Saturday, December 4, 2010

Enter The Void

So it's definitely been awhile since I've posted a review, but I feel like I've chosen a great film to return with!  It's called 'Enter the Void' and it was actually released at the 2009 Cannes and Toronto Film Festivals.  Just to start things off, this movie is NOT for the faint of heart or those easily startled or offended by: (loads of) SEX and nudity, strobe lights, loud noise/music, heavy drugs, and pervasive language.

It's pretty easy to sum up Etv in one word: trippy. Not only because the main character, Oscar, is on drugs most of the time, but also for the way Noe uses dolly zoom, sways the camera disorientingly for minutes on end and shows the brain's creative power and psychedelic vision during drug use.  The ever present neon lights also add to the crazy nature of every shot.

The opening credits were so shocking and unique that I knew Gaspar Noe really had something up his sleeve.  And let me say, he definitely delivered!  He contributed so many new and useful cinematic techniques that melded perfectly with the movie's tone.  Firstly, the camera is mainly from Oscar's POV- the audience literally feels . Whenever the perspective becomes omniscient, the camera 'dollies out' of his head, then pops back in when we need his view.  Secondly, the entire movie has the appearance of being one shot.  I tried quite a few times to find a break but my attempts were to no avail.  Instead of cutting between locations, the camera gives a continuous aerial (straight-down) view of city streets and the insides of buildings passed through.  This extreme continuity is juxtaposed with discontinuous editing of flashbacks to disorient the viewer furthermore.

"The Void" is the name of the bar where (spoiler!) Oscar is shot and killed but it also represents the emptiness and meaninglessness of life.  Noe uses "The Tibetian Book of the Dead" to define his views of what life represents and the possibility of life after death.

In short, "Enter the Void" is a true work of art.

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