Posted on Monday, May 16th, 2011 by Russ Fischer
Gaspar Noe‘s third feature, Into the Void, was one of the more divisive films of the past couple years, and easily one of my favorites. I’ve admired his peculiar and confrontational approach to storytelling, and the superb technical craft that underlies his narrative bravado. But those very qualities I admire, and the working methods they imply, make him the sort of director that isn’t likely to take many work for hire gigs. Cue a bit of surprise, then, at the report that the director is being wooed to take the helm of The Golden Suicides, scripted by Bret Easton Ellis based on the true story of a superstar art world couple who perished in a bizarre double suicide.
The same Screen Daily piece that mentioned Matt Dillon being in talks for Inferno reveals that Gaspar Noe is one possible director for the film. Specifically, it says,
Hanley and Gertner are close to attaching a director to the original Brett Easton Ellis script Golden Suicides on which Muse is partnered with PalmStar Entertainment. Gaspar Noe is one of the film-makers mulling about taking on the film.
That’s not much to go on, and we’ve got no way to know how Gaspar Noe feels about the situation at this point. Given the language of the article, it’s possible the directorial duties will go to someone else.
Let’s turn the clock back quite a bit to the last time we covered any movement on the script, when Gus Van Sant was working on it with Bret Easton Ellis. Recapping my original description of the story:
The Golden Suicides is based on the lives of of ‘golden couple’ Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake. It’s some crazy stuff: a powerful creative couple (he was an artist, she a game designer and filmmaker) began to exhibit eccentric and downright bizarre behavior, requested ‘loyalty oaths’ of friends, complained of Scientologist persecution and eventually killed themselves within a week of each other. Duncan took pills; Blake walked into the Atlantic Ocean and never came out again.
Bret Easton Ellis said at the time,
I connected with the story a lot, so it was really exciting and emotional to write it. I didn’t find it depressing. I thought it was the most difficult thing I’ve had to write…I didn’t want to make up anything. I wanted the script to really follow what happened. There were three or four scenes where the two of them are alone and no one really knows what they said. You have to take liberties during those scenes, but more or less, everything that’s in the script can be verified by things they said or things they did out there in the public.
There are possibilities here that I can immediately see leading to a Gaspar Noe film: the insistent emotional ties between the couple; their unusual death; and also the mystery that lies at the heart of their actions. But that latter part, which I can see Noe exploiting like crazy, would also possibly push his version of the film far away from what Bret Easton Ellis described — not quite so true to life. Frankly, I’d be surprised if this paritcular paring of director and script ended up coming together, but I can’t say that I wouldn’t love to see what happened if it did.