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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If they were in television… Darren Aronofsky

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Notable Films: Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler, Pi, and The Fountain.

Famous for: Unbearable honesty, emotionally destroyed and hopeless people, gritty surrealism, and intentionally ambiguous endings.

Hypothetical Premise: A cocaine-addicted woman is divorced by her extremely wealthy tycoon husband.  Since there was a pre-nup and she came from a poor and abusive family, she has nothing.  Over the course of the season, she goes from having everything to being a lonely, drug-ridden bum on the streets of Seattle.  Her husband makes sure she never gets a job or has any way to lift herself out of the disparity she’s in.  Then she meets a bouncer at a club, falls in love with him, but he can’t allow himself to love a crack addict.  If there is a second season, she would descend into madness and half of the series would appear to take place in the middle ages.

Cross Between: Requiem for a Dream, Breaking Bad, and The Wrestler.

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