Climax is a tragedy in the form of intoxicating sensory experience. An allegory for the collapse of modern society, as several critics have noted, Gaspar Noé’s dance-infused explosion of warring psyches and writhing bodies (backed by the French tricolor) may be, at once, his most abstract work and his most direct. It pulls from a career’s worth of cinematic ticks and eccentricities, spackling them with dance electronica from wall-to-wall — Thomas Bangalter of Daft Punk even recorded new music for it — creating an audiovisual tapestry that’s equal parts haunting and exhilarating, as if the ghost of Oscar from Enter the Void decided to stick around the club he died in and watch the end of the world.
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The Toronto International Film Festival is best-known these days as a Big Daddy of the awards season. Major films that premiere at TIFF – of which there are many – tend to do so with glamorous red-carpet events, stars congregating outside any one of the gorgeous theatres in the closed-to-traffic festival zone. Many are slick, prestigious studio dramas from celebrated filmmakers – think First Man, A Star Is Born, or If Beale Street Could Talk – and they’re rightly festooned with attention.
I did not attend TIFF this year for those films. I attended for Midnight Madness. Read More »
Whenever any cinematic movement occurs with a noticeable sense of purpose on screen, critics commonly employ the trope of reaching into the language of dance. It’s not just walking, it’s a filmic ballet. It’s not just blocking, it’s choreography. Maybe it says something more about the scattershot cinematography of a screen-saturated culture where images are captured with little acknowledgement of the relationship between the subject and cameraperson, but when the two are in complete symbiosis, it stands out.
French writer, director and provocateur Gaspar Noé makes a more literal connection between dance and camera blocking in his latest film, Climax. The story, insomuch as there is one, follows a group of dancers as their drug-laced sangria sends their rehearsal careening off the rails and straight into hell. Not unlike in his psychedelic Enter the Void, Noé explores the possibilities of his camera with cinematographer Benoît Debie to mimic a sensation. Here, it’s the ecstasy and agony of a body in motion, controlled and compelled by a force deep within beyond their command.
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Gaspar Noé, a filmmaker who revels in pushing things to the extreme, is back with Climax. The latest film from the Irreversible director focuses on a troupe of dancers dealing with a bad trip after accidentally taking psychedelic drugs. Sounds fun! Watch the Climax trailer below.
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Provocateur director Gaspar Noé has built his career on scandalous movies like I Stand Alone, Enter the Void, Irreversible, and Love. Now he’s back with Climax, a trippy drama about a group of dancers who drink spiked sangria, and some critics are calling it his best movie yet. Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service, The Mummy) leads the cast, and you can watch the first Climax trailer below. Read More »