Sunday, January 16, 2011

Enter the Void (France/Germany/Italy; Gaspard Noé, 2009)

 I wasn't a fan of Irreversible (2002) and while I recognize and apprecitate its ingenious technical treatment, I can't say that I'm a big fan of Enter the Void either. It's a shame because I thought the film was off to a good start, shot completely through drug-dealing Oscar's (Nathaniel Brown) p.o.v on the day of his death, the perspective shifting to Oscar's floating spirit after he gets shot by cops in a Tokyo nightclub. Through psychedelic visuals and a high-angled floating camera, Void takes us through Oscar's fragmented past and present after-life as he looks down on his friends and family, especially his little sister, while they try to deal with his sudden demise. Filled with shocking footage typcial of Noé, the film's content seems to be a waste of its ambitious technical merits, the desolate nature of Oscar's world being understood quickly in the film. That said, one of the film's most detrimental qualities is its considerable length, once again demonstrative of the film's content not supporting its form. The redundancy of the film's structure makes it exhausting to look at, even more so when the material we are being subjected to brings forth nothing new. While there is no denying Gaspard Noé's boldness as a director, his orientation skills seem a bit questionable, reminiscent of a dog chasing its own tail.  

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