Gaspar Noe's Next Film

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My money's on........romantic comedy! Any takers?

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 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I really wish he was interested in making films that I felt like watching more than once. I agree with you that he is a very technically skilled filmmaker, but I find it to be a bit of a waste with his content choices.

Site Admistrator (deangulberry), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 01:56 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

i agree. i have no desire to ever seen Irreversible again.

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 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I really wish he was interested in making films that I felt like watching more than once.

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 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

An addendum:

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 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

i just can't break all artistic depictions of rape down to a level playing field of more or less equally valid "representations"--for instance, what's being asked of me if i am to consider that scene "formally"?

for some reason i don't think Noe is attempting to make me think in a
post-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 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

i should add i think that distinction, and whether you buy it, is what i feel makes the film work or not work. because if that distinction (which bears all the ethical weight of the film if it has any) doesn't hold up, then we are basically using suffering as a means to post-modern entertainment rather than liberal/humanist notions of enlightenment/education/compassion.

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 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

to clarify

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 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

and then it just becomes a matter of wishing to attain a wittgensteinian/schopenhauerian silence in the face of suffering (what can you really say once it has happened that's not bullshit?) but not being able to, and being forced to spew out these representations of suffering which simply mock us because it's impossible for us to be silent.

ryan (ryan), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 05:45 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

sorry for vomiting all over your thread--just thinking out loud. ignore me!

ryan (ryan), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 06:23 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Good lord, Ryan, are you on meth?

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 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

He's evil and/or stupid. Catherine Breillat too.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 14:35 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Pot calling the kettle....

jay blanchard (jay blanchard), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 18:03 (fourteen years ago) Permalink


tsk tsk. If true, I haven't conned folks out of $10 to be subjected to MY exploitative nihilism.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 14:20 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I don't consider the film to be exploitation in any sense of the word. And Noe certainly isn't the first filmmaker with nihilist tendencies (although, again, I would go so far as to call him a nihilist--there is far too much drive and emotion in his characters for them to be completely devoid of morality or hope.

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 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Finding substance worth debating in Noe is the essence of juvenile crap.

It was an 8-word dismissal.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 15:29 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Your arrogance is noted. The dignified thing to do would be to leave the thread now and continue finding "substance" in "The Terminal".

jay blanchard (jay blanchard), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 16:22 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

real mature guys.

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 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

i'll just show my hand here: i think, at bottom, that you really can't make a complete distinction between representation and reality. but neither can you completely conflate the two.

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 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

six years pass...

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 (seven years ago) Permalink

HIOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLY FUCK

wasabi pea-sized masculinity (latebloomer), Saturday, 8 October 2011 02:38 (seven years ago) Permalink

god told me too is amazing...noe remaking it would be...interesting

wasabi pea-sized masculinity (latebloomer), Saturday, 8 October 2011 02:40 (seven years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

http://variety.com/2015/film/news/alchemy-gaspar-noe-love-1201498833/

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) Permalink

The other poster is less work-safe.

StillAdvance, Tuesday, 19 May 2015 15:44 (four years ago) Permalink

@NickPinkerton
Doubt 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 (three years ago) Permalink

five months pass...

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 (three years ago) Permalink

from what i've read, your money is right.

wmlynch, Friday, 30 October 2015 02:28 (three years ago) Permalink

The other poster is less work-safe.

ahahahah, oh wow

fuck this guy

frogbs, Friday, 30 October 2015 02:29 (three years ago) Permalink

no thanks he'd turn it into his next movie

nomar, Friday, 30 October 2015 02:39 (three years ago) Permalink

SEMEN IT FLY @ YOU FACE

Love, Wilco (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 31 October 2015 13:51 (three years ago) Permalink

an EVENT

skateboards are the new combover (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 31 October 2015 13:54 (three years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

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 (three years ago) Permalink

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 (three years ago) Permalink

also, quite weird seeing it after the paris attacks.

StillAdvance, Thursday, 19 November 2015 12:53 (three years ago) Permalink

the 3d i found really hampered the visuals
no 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 (three years ago) Permalink

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 (three years ago) Permalink

"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 (three years ago) Permalink

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 (three years ago) Permalink

saw that you attending a screening, wins! awaiting your thoughts

μpright mammal (mh), Thursday, 19 November 2015 16:53 (three years ago) Permalink

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 (three years ago) Permalink

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 (three years ago) Permalink

sleazy drug friend got a lot of laughs

noe love derp wev (wins), Thursday, 19 November 2015 17:04 (three years ago) Permalink

I liked the main character becoming progressively less likeable as the film rolled on

μpright mammal (mh), Thursday, 19 November 2015 19:24 (three years ago) Permalink

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 (three years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

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 (one year ago) Permalink

ten months pass...

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) Permalink

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) Permalink

? No, this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23rD3xyaQyc

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 14 May 2018 13:30 (one year ago) Permalink

lol frogbs

mh, Monday, 14 May 2018 14:34 (one year ago) Permalink

is there a lot of edgy hardcore sex

rip van wanko, Monday, 14 May 2018 14:43 (one year ago) Permalink

edgy hardcore sex... flying at u face

mh, Monday, 14 May 2018 14:50 (one year ago) Permalink

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) Permalink

https://www.slantmagazine.com/house/article/cannes-film-review-climax

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) Permalink

when are we going to go see this one and complain, Eric? :)

mh, Monday, 14 May 2018 20:55 (one year ago) Permalink

If the Walker schedules it, I will go.

nourish nourish your turtleheart (Eric H.), Monday, 14 May 2018 20:59 (one year ago) Permalink

I'm looking forward to this from a choreographic pov

Heavy Messages (jed_), Monday, 14 May 2018 22:30 (one year ago) Permalink

three months pass...

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 (eight months ago) Permalink

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 (eight months ago) Permalink

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 (eight months ago) Permalink

six months pass...

"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 (two months ago) Permalink

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 (two months ago) Permalink

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 (two months ago) Permalink


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