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L.A. Theater Giving Out Free Barf Bags For Screenings Of That French Cannibal Movie

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Photo courtesy of Focus World
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The Nuart Theater is advertising its showings of French director Julia Ducournau’s Raw with a somewhat unorthodox free-gift-with-purchase: a barf bag.

As we reported in January, Raw—a chronicle of a teenage girl’s evolution from meek veterinary student to rabid, lusting cannibal—is definitely bloody enough to warrant a vomit receptacle, but Nuart’s theater manager Jim Nicola told LAist that the barf bags were “just something our staff thought would be fun,” adding that to his knowledge, “nobody [in the audience] has needed to use them yet.”

Still, it might be wise to grab a bag on your way into the theater, just in case; as the Daily Beast reported last fall, Raw’s screening at the Toronto Film Festival allegedly “made grown men faint.”

"One of the staff at the Nuart took up the initiative to make the barf bags out of paper lunch bags. What a fun idea! I remember that used to be done with some horror releases in the 1970s," Mark Valen, a film buyer with Landmark Theatres and who also programs the Nuart, told The Hollywood Reporter.

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Raw is set apart from other gross-out cannibal flicks by its unabashedly feminist, sex-positive agenda; in a recent interview with Jezebel, director Julia Ducournau noted that “...through the gross aspects, enduring and painful and sexual aspects of a body, I really wanted to aim at a form of universality and to take the female body outside its niche.”

For what it’s worth, Raw isn’t the only female-gaze narrative leaving viewers weak-kneed as of late. The New York Times and Evening Standard reviews of Ruby Spiegel’s hit off-Broadway play “Dry Land,” most recently staged by LA’s Echo Theater Company, noted that the graphic DIY-abortion drama caused audience members to faint during performances.

It’s tempting to think the days of the blood-and-gore-movie boys’ club are behind us, but considering the sad fact that 20th Century Fox and Paramount have a grand total of zero female directors slated through 2018, Ducournau’s ability to turn stomachs with a distinctively female horror story feels all the more important.

So while you’re hurling your Red Vines into your complimentary Nuart barf bag, remind yourself that you’re doing your part for women in film.

Emma Specter is a freelance writer and copy-editor who was born and raised in New York City, moved to Los Angeles two years ago and is probably getting a parking ticket as you're reading this.