Enter the Void
My friend complains that I don't see enough films in the theater, free of distractions as the filmmaker intended. Because of that, I agreed to watch the latest by Gaspar Noe on the big screen instead of waiting for the Blu-Ray as I had planned. I will say that he was right. This film takes the audience on a pretty wild ride, but to get there you have to turn off your phone, turn out the lights and open your mind to the possibilities.
I've always been a defender of Noe and his two previous films, I Stand Alone and Irreversible. Too many people write him off as a sensationalist and a button-pusher, but he's a much better filmmaker than that. I'd go so far as to say that he's one of the top directors working today. This is a concept filled with logistical difficulties and Noe is ingenious with his solutions. This film isn't just a flashy feast for the eyes (and ears), it demands the heavy style placed upon it. A style which yields remarkable results. While the final half hour is about twice as long as it needs to be, this is simply an expertly directed film.
More people would be in awe of Noe's talent if not for his subject matter, which heavily features sex, drugs and horrific violence. But he doesn't display these things to shock you, like say Paul Verhoeven or Larry Clark. There's a dark poetry to the lurid imagery, and I was impressed that the packed house remained respectfully silent, though I imagine at least half of them were not happy with they were watching. I couldn't easily recommend this film to anyone, but if you like Irreversible or Gaspar Noe or have a Really, Really, Really Open Mind for something different, then you might agree that Enter the Void is one of the better films this year.