Seriously though, the guy's seriously messed up in the head. I just watched "I Stand Alone" last night for the first time--holy crap! The fact that his idea of a "happy ending" is an incestuous relationship between a psychopathic old man and his teenage mute daughter is more than slightly disturbing.
That said, I'm feeling firmer in my decision that he is one of the most innovative filmmakers working today. His camera work in "Irreversible" and the transitions in "ISA" are incredible and evoke a pschological state I've never experienced in any other film. He also plays the balance between order/chaos & silence/noise incredibly well, and the tensions build to intense crescendos. It really reflects the psychological state of the characters vibrantly, better at least than a film like "Taxi Driver" which is very similar to ISA.
I'm really not a fan of violent movies, but I love Noe's films. I think more than anything his films are not so much about the content, but instead the content is used merely to drive the form. He seems more interested in making the audience feel uncomfortable & complicitous, and violence and taboo subjects are an easy foundation to build on with formal elements like his camera work/editing.
What's the concensus on Noe?
― jay blanchard (jay blanchard), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 01:48 (fifteen years ago) link
― Site Admistrator (deangulberry), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 01:56 (fifteen years ago) link
i agree to some extent about form vs. content jay, but you gotta think having an agonizing rape scene in an unbroken take is basically a moment where content overwhelms form. (and what would it mean to formalize such a thing? what are ethical stakes?)
i'd like to see him take his formal ambitions to a less sensationalist type of content.
― ryan (ryan), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 02:48 (fifteen years ago) link
Hmm. I've found "Irreversible" to be rewarding after several viewings. It makes me wonder if Noe is more of a "filmmaker's filmmaker"--as I mentioned, the content and characters don't interest me as much as the formal experimentation. Or maybe it's not a "filmmaker vs. filmwatcher" thing at all--some viewers are into form, some content. I've never cared for characters, plot, etc. in filmmaking, which is probably why experimental works (to the point of pure abstract formalism) appeals to me more than narrative (usually pure content).
As for Ryan's point about how would you formalize violence and death--it's really nothing new: Deren's "Meditation on Violence", Brakhage's "23rd Psalm Branch" and "Act of Seeing With One's Own Eyes", etc. And hell, most of Hitchcock's oevre was using violence to drive formal experiments.
As for ethical concerns, it's not like Noe's making snuff films--he's creating fictional representations of things that unfortunately happen in real life. People get violently murdered; women get raped. I've always had respect for filmmakers who make violence actually violent--too much gets glossed over in narrative films, death becomes clean, quick & bloodless, rapes happen offscreen or only show the victim's face & the masked perpetrator. But that's not life--violence has a face, a body, and it's often slow & painful. And when you train a society through its media that it's not, then it becomes easier to commit such acts.
― jay blanchard (jay blanchard), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 04:34 (fifteen years ago) link
but you gotta think having an agonizing rape scene in an unbroken take is basically a moment where content overwhelms form.
Ryan, I'm sure you've seen other films that contained rape scenes--did they affect you as much as this one? I think it has more to do with the form (long, unbroken take from an unmoving camera that forces you to become a powerless bystander) than the content (seeing a rape scene by itself).
― jay blanchard (jay blanchard), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 04:40 (fifteen years ago) link
for some reason i don't think Noe is attempting to make me think in apost-modern fashion about his depiction of rape, if anything it is a anti-postmodern attempt at stark realism that overrides any formal considerations.
yet if i am to consider that scene "formally" then, to repeat myself, I have to wonder what the ethical stakes of that are (i don't know). on one level we can say "well this is just violence, etc, and we've seen it all before" and that's true, but on another level, and here I'm not trying to ethically condemn the film, but to ask if it has an ethical point, and if it doesn't then what does it mean for me to get formalist kicks out of a depiction of rape?
philosophically maybe we can't distinquish between a broken mirror in A Streetcar Named Desire (for example) and what goes on in Irreversible--but we should try to think about what this failure of distinction means. but it's also a distinction i personally feel Noe is trying to make in Irreversible.
― ryan (ryan), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 05:17 (fifteen years ago) link
maybe i am perhaps stuck in a notion that formalism = a kind dispassionate schopenhauerian contemplation, when we could easily scrap that form of salvation and simply say that formalism is simply a more sophisticated way to get our adrenal kicks.
― ryan (ryan), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 05:22 (fifteen years ago) link
1) it's just a formally interesting depiction of rape = what's interesting? the static camera or the fact that a static camera is depicting rape?
2) it's an attempt at realism which is trying to elicit disgust and horror in the service of....? it doesn't matter. the real problem is that i find this possibility untenable and it always brings me back to number 1, which i find immensely disquieting. if that scene is just art, or if the holocaust scenes in schindler's list are just art (and they indubitably ARE) then we have to think seriously about what it means to depict suffering in art, because we can never do anything but make it a formal game in the service of titillation.
― ryan (ryan), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 05:43 (fifteen years ago) link
― ryan (ryan), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 05:45 (fifteen years ago) link
― ryan (ryan), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 06:23 (fifteen years ago) link
Just kidding--you're raising some great points that I'll play Devil's Advocate to:
1) what's being asked of me if i am to consider that scene "formally"?
On the simplest level, the same that is being asked if you appreciate a slow motion shot of horses running through a field or a pure geometric abstract animation--in the end, all you're watching is grain elements or pixels on a screen. Even in a "snuff" film, you're not watching an actual murder; you're just watching a representation of it. It's a good example of film's greatest asset and weakness--the fact that it's often looked at as a mirror of reality. We probably wouldn't be have this discussion if you read a graphic rape scene in a novel. Or maybe we would.
2) ...attempt at stark realism that overrides any formal considerations.
I don't think such an "override" is possible, as was proven quite well by the failure of cinema verite. Even though film is often viewed as an objective medium, the second you turn a camera on something, it's a subjective act. Even seemingly "formless" filmmaking has a very distinct form (can you assign formal attributes to the neorealists?) And I think Noe is very aware of that, and is playing with the boundaries of subjectivity/objectivity.
3) what does it mean for me to get formalist kicks out of a depiction of rape?
Excellent point. I personally don't really get into morality plays & ethics, but if you're someone who does, I can understand the angst. But again, as you said yourself, it's a depiction of rape--does the representation carry as much weight as the act? Can you even compare the two? (Plato & mimesis is coming to mind, but don't have the time to formulate my thoughts right now)
Also, when it really comes down to it, what ethical concerns do you have in regards to watching such scenes? Do you think it makes you complicitous/accepting of such real life acts? Is a desensitivity to horrific acts concern? Are you worried about acting in bad faith by appreciating something artistically that represents something you abhor morally? I guess I'm still not getting what the real ethical issue is. I'd think that watching the 9/11 attacks over and over again to the point that they become little more than an iconic image is more terrifying to me than in being able to appreciate seeing a stylized rape scene (and yes, I do find it to be a "stylized" scene, for the reasons I gave above).
4) philosophically maybe we can't distinquish between a broken mirror in A Streetcar Named Desire (for example) and what goes on in Irreversible--but we should try to think about what this failure of distinction means. but it's also a distinction i personally feel Noe is trying to make in Irreversible.
Great example, Ryan. What do you think the "failure of distinction" means? I guess I'll stick with my original idea, that a scene like in "Streetcar" is possibly a more dangerous representational image simply because it is so metaphorical. It drains any true human emotion or torment from the scene, and instead displaces in upon an inanimate object.
5) maybe i am perhaps stuck in a notion that formalism = a kind dispassionate schopenhauerian contemplation, when we could easily scrap that form of salvation and simply say that formalism is simply a more sophisticated way to get our adrenal kicks.
We could, but I think that's somewhat limiting. Formalism is mainly emotional, but it's also intellectual. While a film like "Irreversible" is emotionally difficult to handle, its form also sparks the mind to ask "why did that film affect me so much?" (as it has here). For me, that's the mark of good cinema--it makes for both feel AND think, and I believe Noe is doing an excellent job of that in his films.
Sorry, wish I had more time to develop & discuss this because it's a great topic for debate, but I have to get back to work. I'll post more tonight.
― jay blanchard (jay blanchard), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 14:14 (fifteen years ago) link
― Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 14:35 (fifteen years ago) link
― jay blanchard (jay blanchard), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 18:03 (fifteen years ago) link
― Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 14:20 (fifteen years ago) link
Sorry for insulting reply, but I feel it's incredibly insulting to crash a thread with a two-word dismissal & give no justification for it. If that's your game, go over to the ILE film discussions--they appreciate that juvenile crap over there.
― jay blanchard (jay blanchard), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 15:08 (fifteen years ago) link
It was an 8-word dismissal.
― Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 15:29 (fifteen years ago) link
― jay blanchard (jay blanchard), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 16:22 (fifteen years ago) link
anyway--to keep things simple I'm just stick to one thing here, but one thing that i think gets to the heart of the matter without getting me all sidetracked about more general philosophical issues.
jay you write: in the end, all you're watching is grain elements or pixels on a screen.
but then you write: a scene like in "Streetcar" is possibly a more dangerous representational image simply because it is so metaphorical. It drains any true human emotion or torment from the scene, and instead displaces in upon an inanimate object.
do you feel these statements are compatible? on the one hand, you're arguing that it all boils down to more or less abstract representation--there is no such thing as realism that's really real. the rape scene in Irreversible is not more real than the rape scene in Streetcar. It's more realistic, stylistically.
so when you state that the scene in Irreversible is more ethically responsible because it is less abstract (i read this as "more realistic"). I take that to mean: one kind of style is ethically superior to another. yet they are both pixels on a screen right?
if, in the end, you want to treat these two scenes as equally abstract (and for now i agree that they are) it would still seem to me, and this is the confusing and troubling part, that the ethical distinction is held on to. you are making what seems to me to be a purely arbitrary ethical distinction between styles (as in "sonnets are ethically superior to haiku") in order to justify Noe's depiction of rape.
you're denying the ethical dimension that realism would lend it (as in "this is what rape is really like isnt it horrible") but returning that ethical dimension in the form of a "realistic" style that redeems, and indeed, somehow respects the act of rape as the horror it is.
i grant that your second statement i quote above is a bit of a throwaway you probably didnt think very hard about--but it raises exactly the issues i want to discuss.
aren't we, in Noe's view possibly, not at all like the person who comes upon the scene and leaves without doing anything to help, but instead someone who sits and watches? are we supposed to feel bad watching that scene? are we supposed to admire it?
― ryan (ryan), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 20:06 (fifteen years ago) link
in other words, these systems of representation are both open and closed.
representations of rape are not free floating signifiers that actually have nothing to do with rape, but they aren't fully the same thing as rape either.
and perhaps in the end you can't really make these distinctions at all except within a very (almost impossibly) specific time and place and situation.
― ryan (ryan), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 20:17 (fifteen years ago) link
Probably too good to be true but, according to FILM COMMENT, Noe wants to remake Larry Cohen's GOD TOLD ME TO.
― Work Hard, Flunky! (R Baez), Wednesday, 5 October 2011 03:57 (eight years ago) link
― wasabi pea-sized masculinity (latebloomer), Saturday, 8 October 2011 02:38 (eight years ago) link
god told me too is amazing...noe remaking it would be...interesting
― wasabi pea-sized masculinity (latebloomer), Saturday, 8 October 2011 02:40 (eight years ago) link
― StillAdvance, Tuesday, 19 May 2015 15:42 (four years ago) link
lchemy has acquired all U.S. distribution rights to Gaspar Noe’s sex-fueled melodrama “Love.”
The French 3D film stars Karl Glusman, Aomi Muyock and Klara Kristin. “Love,” a late addition to the Cannes Midnight screening section, centers on the erotic relationship between a man and two women.
The poster for “Love” is a close-up of a saliva-laden kiss.
“Gaspar Noe is a visionary and every time he makes a film it’s an event,” said Brooke Ford, Alchemy’s exec VP of Marketing. “’Love’ is above all a beautiful story about love in all its complex dimensions and we’re thrilled to bring this bold and provocative film to the most curious audiences in the U.S.”
The Argentinian-born Noe directed from his own script, which opens with the now-married male protagonist hearing from the mother of one of his former lovers.
Jeff Deutchman of Alchemy negotiated the deal with Carole Baraton of Wild Bunch and CAA on behalf of the filmmakers.
― StillAdvance, Tuesday, 19 May 2015 15:43 (four years ago) link
The other poster is less work-safe.
― StillAdvance, Tuesday, 19 May 2015 15:44 (four years ago) link
@NickPinkertonDoubt I'll see or write about it, so comparing Gaspar Noé's Love to "watching jizz dry" is up for grabs.
― the increasing costive borborygmi (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 28 May 2015 04:33 (four years ago) link
is there gonna be a 3-D cumshot right into the camera lens, my money's on yes
― frogbs, Friday, 30 October 2015 02:26 (four years ago) link
from what i've read, your money is right.
― wmlynch, Friday, 30 October 2015 02:28 (four years ago) link
ahahahah, oh wow
fuck this guy
― frogbs, Friday, 30 October 2015 02:29 (four years ago) link
no thanks he'd turn it into his next movie
― nomar, Friday, 30 October 2015 02:39 (four years ago) link
SEMEN IT FLY @ YOU FACE
― Love, Wilco (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 31 October 2015 13:51 (four years ago) link
― skateboards are the new combover (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 31 October 2015 13:54 (four years ago) link
I realized this was set to play while I was in Minneapolis over the weekend so I ended up going (and running into Eric H). Thoughts later, but yeah... semen fly at u face
― μpright mammal (mh), Monday, 16 November 2015 15:12 (four years ago) link
saw this last night. in some ways its new ground for noe (an attempt to aspire to more 'mature' values), in other ways, its very much still him (the title screens, making you aware this is a film in front of you), but while i think its probably more interesting than half the other films that get pushed ever year, it also feels less powerful than his other work.
some of that is good maybe, as it shows hes not just trying to shock with ugliness, but i feel like this is either a mid point in where his films might go, or perhaps its just an attempt to go against the current trends of how sex is/isnt represented on screen.
hes talked a lot about erotic cinema vs pornography, and the sex is quite often really well done, and full of feeling, though slightly undone by the main character, who is so obviously a stand in for noe that he decides to call his child GASPAR and tells his ex-gf that his favourite film is 2001. at one point the lead guy starts telling people about his ambition to make a sentimental sex movie... which im guessing is what love is meant to be (and sometimes is). and the acting is typically trashy, soapy, amatuerish, but i quite like this sort of shrill melodrama, with dialogue that is mostly terrible and hilarious though maybe this too was meant to be a revival of porno existentialist kind of cinema (though again, i quite like the combination of combative tone and banal lines)?
i would like to see it in 2d though as the 3d i found really hampered the visuals, and although a lot of the later red-lit scenes looked as good as enter the void, the film didnt seem as visually interesting as it might have been. its weird then, slightly dissapointingly typical of noe, with its jarring touches, but at the same time, an interesting departure, though not totally successful as a sensitive (or sentimental) sex movie (i think that would involve jettisoning a lot of his bad habits).
― StillAdvance, Thursday, 19 November 2015 12:44 (four years ago) link
also, quite weird seeing it after the paris attacks.
― StillAdvance, Thursday, 19 November 2015 12:53 (four years ago) link
the 3d i found really hampered the visualsno way!
I feel that Noé still has no idea how to end a film. It felt like a repeat of Enter the Void in his return to procreation and children as the culmination of the human experience.
The child named Gaspar was pretty ridiculous, but what to make of the girlfriend's other romantic partner being named Noe?
― μpright mammal (mh), Thursday, 19 November 2015 16:15 (four years ago) link
yeah he did sexual shots in enter the void already, which i actually found more incredible to look at, and explored some of the same themes, but this felt much more focused in some ways (if also over determined). the neon club stuff in love felt kind of like a retread of some of enter the void in some ways, which i didnt mind, but felt a bit dissappointing, considering noe takes such gaps between films.
― StillAdvance, Thursday, 19 November 2015 16:34 (four years ago) link
"The child named Gaspar was pretty ridiculous, but what to make of the girlfriend's other romantic partner being named Noe?"
both those details got big laughs from the audience.
― StillAdvance, Thursday, 19 November 2015 16:42 (four years ago) link
pop-up boners are this film's raison d'être, or at least ought to be
― noe love derp wev (wins), Thursday, 19 November 2015 16:51 (four years ago) link
saw that you attending a screening, wins! awaiting your thoughts
― μpright mammal (mh), Thursday, 19 November 2015 16:53 (four years ago) link
Well the characterisation is somewhere between peep show & like archer going "how is this my fault" in terms of nuance, and the sexual politics are a shade above apatow (knowingly, perhaps) so... for me it's fun when it stays in that zone, a bit boring when it strays out
― noe love derp wev (wins), Thursday, 19 November 2015 16:59 (four years ago) link
I assumed the gaspar joke is part of the films celebration of amour fou and its ability to make men revert to being mewling, puking fuckboys
― noe love derp wev (wins), Thursday, 19 November 2015 17:01 (four years ago) link
sleazy drug friend got a lot of laughs
― noe love derp wev (wins), Thursday, 19 November 2015 17:04 (four years ago) link
I liked the main character becoming progressively less likeable as the film rolled on
― μpright mammal (mh), Thursday, 19 November 2015 19:24 (four years ago) link
started out thinking he was a decent guy who screwed up, then found out he's this regressive violent man who had a pretty unstable relationship to begin with
― μpright mammal (mh), Thursday, 19 November 2015 19:26 (four years ago) link
LOVE is dumb as hell
And significantly less interesting stylistically, which is the one thing the guy had going on.
― circa1916, Wednesday, 5 July 2017 03:45 (two years ago) link
New one at Cannes apparently getting good reviews, which is the biggest shock of all, given his last two movies were visually audacious narrative slogs (imo).
― Josh in Chicago, Monday, 14 May 2018 13:28 (one year ago) link
you mean the one filmed in VR which features a rapidly aging man repeatedly vomiting in your face? not my bag but okay
― frogbs, Monday, 14 May 2018 13:30 (one year ago) link
? No, this:
― Josh in Chicago, Monday, 14 May 2018 13:30 (one year ago) link
― mh, Monday, 14 May 2018 14:34 (one year ago) link
is there a lot of edgy hardcore sex
― rip van wanko, Monday, 14 May 2018 14:43 (one year ago) link
edgy hardcore sex... flying at u face
― mh, Monday, 14 May 2018 14:50 (one year ago) link
If you had told me he filmed a VR movie of people vomiting at your face I would totally believe it.
― Josh in Chicago, Monday, 14 May 2018 15:06 (one year ago) link
The conceit here is that even when Climax's characters are subjected to the full-tilt crucible promised by the film's premise, their bodies' convulsions remain dance-like. But broad concerns like concept and conceit have never really been Noé's problem, and neither really has his style—which has always incorporated some form of choreography, and used vivid colors and a restless camera with inarguably visceral impact. What Noé's films have so rarely evinced—and what Climax mostly certainly lacks—is the skill, imagination, and intelligence to develop concepts and conceits, to connect them with ideas that could keep the director's vision from wearing itself out.
― nourish nourish your turtleheart (Eric H.), Monday, 14 May 2018 20:19 (one year ago) link
when are we going to go see this one and complain, Eric? :)
― mh, Monday, 14 May 2018 20:55 (one year ago) link
If the Walker schedules it, I will go.
― nourish nourish your turtleheart (Eric H.), Monday, 14 May 2018 20:59 (one year ago) link
I'm looking forward to this from a choreographic pov
― Heavy Messages (jed_), Monday, 14 May 2018 22:30 (one year ago) link
I tried giving Love another shot the other day (hey it’s streaming) and couldn’t make it to the end. It’s bad.
Thought I was done with him but reviews and trailer of Climax make me interested. I think dialing the scope back (not good at grand themes) and focusing in on the primal/sensorial/hedonistic (good at this) is what needed to happen.
― circa1916, Sunday, 26 August 2018 04:50 (one year ago) link
Most striking moments in his films in dance clubs. Gets the disorienting, transcendent, horrifying, lizard brain elements of the experience in a way I haven’t seen elsewhere.
― circa1916, Sunday, 26 August 2018 04:52 (one year ago) link
got to admit I'm actually quite up for Climax, just from reading the synopsis - it sounds pretty fab!
― calzino, Sunday, 26 August 2018 11:37 (one year ago) link
"Climax" is a predictably hallucinogenic batshit indulgence, which is what we've come to expect from Noe. Yet it's better than his last two, for whatever reason, and while it feels vaguely familiar both in terms of style and general ... whatever it is he does, it also reads (at least to me) intentionally or unintentionally as a satire of indulgence, sort of like Bunel's "Exterminating Angel."
Anyone else seen that Mexican what-the-fuck? "We Are The Flesh?" In some ways that one out Noe-d Gaspar at his own game.
― Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 7 March 2019 23:57 (eleven months ago) link
The film is worth it for the perfection and intensity of the two choreographed dance routines. I liked (a lot) and disliked (a lot) of the rest of it but the experience was good on the big screen. I'd watch those routines over and over.
― Acting Crazy (Instrumental) (jed_), Friday, 8 March 2019 00:04 (eleven months ago) link
OK, this is about as good as he's been since Irreversible, a statement that works whether you loved or loathed Irreversible.
― zama roma ding dong (Eric H.), Wednesday, 20 March 2019 12:54 (ten months ago) link
Climax - Not been keen on seeing most of Noe's films (I did really like most of Enter The Void) but I really loved this. It was hard for me not to miss the energy and dancing of the first half but I warmed to the second half eventually. So many great overhead shots. Really great Arrow edition bonus feature has Alan Jones talking about every music track in the film, I found this very helpful because I know nothing about most of this music. Had no idea Jones was an expert on this stuff. Quite keen to see Noe's Love now. But really Gaspar Noe, make Step Up 6 next!
I really liked We Are The Flesh too. I hope Minter makes more films.
― Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 31 May 2019 16:41 (eight months ago) link
We are the Flesh was really striking and memorable, totally horrific and sometimes funny. Butt it has stuck with me.Love, aside from some of the inventively shot sex scenes, is one of the most boring movies I have ever seen. Best I can remember it at least.
― Josh in Chicago, Friday, 31 May 2019 18:01 (eight months ago) link
LOVE is his worst movie by a mile.
― circa1916, Friday, 31 May 2019 18:04 (eight months ago) link
The music is the best thing about climax, I lost patience with it in the end. I thought love was supremely dumb but had fun with it but cannot remember a single thing about it. Never saw enter the void and prob won’t, irreversible had a big impact at the time as an ~experience~, thought I stand alone was how you say merde
― shhh / let peaceful like things (wins), Friday, 31 May 2019 18:12 (eight months ago) link
Love, aside from some of the inventively shot sex scenes
― Josh in Chicago, Friday, May 31, 2019 7:01 PM
This could go a long way for me. Was this the porn film he wanted to make?
― Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 31 May 2019 20:05 (eight months ago) link
Maybe? I thought he had an actual sideline running a porn company. Love is basically a few sex scenes of varying degrees of kink breaking up some seriously long boring conversations delivered unconvincingly by bad actors. So, yeah, I guess a little like porn? It's sooooooooo dull and boring, it makes Michael Winterbottom's 9 Songs seem like a zippy sitcom episode.
― Josh in Chicago, Friday, 31 May 2019 20:13 (eight months ago) link
I've seen The Beast and Detective Dee: Phantom Flame so I'm battle ready for boring.
― Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 31 May 2019 20:30 (eight months ago) link
I watched Climax unfortunately
― flappy bird, Thursday, 26 September 2019 16:55 (four months ago) link
the two dance routines are very good! I think everyone should watch it until the end of the second one.
― What a ridiculous clusterfuck of totally uncool jokers (jed_), Thursday, 26 September 2019 18:18 (four months ago) link