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
Monica Bellucci and Jo Prestia completed six takes of the rape scene over two nights. Bellucci claimed the first take was actually the easiest to do, since on subsequent takes she had a heightened awareness of what was going to happen and had to prevent this from interfering with her characterization. See more »
When Alex is in the bed with her boyfriend and they get up to dance, the whole film crew is mirrored on the glass of the window. See more »
I've been reading the most amazing book.
So what is it?
It says that the future is already written. It's all there. And the proof lies in premonitory dreams.
Wow! It's putting us to sleep already!
Even dreams are bad news.
I often dream I'm sleeping. It's my only dream.
Well, at least you relax!
See more »
The "N" in the "Studio Canal" logo at the start of the film is backwards. 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 »
Overrated shock value, devoid of any real art, and not a particularly good film...
This film is ugly, brutal, depressing, visceral, and hopeless. The first time I saw it, I was devastated. I reeled for days afterwards. But seeing it a 2nd time, I didn't care for it as much, in fact, I feel I've been had. Its impact is really felt the first time you see it, because seeing it the 2nd time, you realise a lot of things about it that aren't particularly good. Most of the dialogue is poor (most of it was improvised, and not very well), the violence of the film is purposely over the top, and Noe the director seems to delight in showing nasty stuff without really bringing a sense of art to it. He enjoys rubbing your face in the sleazy, horrific violence, but has no purpose other than saying "life is brutal". I can't deny that the film did have a great impact upon first viewing, but too often when one's sense are assaulted (like they are here), you can mistake that for great, artistic film-making.
Technically, the film is astounding. It was shot mostly in long takes, but edited together with CGI effects (the smashing of the head in the gay bar at the beginning was done digitally, as part of the rape scene). It's definitely a curiosity, but realise what you're getting into. It's really not for the squeamish. The opening scene in the gay bar is dizzying and brutal, and the rape scene is beyond brutal. Noe films the rape scene in one take, which makes it even more difficult to watch. Is the film art? No, it isn't. Simply because the film polarized audiences doesn't make it art (a common assumption by people). Noe's films (he's only complete 2 features) aren't really deep or anything, just pessimistic and brutal.
A telling episode about Noe happened a year or so ago. The IFC Theater in NYC has a feature they do occasionally. They bring in a filmmaker to introduce a film they admire. Noe showed his first film, I Stand Alone, and Pasolini's Salo. After Noe's film concluded, he talked to the audience on why he wanted to show Salo. All he talked about was the coprophilia scenes (aka the s**t eating scenes). He didn't talk about anything else that Salo had to offer (in terms of its message on fascism, sexual perversion, the cinematography, the production design). Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom is actually an excellent film. It's incredibly depressing and brutal, but has a real sense of art and is a genuinely controversial film, even to this day. Noe's films (he's made only 2) are not like this at all. Both I Stand Alone and Irreversible hit you in the face the first time you see them, but you shake it off, and Noe has nothing more to give you. This film has no resonance at all. It's just for shock value.
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