Saturday, February 5, 2011

Irreversible (4)

(Watch the trailer)

2002 French drama/crime/in my opinion horror film by Gaspar Noé.

One night in Paris begins in reverse-chronological order back to the beginnings of this traumatic tale about one women and many decisions that out her face to face with the worst nightmare you cannot even imagine.

This is one of the most traumatic films I have ever seen. I am usually that one who laughs during horror films or eats spaghetti during the slasher type movies...because it's not really real. I look at it as effects...

This movie was not like that. At all. Oh my God, I wish it were. I felt actually nauseous by the time this movie was over. The whole thing is like one long anxiety attack. At points I had to close my eyes but at the same time couldn't look away, which is weird and twisted, but it's so awful that you cannot help but watch.

I know that sounds weird but, as soon as I heard about this movie over a year ago I knew I had to watch it. My film friend explained it to me something like this: it would be the worst movie I would ever watch, I would have nightmares, it's so real that you will feel sick and will never forget it. It's the most realistic rape scene in any movie ever.

...of course, stupid me had to see what she meant.

She was right.

At first I was distracted by the way Gaspar Noé used the camera. There was a lot of spinning and things out of focus and just colours and odd close ups that made my head hurt. Now, having watched it, that was brilliant. It's annoying until you realize how emotionally invested you are within the first 10 and the film are one and the same. You are along for the ride and you don't really have a choice. It's spinning and everywhere but the closer it gets to the climax, the more stationary it becomes and finally, in one continuous scene, the rape scene, takes place. Never once does the camera stop or move...just, bam. Then it starts spinning again. Brilliant. Brilliant.

All and every performance was beyond amazing. Especially the woman who played Alex, Monica Bellucci. How she did that...oh man. Vincent Cassel who played her boyfriend Marcus I have always liked when I saw him. He was fantastic in Black Swan and in Eastern Promises.

Like I said, this is a very real film. Almost too real. The rape scene is a rape scene. They don't hold back...this movie will change you. You will never forget it. It is, in a weird round about way, one of the best movies I have ever seen.

Caution, but if you can handle it, watch it.



  1. Gaspar Noé's got a new one coming up.

    Enter the Void.

    As ominous as it may sound, it actually looks a lot more promising. On the flip side it might all just end up a big mess of pseudo-philosophical wank.

    Lets just hope there's no more of the ol' ultra violence.

  2. I'm hoping to see that one before the month is out, a friend of mine and I were discussing it. I watched the trailer for it a few times and it sounds like it will be visually disturbing in other ways (sexually) instead of violence...but we will see. So far I really appreciate his style even if it's too much to watch at times.

    Do you know of any other directors/films that I should watch that are like this film?

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  4. Like Irreversible?

    Can't really say I do. In some ways parts of it feel reminiscent of Requiem for a Dream, but it may well be the case that I'm just making connections that aren't really there.

    In terms of what Enter the Void looks like; that whole 'falling down the rabbit hole' exploration of consciousness- it kinda reminds me of that old William Hurt film, Altered States. Needless to say I'm looking forward to seeing it.

    By the way- did you know Vincent Cassel was cast to play Ambrosio in the adaptation of The Monk?

    That'll definitely be worth seeing.

  5. Oh I definitely agree that it has the same sort of feeling as Requiem. I haven't seen Altered states yet, I'll add it to my list! And no, I did not know Vincent is to play Ambrosio but I cannot wait either! I've liked him in everything I have seen him in so far and hope he sticks around.

  6. The idea of "so horrible you can't look away" is one of my favorites. I purposefully look for it in movies, and books, for that matter.

  7. I also enjoy films that push you, I find that majority of movies now take it easy on the audience and hold things back. At the same time, doing something just to fit the "so horrible you can't look away" catagory usually equals really awful movies. It's a fine balance, and this movie nailed it.


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