Jump to: Spoilers (8)
The first thirty minutes of the film has a background noise with a frequency of 28 Hz (low frequency, almost inaudible), similar to the noise produced by an earthquake. In humans, it causes nausea, sickness and vertigo. It was a cause of people walking out of the theaters during the first part of the film. In fact, it was added with the purpose of getting this reaction.
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Director Gaspar Noé only had a three-page draft before the movie was shot, so all of the dialogue was improvised.
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After the film's premiere in Cannes, the audience sat in almost complete silence until the next movie was scheduled to start.
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Director Gaspar Noé admitted to taking cocaine while filming the scenes in Rectum because he was so tired from operating the camera. When he was finished and the high wore off, he could not move his arms for the rest of the day.
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Newsweek stated that this was the most walked-out-of movie of the year.
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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.
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The "Rectum" is in fact a genuine gay S&M club in Paris, called Club Banque ("Club Bank"), and is located in a former bank. The crew changed the name, redressed the set and added red lighting. The club was spread across the basements of three separate buildings, and it was so cavernous and confusing that many of the crew members became claustrophobic in it.
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Three people fainted during the showing of the film at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.
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The man bludgeoned to death was a mix of an actor in the first few stages which was then substituted with a latex head. Digital effects were added to make the transition more convincing.
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The French DVD release proudly proclaims in the blurb on the back that of 2,400 people at the film's Cannes premiere, 200 walked out.
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This began life as a study of a committed relationship for director Gaspar Noé. He wanted to make the film with a real-life couple and husband and wife Vincent Cassel and Monica Bellucci ideally fit the bill. However, as the trio started workshopping ideas for the film, it started to take on a much darker hue.
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The film was shot in chronological order, with the exception of the end scene -- in other words, the opposite way the film plays out.
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The rape scene was shot a number of times, and the only constraint on the actors, apart from the beginning and the end, was that it did not run over twenty minutes.
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Every single actor in this film is only credited with their last name.
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The entire film was shot on Super 16, telecined to high-definition video for color tweaking and editing, and then exported to Super 35. For many of the handheld shots, the director used the smallest existing 16mm camera, the Minima.
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The tagline ("Le temps détruit tout" meaning "Time destroys everything") is the first phrase spoken and the last phrase written.
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The film was banned in New Zealand and Australia by the Film and Literature Board of Review for it's brutal sexual violence, graphic violence and sex scenes.
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Anywhere from five to fifteen takes of each ten-to twenty-minute sequence were made, some as short as three minutes and some as long as fifteen. Some takes were assembled by using invisible edits disguised with digital post-processing.
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The film is included among the "1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die," edited by Steven Schneider.
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According to a 2018 article director Gaspar Noé doesn't give a damn about the viewer's reaction. He has said he never thinks of an audience when making a film. The focus is always on his own enjoyment.
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On Marcus' bathroom door is a poster featuring the cover art for the Marvel Comics Captain Marvel #1, with the tagline "Out of the Holocaust, a Hero."
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Mick Gondouin was a martial arts practicer and a friend of Jo Prestia. Prestia convinced Gondoin to audition for a part.
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Among the albums visible in Alex's record collection are Brainticket's "Cottonwoodhill" and Cream's "Disraeli Gears."
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During the party scene shortly after (or before) the rape, when Marcus (Vincent Cassel) is asked his name, he replies "Vincent" instead of his character's name. He quickly covers this up by saying "just kidding" so that they would not have to reset the long and complicated shot.
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Monica Bellucci admitted that she had never been able to watch the rape scene in its entirety.
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Gaspar Noé: Fearing that he would be labeled homophobic, Noé went back to the Rectum set after the main production was completed and shot a short cameo as the masturbating man.
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In "An Experiment with Time," which Alex is reading during the last (i.e. chronologically first) sequence in the film, J.W. Dunne postulates the existence of a "time-travelling observer," which in dreams can move backwards or forwards in time to actually observe events which may not have yet happened. These are the "premonitory dreams," which Alex mentions to Marcus and Pierre. Alex earlier describes such a dream to Marcus, where she is in a "red tunnel" that breaks in two.
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The blood on Alex's face and the visible genitals of the rapist, both towards the end of the rape scene, were added digitally afterwards, as were the smashed-face effects in the club fight scene.
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The underpass in the rape scene was painted red and given a concrete-colored foam-rubber floor.
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The book Alex is reading (as shown in the last scene) while she is lying on the grass, is "An Experiment With Time" by J.W. Dunne.
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The entire story is told backwards which means that each sequence starts at that moment where the next sequence in the film ends.
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