In the mid 1990's, 20 French urban dancers join together for a three-day rehearsal in a closed-down boarding school located at the heart of a forest to share one last dance. They then make one last party around a large sangria bowl. Quickly, the atmosphere becomes charged and a strange madness will seize them the whole night. If it seems obvious to them that they have been drugged, they neither know by who nor why. And it's soon impossible for them to resist to their neuroses and psychoses, numbed by the hypnotic and the increasing electric rhythm of the music. While some feel in paradise, most of them plunge into hell.Written by
While the movie is supposed to be set in 1996, which is confirmed by the clothes, the music and the lack of smartphones, the French spoken in the film is very much 2010s, with many anglicisms or other recent verbal tics heard throughout the movie. This is due to the improvised dialogue from the cast working off of a five-page script. See more »
The credits begin with "A CEUX QUI NOUS ONT FAITS ET QUI NE SONT PLUS" ("to those who made us and who are no longer" in French), followed by "VOUS AVEZ VU UN FILM TIRE DE FAITS REELS SURVENUS EN FRANCE AU COEUR DE L'HIVER 1996" ("you have seen a movie taken from real events in France in the heart of winter 1996"). See more »
As an exercise in pure viscera, Argentine provocateur Gaspar Noé mostly pleases with Climax. A group of dancers unknowingly drink spiked sangria which slowly warps their afterparty into an LSD-soaked nightmare. With a premise like that, it may be evident that this is a film meant to be experienced rather than thought about. The pleasures of Climax come nearly entirely from its sheer audiovisual power: the ceaselessly pulsating score, the fluid one-shot takes, the lurid colors. It's closer to performance art than what most people would characterize as a "movie" and should be approached with that mindset if you're to enjoy it. However, as enjoyable as its best sequences are, the lack of nearly any thematic depth imbues much of the film with a subtly nagging tediousness. And even when viewed purely from an experiential perspective, it is far from watertight in its pacing and flow. Still, there is a cumulative power in its sound, visuals, and theatrics that's hard to deny.
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