly) find an audience beyond fans of genre films. Anarchy of the screen
Ducourno handles his material masterfully ….. The script is both highly original and very genre-conscious, with seamless references to films like Carrie, Ginger Snaps and The Craft. Marillier plays the role of Justine perfectly, with a subtlety and confidence that anchors the film even at its most extreme moments. See and hear
Raw is a delicious stew of nightmare fuel accompanied by a carefree, confident sense of superiority. Genre distributors will have a hard time finding their taste, while a switch to a slightly more mainstream audience may be possible, provided you have a strong stomach. Variety
Everyone but vegetarians will enjoy Raw (Grave), a cleverly written, stunning and incredibly gory story about a young woman’s awakening to the pleasures of meat – in every sense of the word. The debut of French director Julia Ducourno, who takes a formidable young cast on a whirlwind of blood, guts and boundless sexual excitement….. The Hollywood Reporter
…even if they are pure nightmares, Raw is not a stupid splatterfest. Ducournau directs with remarkable confidence and poise, impressively showcasing Raw’s wildest and most insane moments. It’s not so much a horror film, but rather a coming-of-age story of unimaginable intimacy.
Roe’s cannibalistic awakening is hilariously coupled with a very dark study trip in which Justin, the professor’s pet, experiments with alcohol and sex while she maintains her sometimes supportive, sometimes competitive relationship with the aggressive Alexa….. Rowe is filled with surreal Cronenbergian visions of veterinary training within the brutal walls of a campus building, from dismembering dogs to running a horse on a treadmill. BuzzFeed
Ruben Impense’s cinematography, which includes a series of creepy shots, makes the most of the incredibly brutalist architecture of a vet school, and the makeup by Laura Ozier and special effects specialist Olivier Afonso is quite bizarre and juicy at times. All in all, a classic and tasty tartare of fear. Daily screen
…There’s plenty to satisfy the usual lust, including Justine’s tightly controlled metamorphosis from herbivorous virgin to horny mega-carnival […] What makes Raw fascinating and truly captivating, however, is the literal visceral power with which it manages to achieve its fundamental ambitions. It’s scary all the time. London Evening Standard
The actors and characters:
Garant Marillier… Justine
Ella Hull… Alexia
Rabah Nait Ufella… Adrian 19 Laurent Lucas… Father 19 Joan Preiss… The sea…
truck driver Marion Vernoux… Nurse
Thomas Mousten… BDE
Chief Marwan Iddub … Pledge refectory
Jean-Louis Stabile … Assessor
Benjamin Boothbull… Veteran Cahul
Virgil Leclair… Bizut kouloir / Legs / End Korifeya
Anna Solomin … Veterans Avenue
Sophie Breuer … Bizyute refectuar
Danel Utegenova … Newbie Toilet
The crude oil arrived on the 10th. March 2017 in theaters in select U.S. cities via Focus World.
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