REVIEW: Enter the Void

Enter the Void
Directed by: Gasper Noé
Written by: Gasper Noé
Starring: Nathanial Brown, Paz de la Huerta, Cyril Roy, and Ed Spear

Until Kanye West “borrowed” Enter the Void’s opening credit sequence for his music video for “All of the Lights,” director Gasper Noé was most famous for a nine minute rape scene in his film Irreversible.  This makes his work hard to approach, but Enter the Void is a rewarding hallucinatory venture and engaging exercise in experimental filmmaking.  Told entirely from a first-person/first-spirit perspective, the film follows Oscar (Nathanial Brown) as he gets high, gets killed, and gets reborn.

Watching Oscar get shot in the bathroom as he tries to dump out his drugs during a police raid and then rise up and watch his body from the afterlife is haunting because of its simplicity.  Images like these are the biggest strength of Noé’s film.  You might think that the first-person setup would be a limitation, but he subverts the gimmick and creates an experience that is truly one-of-a-kind.  The goal of his film is not to get you on Oscar’s side, but rather to watch him see the imprint he left on the world.   Noé seems to be showing us that even the people with the smallest or grimiest of contributions leave their mark.

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REVIEW: Hereafter

Hereafter
Directed by: Clint Eastwood
Written by: Peter Morgan
Starring: Matt Damon, Cécile De France, Frankie McLaren, and George McLaren

As it turns out, exploring the issue of aging is best done behind the camera (stars of Red, take note.)  Clint Eastwood’s dark, pensive new film finds this busy director staying busy and still addressing the issues everyone else his age stops and spends months on.

So, what does happen when we die?  Eastwood doesn’t know, and be thankful he doesn’t pretend to either, though this is still a confident, masterfully directed film.  The overly-spiritual moments conveyed in the trailer simply don’t do it justice.

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