Enter the Void
is a movie starring
Nathaniel Brown, Paz de la Huerta, and Cyril Roy.
A French drug dealer living in Tokyo is betrayed by his best friend and killed in a drug deal. His soul, observing the repercussions of his death, seeks resurrection.
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.
Tokyo's nasty underside, seen primarily through the eyes of Oscar, a heavy drug user, whose sister Linda is a stripper. Oscar also has flashbacks to his childhood when trauma upends the siblings. Oscar's drug-fed hallucinations alter Tokyo's already-disconcerting nights, and after the police shoot him, he can float above and look down: on his sister's sorrow, on the rooms of a love hotel, and on life at even a molecular level. The spectrum's colors can be beautiful; it's people's colorless lives that can be ugly. And what of afterlife, is there more than a void?Written by
Gaspar Noé intended the film to be shown at 25 frames per second, rather than the 24 usually used in cinemas. The original cut is 154 minutes at 25 fps, or 161 minutes at 24 fps. See more »
During the first sequence in the "Sex, Money, Power" strip club, the camera and jib/crane are visible in the reflection of the platform the dancers are on. See more »
Hey. Hey, Linda. C'mere. Come outside. I wonder what Tokyo looks like from up there.
I'd be scared.
Scared of what?
Of dying, I guess. Falling into the void.
They say you fly when you die.
It's fucking cold.
See more »
At the Cannes Film Festival the film was screened without any opening or closing credits, the film began with "ENTER" and ended with "THE VOID". See more »
In a nutshell, Gaspar Noe's often exasperating but always visionary Enter the Void follows a man on his journey from his last hours on earth, through his death and his journey into the afterlife. The first twenty minutes or so follows Oscar as he takes a hit of DMT (a very potent hallucinogen) and goes on a visually arresting, if slightly over-long trip. He then leaves his house to give his friend a stash of drugs he owes him only to be chased and shot by police when he gets there. From there, his death and afterlife mirrors the philosophies behind the Tibetan Book of the Dead which theorises (I'm sure I'm putting this very crudely) that one's soul floats around, watching the world without them until they figure out how to leave their old life behind and move on. To recommend this film to audiences is perhaps a wrong turn, as it is bound to strike most as indulgent, immoral, needlessly vulgar and uncomfortable (particularly in Oscar's tendency to watch his sister having sex whenever possible). However, with suitably forewarning, this is a film that any self-respecting cinephile should make a point of seeing, and especially on the big screen.
Noe proved with Irreversible that he was a technical genius and that his eye for original visuals knows no bounds. He also proved that he wasn't afraid to shock his audience and has quite the nasty streak running through his stories. In both visual content and shock factor, Irreversible was merely a precursor to his magnum opus Enter the Void. With an endless stream of nasty images and depressingly dead-eyed unpleasantness, it is difficult to feel anything for any of the characters, but none of this dampens the impact of Noe's probing, soaring, spectral camera as it floats in and out of lives and deaths. I don't know if it has ever been done before but the camera-as-spirit conceit is highly effective and one which puts a very interesting moral spin on the voyeurism of this film. Noe takes voyeurism to extreme, as Oscar's spirit jumps in and out of bodies in often very unusual and even shocking circumstances.
The trouble with Enter the Void is that it is difficult sometimes to know whether to laugh or be shocked. Some of the content is pretty outrageous and even quite silly. However, for every roll of the eyes, there is a gasp of astonishment in terms of the intensity of the cinematic experience. Having now seen this film twice (it premiered at JDIFF 2010 in February), I must say I was pleased to see some superfluous scenes towards the end cut out, giving the film a somewhat more streamlined effect.
Your tolerance for Noe's self-indulgence will most likely decide your level of enjoyment of this, a film I imagine will very much divide audiences, but it is at the very least a visual milestone that should be seen on as big a screen as possible (though somehow I can't see this one gracing Screen 1 in the Savoy anytime soon). A flawed piece, but one flooded with moments of genius.
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