Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Gaspar Noé

Riding the wave of New French Extremity, Gaspar Noé and to a lesser extent François Ozon, are the most exciting directors working today. They are willing to take risks in their exploration of human sexuality (Irreversible and Criminal Lovers respectively) and their experimentation with the reversal of chronology (Irreversible and 5x2). Both directors have delivered astounding films that go way beyond the information available on screen, to a point that they command the viewer to think. Ozon's range has seen him excel in a variety of genres and become accepted by critics and cinema goers alike. However, due to the explicit nature of his one and only release, Noé has been the most controversial and widely debated director for the last eight years.

Gaspar Noé’s only internationaly distributed debut Irreversible (2002) is heavily influenced by Stanley Kubrik’s 2001 (1968), this is made blatantly obvious with a visual reference to a one-sheet emblazoned on the central character’s wall. Stylistic influence, from the credit sequence to the soundtrack and themes; birth, life, death and time itself, draw comparisons to Kubrik. But Noé introduces something shockingly new to cinema with Irreversible: his vomit inducing directorial skills. The unnerving soundtrack evokes a strong feeling of sea-sickness and Noé s camera does the same, whirring, spinning and swaying, lights strobing and briefly pausing on heavily sexualised images and ultra-violence that penetrate the literal brain of one unfortunate character and the mind of the viewer. Ultimately though, in revealing the plot in reverse chronological order, you are left with a bizarre feeling of warmth that is impossible to comprehend, especially after sitting through a brutal nine minute rape scene. Gasper Noé credits his audience with intelligence as he confidently leaves the film's meaning in their hands. Once seen, never forgotten, Irreversible is not enjoyable, it is challenging, disturbing, stimulating and completely unforgettable, – everything cinema should be.

The trailer for Gaspar Noé’s new feature shows evidence of 2001’s ongoing influence with its psychedelic imagery (freshly ripped from Hal and contemporarily retuned) and a continuation of the themes investigated in its predecessor. The throbbing neon aesthetic, rapidity, pounding soundtrack and freewheeling lens suggest that the highly anticipated Enter the Void (2010) will be pulsating through the veins and infiltrating the psyche of an excited audience with a stomach of steel and an overwhelming desire to feed its hungry head.

Enter the Void (2010) Trailer

Irreversible (2002) Trailer

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