Spoilers* maybe, Last night I went to the cinema to catch the new Gaspar Noé film Enter the Void. If you are aware of his previous work - I Stand Alone 1998 (sickly) and Irréversible 2002 (rapey) then you'll have some idea what to be in for...something that's not only thought provoking, but something that leaves you in need of a shower afterwards seems to be the way! Or in my case two pints of Pippin. A stranger to controversy or pushing the boundaries he is not, a genuine artist who makes movies which challenge your senses he is. Upon buying a ticket I had to read a warning, this was mainly due to the strobing and jumpy camerawork, and the craziest opening titles you are ever likely to see. Enter the Void is essentially a tale about life and death, but with a unique and intense feel, like tripping, only with a box of popcorn and a bottle of Coke. The story follows Oscar (Nathaniel Brown) who we only really see once in the mirror as filming is all done from behind his head from his point of view, a young American drug dealer living in Tokyo with his sister Linda (Paz de la Huerta) who we only really see mostly in a state of undress, hubba hubba, they become reunited after spending their younger years in foster care after the death of their parents in a horrific car crash. Oscar dabbles with all kinds of substances and his mentor Alex (Cyril Roy) is kind of a free spirit, painter and fellow dabbler, he gives Oscar the Tibetan Book of the Dead, which intends to guide one through the experiences that our consciousness has after death, during the interval between death and the next rebirth. known as the bardo.
Oscar is killed by the police in a drug bust set up by an accomplice after discovering he was sleeping with his mother. The film then takes the turn of his spirit watching over his sister as the camera hovers around Tokyo throughout walls and buildings and is like nothing you will have seen before, very clever and very psychedelic, we enter Oscar's head, and are in amongst his experiences and thoughts. With great complex cinematography in one of the busiest cities in the world. The film takes a different shape and style as the clever camerawork swirls in and around the bright lights of a sleazy, seedy looking Tokyo, this is both hypnotic and a bit unsettling.
My initial reaction after the end credits rolled were hard to describe, part of me was glad it was over, another part of me thinks I witnessed something truly remarkable, though I dare say it dragged on and on towards the end, with false dawns which almost felt deliberate, and a little frustrating with graphic and very close up shots of real dicks and stuff just persuading me to dislike it even more. They say Gaspar Noé makes his films play out like an endurance test and his previous work left me feeling more than a bit filthy afterwards, this was probably easier to sit through but at times there certainly was some squirming in my seat and quite a few moments where I took that pre film warning quite literally and had to look away. Four people walked out, it seems I am made of sterner stuff. 4/5