A few days ago, just after it was announced that the Cannes line up would feature Gaspar Noe‘s Enter the Void, the official website for the film was opened up. All of the images in this post come from that site. Whle only the third feature by Noe in over a decade, Enter the Void does, however, maintain his record by scoring a hat trick of Cannes premieres for the director.
As well as more images, which I’ve posted after the break, the site also provided this official synopsis, which I have translated to the best of Google’s ability:
Oscar and sister Linda now live in Tokyo. Oscar survives by doing small drug deals while Linda is a stripper in a nightclub. One night during a police raid, Oscar is hit by a bullet. While dying, his spirit, faithful to the promise made to his sister to never give up, refuses to leave the world of the living. Then his mind wanders in the city and his visions become increasingly chaotic and nightmarish. Past, present and future will mix in a hallucinatory maelstrom.
Here are the photos, any of which you can click upon to see in a larger size.
There’s a long tradition of ‘trapped soul’ movies with Void sounding fairly close in conception to both Jacobs Ladder and, most particularly, Marc Forster’s Stay. We must hope that Noe’s film avoids the twin forces of oversimplification and over complication that practically tore Stay apart.
Noe’s first feature film, I Stand Alone, immediately marked him out to me as a determined stylist, passionate in his attempts to stamp his impression all over the films he makes, and with as much boldness, even brutality, as he can muster. This was only consolidated with the release of Irreversible, a film that plays its narrative backwards in order to give a somewhat despairing perspective on a brutal rape, the events it gives rise to and the events that preceded it. Both films showcase some great technical accomplishments on the part of their crews while also, I’d argue, suggesting that Noe is largely disinterested in subtlety, discipline or sensitivity of judgment.
I’ve heard the adjective ‘depressing’ applied to both of Noe’s previous features with great regularity. Despite the immediate appearance of these Void images, and perhaps even of the synopsis, I suspect that the overall impression this film will ultimately leave is most likely to be comparable.
According to an interview with Noe in the French magazine Reperages, sadly not available online, the film has required over 50 special effects artists to complete. There are three separate and distinct chapters to the film, each of them showcasing a different style of hallucination, which is to say a different way in which reality is deformed. In the making of the film, Noe referenced both 2001 and Tron as visual inspiration (in fact, a 2001 poster was featured pointedly in Irreversible) and has tried to stage this film, much like his last, with long takes and very little real-time or continuity cutting.
I’m definitely keen to see what the labours of these FX teams and just what Irreversible DOP Benoît Debie has acheived this time around. You may also be interested to know that Thomas Bangalter of Daft Punk, who previously scored Irreversible, is another contributor returning for this picture.
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