5 Things You Didn't Know About Raw
List by Aaron Haughton
In case you didn't know it, today is World Vegetarian Day, which is observed annually around the globe every October 1st "to promote the joy, compassion and life-enhancing possibilities of vegetarianism." The holiday kicks off a month long effort to raise awareness to the ethical, environmental, health and humanitarian benefits of leading a vegetarian lifestyle. Sometimes referred to as "Reverence for Life" month," we thought there's no better way to celebrate the plant-based holiday than with a little cannibalistic fun.
Raw is the film debut for writer/director Julia Ducournau and follows a vegetarian veteraniarian with an awakening hunger for human flesh. But, it's also much, much more than that. Take a look at our top five things you (probably) don't know about the film below!
- Horror films and beers
Under Ducournau's instruction, Garance Marillier (Justine), Ella Rumpf (Alexa) and Rabah Nait Oufella (Adrien) gathered nightly at Marillier's house to drink beer and watch horror films together. “When you watch horror movies together it creates something very intimate,” the director told The Guardian. “When you’re scared, you tend to get a bit closer to the person next to you ... and because they are different gender, it was [especially] important to me that they were completely at ease with each other. Of course, I asked them to drink beer as well.”
- Texas Chainsaw Homage
When Justine and Alexa are in the dark basement of the veterinarian school, the way Ducournau plays with the darkness and the light of the flashlight, turning on and off to illuminate the formaldehyde grotesqueries of the basement, is a direct homage to Tobe Hooper's Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Interestingly enough, Texas Chainsaw was the first horror film she ever say, and she was only six years old. She told the BBC, "My parents took me to a dinner party and put me in the bedroom in front of cartoons. I changed channels and saw a part of the movie. But I didn't know what I was looking at." She admitted that she got bored with the film as a youngster and changed the channel before witnessing any of the most disturbing scenes; however, she did see it all the way the through several years later as a teenager and said the film had a "traumatic effect" on her.
- Fake Chicken
The raw chicken Justine (Marillier) feasts upon in the white glow of her fridge was sugar. While the scene didn't disgust her from eating chicken, it did make her swear off candy for life.
- Real Veterinarian School
Ducournau got permission to film a sedation of a horse, which was already scheduled to take place at a veterinary school, and then just stuck her actors in frame. Her aim was to show how even a creature as majestic as a horse is at the mercy of their own bodies. “I didn’t want to glamorise anything, especially with the girls’ bodies. A body is a body," she told The Guardian. Ducournau draws inspiration from fellow body-obsessed mind David Cronenberg. "[I strive to explore] the human condition with a lot of honesty. I could have made a gore-fest with this film. But no, I wanted the audience to feel for [Justine], and to understand that it’s actually being very human to be like this."
- Animal-like Posture
To give the actors a sense of animal-like posture, Ducournau put everything low to the ground, which make her character's bodies appear less human in certain ways. “I wanted them to be like animals, on their all-fours, all the time, on their knees. So I asked the art director to put everything close to the ground.” Ducourau told The Guardian. “Without me even saying a word to them, this seemed to give them a more animal-like posture.” This also meant there needed to be a lot of carpeting on set. “If they’re always on their knees, there has to be a reason why – and the reason is because it’s cosy, it’s possible. Otherwise I think nobody would believe it.”
What do you think? Did you already know these facts? Have you seen the film? We want to know. Share your thoughts and feelings in the comments section below, and as always remember to viddy well!