Saturday, September 04, 2010

Enter the Void

Enter the Void / Enter the Void. FR / DE / IT (c) 2009 [several companies]. EX: Suzanne Girard. P: Pierre Buffin, Olivier Delbosc, Vincent Maraval, Marc Missonnier, Gaspar Noé. D: Gaspar Noé. SC: Lucile Hadzihalilovic, Gaspar Noé. DP: Benoît Debie. PD: Jean-André Carrière, Kikuo Ohta. COST: Nicoletta Massone. Visual effects team: large. Digital artists: many. M: Thomas Bangalter. S: Ken Yasumoto. ED: Marc Boucrot, Gaspar Noé. LOC: Tokyo, Montréal. CAST: Nathaniel Brown (Oscar), Paz de la Huerta (Linda), Cyril Roy (Alex), Olly Alexander (Victor), Masato Tanno (Mario), Ed Spear (Bruno), Emily Alyn Lind (Little Linda), Jesse Kuhn (Tito). 161 min. Finnish duration 140 min. Original in English. A Cinema Mondo release with Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Arto Vartiainen / Sophia Beckman-De-La-Riva. Viewed at Tennispalatsi 9, Helsinki, 4 Sep 2010

Heavy digital video look in psychedelic - experimental - video art style.

It was impressive to experience a contemporary underground movie in the grandest commercial movie palace of Finland. This is one of the psychedelic films inspired by the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

Gaspar Noé's film is a relentless vision of "une saison en enfer", the story of a doomed brother and sister, Oscar and Linda, whose parents have died in a freak car accident, and who are now young adults living as a drug dealer and a stripper [corrected] in Tokyo. An informer betrays Oscar, he dies at the outset, and the film can be seen as his death dream.

The visual approach is extraordinary. There is an emphasis on extreme high angle shots. We watch from the sky or the ceiling and see much of the goings-on from a bird's-eye-viewpoint (qf. the gas station explosion in The Birds!). Gaspar Noé favours "impossible" tracking shots that seem to follow ventilation ducts or something similar.

This is extreme cinema about life on the edge, also on the edge of losing dignity. The absence of detail in the digital video imagery supports that vision. Among the main milieux are the drug addicts' club called the Void and the striptease club [corrected] named Sex Money Power. After the cremation of Oscar [corrected] we follow Linda who aborts her baby conceived with her manager [corrected]. The horror imagery continues in the love hotel sequence near the end. Explicit sex is portrayed as garish, denatured and deranged, until we see the happy face of Linda. Gaspar Noé proceeds beyond regular hard core pornography (but into imagery familiar from sex anime) as we follow the penis entering inside Linda and witness the ejaculation Lennart Nilsson style. The film ends in happy childbirth.

A lot of the imagery is familiar from psychedelia, including the white light and the disappearance of the figurative image. This is not a film that is meant to be liked.

PS 6 Sep 2010 thank you for the corrections, Anonymous! I made four revisions to my remarks thanks to you. - I agree with you that Linda is legally and officially a striptease artist, the place is a striptease club not a brothel, and her boss is officially her manager, not her pimp.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

dear mr. alanen,

it was actually oscar who was cremated, not victor. secondly i would note that mario was not linda's pimp but the manager of the striptease club where linda was working. prostitution does not equal to striptease...