Murphy is an American living in Paris who enters a highly sexually and emotionally charged relationship with the unstable Electra. Unaware of the effect it will have on their relationship, they invite their pretty neighbor into their bed.
A woman on the run from the mob is reluctantly accepted in a small Colorado town. In exchange, she agrees to work for them. As a search visits the town, she finds out that their support has a price. Yet her dangerous secret is never far away.
Events over the course of one traumatic night in Paris unfold in reverse-chronological order as the beautiful Alex is brutally raped and beaten by a stranger in the underpass. Her boyfriend and ex-lover take matters into their own hands by hiring two criminals to help them find the rapist so that they can exact revenge. A simultaneously beautiful and terrible examination of the destructive nature of cause and effect, and how time destroys everything.Written by
As would be expected of a film which runs backwards, the "end credits" are actually displayed at the beginning of the film. There are no credits at the end of the film, except for a title card which reads "Le temps détruit tout" (Time destroys everything). There are no studio logos after this. See more »
The Hong Kong version is cut (despite being given a Category III rating, meaning under 18s are prohibited from watching this film) for nudity and sexual violence. Most genitalia is blurred or pixelated except for the digital penis. Alex's rape is butchered by 5 mins. Le Tenia rapes Alex and all of a sudden, he is lying beside her! See more »
I just watched Irreversible....very difficult to watch. On the surface, the movie is very exploitive. It simultaneously arouses the two worst feelings possible: anger and helplessness. Below the surface, the movie may be more depressing than the rape of Monica Bellucci and the mistaken vengeance that it inspires. I think there's a deeper philosophical idea underlying this movie and it's not a happy one. At one point we see a poster of 2001: A Space Odyssey as the movie keeps segueing into the past. How is Irreversible related to 2001? Recall how Kubrick showed a very brief glimpse into the prehistory of humans at the beginning of 2001, before leaping far into the future Space Age? And in both time periods, Kubrick's work is imbued with a chronic pessimism about humanity. During the prehistoric era, our capacity to evolve and survive depended on the ability to create crude tools which we promptly used to exterminate rival gangs of pre-humans. In the Space Age our ability to break the bonds of Earth and explore Space depends on our ability to create more sophisticated tools: building and programming supercomputers, like HAL. But eventually that also winds up biting us in the ass. Noe, does the opposite, sort of. He shows segments of three individuals' lives but he starts in the Present and keeps going back further to the past. Noe seems intent on showing how what happens to humans is not just dependent on the past but, in fact, strictly determined by the past. At the end of the movie he has apparently gone all the way back to the Big Bang (Really intense flashing white light and sonic rumbling from the audio track). What is Noe getting at? Is it something more deeply pessimistic than even Kubrick dared imagine? What does Noe mean by the title "Irreversible" ?
Is it that conditions for the subsequent evolution of our universe were fixed by the initial conditions of the Big Bang and nothing can change what happens later; and the really radical idea that this strict determinism applies to human actions just as much as it does to, for example, star formation in some far-flung corner of the universe??? That humans do not in fact possess Free Will but are just part of the universe undergoing changes by responding to forces and psychological pressures which all follow precisely from what has happened in the past?? If this is what Noe is conveying, it is very very DARK in a way that goes beyond Kubrick: we're not just violent and hedonistic, we really don't have any choice in the matter. For Noe, being "One With The Universe" isn't a pop slogan from the 60's accompanied by warm feelings of emotional wellbeing; it's a stark physical fact involving a collapse to nihilism. As Time destroys everything, maybe there are no good or bad deeds, just simply "deeds", or as a physicist would call them, "events". Noe = Nietzsche ??: Psychologically, intelligent beings can't evolve in any other direction: the struggle for existence forces us to conceive of ourselves as Free. One of necessary preconditions in the struggle for survival may be intellectual Error. Our perception of ourselves as free sentient inner-directed Agents: just a little joke played on us by the universe as it bends us over and we take it in the Rectum.
"Irreversible": the universe as one big Process that, once set in motion, will evolve according to it's own laws and cannot be changed even by human awareness of this Process since our awareness is just one aspect that's been set in motion. Anyway, I hope this isn't what Noe intended because it's very depressing. And even if Noe didn't intend this, maybe it's true nonetheless. Scary thought.
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