Tuesday, January 6, 2015


Experimental. Daring. Seductive. Intoxicating. Those are all words that I’d use to describe Gaspar Noe’s pulsating masterwork Enter the Void, a movie that for many will be too much, but for some, will be just right. I am interested in seeing new stuff when I sit down to watch a movie, and to paraphrase something that Manhola Dargis said in her New York Times review, Noe is a filmmaker intereste...d in showing you something new and startling and taking you to a place that you’ve never been. Now…the places that Noe likes to explore…those places won’t be of interest to everyone. This is as explicit of a movie that I’ve ever seen where nothing is left to the imagination: sex, drugs, death, hallucinations, conception, abortion, birth – Noe doesn’t leave anything out. Loosely inspired by the Tibetan Book of the Dead and shot through the lens of a DMT-trip-gone-terribly-wrong (Google DMT to learn more…), Enter the Void is an almost entirely first-person point-of-view cinematic experience (meaning the camera is literally the main character, complete with a “blinking” shutter to approximate regular ocular blinking) and as a result the audience is all but flung head-first into Noe’s outrageous and purposefully excessive madness. This is extreme, outlaw cinema, more accomplished and even more provocative than Noe’s previous freak-out-fest Irreversible. Nothing is traditional about Enter the Void and there’s nothing simple about the themes that Noe explores in Enter the Void; it’s a film that’s clearly coming from a very personal space, a work that refuses to be hand-held to any narrative destination. Oh, and have I commented about the opening credits? They are some of the best I’ve ever seen, putting you literally in a trance, and setting a feverish tone for things to come. Enter the Void is a film that travels beyond our expected definitions of what cinema is and can be, and it’s a piece of work that will be better understood through multiple viewings.

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