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10.24.2017
Enter The Void (2009)
Movie Review by The Spastic Cannibal
01.19.12

Enter The Void (2009) Gasper Noe's "Enter the Void" is certainly the Argentine director's most visually impressive film's to date, though definatly not his strongest in terms of the confrontational and provocative nature of his past works. That said, "Enter the Void" is still a film that needs to be seen to be believed on a totally technical basis.

A young drug dealer and his stripper sister are residing in Tokyo when the brother is caught in a police sting and is shot dead while trying to flush his stash down the toilet. His "spirit" then ascends from his body - following the Tibetan Book of the Dead understanding that is all about how the soul is thrust into a veritable "void" after death until the rebirth. He floats around, watching over his sister - as per their childhood pact - as her life spirals out of control - while also keeping tabs on his junkie friends who are equally pathetic...

The 'style' of this one is very similar to "Irreversible", yet for "Enter the Void" Noe uses his signature camera movements and awkward lulls as the primary influence behind the films 'drive'. In the first 30 minutes everything is totally POV of the main character (apparently inspired by the legendary "Smack my Bitch Up" video from The Prodigy) up until his death - blinking included. From there, the majority of the movie is seen from the perspective of his "spirit", which is floating from place to place. This is occasionally broken up by overlapping flashbacks where the perspective here is from behind the main character's head. Overall, the bulk of the film has the viewer watching the action from the ceiling. Of course, like "Irreversible" many scenes go (seemingly) uncut for long periods of time and the swirling camera work (often seamlessly spliced with CGI) and impossible looking angles are awesome. However, Noe uses his familiar technical 'flair' to override the fact that the premise here is pretty dull and there really aren't any memorable moments I can pick out of this one, which doesn't go the same for Noe's previous films "Irreversible" and "I Stand Alone". Also, another thing I felt dragged the film down a bit was the runtime - clocking in at just under three hours. I noticed a few scenes that could've been trimmed down to make for a more briskly paced flick.

Despite all my bitching, "Enter the Void" is a very mesmerizing film if don't bore easily or enjoy watching movies on psychadelic drugs. If anything, I'd say that would be the main "purpose" of the film. It's not as "graphic" as Gasper Noe's prior stuff, but if you're a fan of his style of film than you'll enjoy this experimental mind-fuck experience. Again: It is LONG.

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