2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A stunning work of art from a visionary filmmaker,
This review is from: Enter the Void [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Gaspar Noé's Enter the Void is a stunning, one-of-a-kind work of art. I'm not going to describe the story; there is not much story anyway. What is here is a hallucinogenic phantasmagoria of bright colors and wondrous sights and sounds which will take you into the brain, through this life and the afterlife, through several levels of consciousness and... Tokyo. It is not a story so much as an experience. It's beautiful, sometimes repulsive (typical of Noé), deeply thought-provoking and intensely emotional. Enter the Void is about the love between a brother and sister. A tale which plays out over two (or perhaps even more) planes of existence. It's a visual poem devoted to the wonder of the human spirit: life, love, death, tragedy, dreams, memory, sadness, happiness. A meditation on death and the possibility of life after death; also the evolutionary cycle of human life. It can be seen as many things and interpreted in many ways. It's one of those films that is intended to provoke discussion. It can also simply be viewed superficially as one heck of a cinematic acid trip. Whatever meaning you choose to assign to it, if any, it is a staggering film that will not be soon forgetten. Even someone who despises it (and I have already talked to one) will have a hard time denying the creativity and innovation on display here.
I will make no claims that Enter the Void is perfect or flawless. Very few movies are and it makes no difference. Who ever said that something had to be flawless to be a work of art? Flaws might serve to make something more meaningful. My criticisms: It's too long. At 161 minutes, the second half of the film drags on a bit. Like all of Gaspar Noé's films it can be hard to watch. There's nothing here quite as bad as the rape scene in Irréversible, however there are moments that might make you squirm. Anyone who is epileptic should stay away from this or any Gaspar Noé film as he is fond of fast-cutting and bright strobe lights.
Oh, and he is fond of camera movement. My god, the camera movement. If ever there was a movie that deserved to be seen for camera movement alone, it is Enter the Void. This is one of the most extraordinarily photographed movies I have ever seen. From stunning POV work, to long steadicam shots to bird's-eye-view to Superman-esque flying-through-the-sky shots, Enter the Void has camera choreography that would make the jaws of Alfred Hitchcock and Brian De Palma drop.
Gaspar Noé is a fearless, visionary filmmaker. An artist who strives to bring his unadulterated vision to the screen no matter how un-commercial or hard to watch that vision may be. Despite having only made three feature films ("I Stand Alone", "Irréversible" and "Enter the Void"), Noé deserves, in my opinion, to be mentioned alongside the greatest artists of the past several decades. He directs furiously, as if his life depended on it. I imagine him directing as a conductor frantically leading a symphony orchestra in an earth-shattering performance of Beethoven's Ninth. I don't mean to compare Enter the Void to the Ninth Symphony (or do I?). I see the kind of passion and excitement in every frame of this film that is only produced by a truly talented artist in love with his craft. It should be seen, or rather experienced, by anyone who expects more out of film than just a way to pass the time. If you believe that cinema is capable of life-changing art which illuminates the experience of living a human life, then Enter the Void is an unmissable film.
All that and I didn't even mention the opening titles. Two words: freakin' amazing!
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 9, 2011 6:52:32 AM PST
C. Powell says:
Is it worth buying in order to watch multiple viewings over time? i cannot find it to rent so was debating on purchasing
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2011 10:38:34 PM PST
I wouldn't suggest a blind buy unless you're a big fan of director Gaspar Noé or of edgy arthouse cinema in general. To say that Enter the Void is not for all tastes is putting it mildly.
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