Sundance 2010 Review: ENTER THE VOID
Editor's Note: This review was originally published on January 24 as a Sundance Film Festival review.
Writer: Gaspar Noé
Director: Gaspar Noé
Cast: Paz de la Huerta, Nathaniel Brown, Cyril Roy
I should not be writing my review for Gaspar Noé's ENTER THE VOID in such a standard way, typing my thoughts on the film using my computer. I should shout my perspective on ENTER THE VOID through a megaphone while parachuting naked.
I will not be giving the world the gift of that image, but I do think Noé would be proud of the chance I would be taking with my craft. Sorry, Gaspar, I'm not as bold as you. As traditional and simple is not Gaspar's style. Fortunately, boundary-less and innovative is accurate for Gaspar Noé as a filmmaker.
Gaspar unleashes style techniques that force your full involvement in ENTER THE VOID. When it all begins, we are inside the head of drug dealer/addict Oscar (Nathaniel Brown) as he is having a conversation with his sister Linda (Paz de la Huerta). This point of view of scene features special Noé touches that disorient and engange (which describes a lot of what Gaspar does with ENTER THE VOID). In this opening sequence, occasional bursts of blackness flash across the screen. This could represent the act of blinking of Oscar. It also creates a sense of mild confusion for the viewer as we through the eyes of Oscar, giving us a taste of the altered way that drug addicts likely see the world even when they are not using.
After Linda leaves, Oscar takes to his drugs, and the trippy shit really begins. As we are in Oscar's head, we experience the trip with him, slowly floating through striking, vivid colors and designs, feeling the intense power of Oscar's favorite release. We are truly Oscar now, we are in the film, not merely watching it, and this never changes.
Eventually, as the story progresses, the film's transitions between scenes happen by going through various objects in a highly-stimulating process featuring a free-range camera diving and gliding into an eruption fluttering lights and colors. Noé is showing us just how far you can get take the film medium, and it is captivating and exhausting.
ENTER THE VOID does displays graphic images, usually in the form of sex acts, but there aren't any more graphic then what happens behind closed doors in real life, and there are no closed doors for Noé. From this stand-point, the film is felt as a honest deception of a life. This is what happens, this what sex can look like, and this how Oscar would have really seen it. ENTER THE VOID is a reflection of a the life of a fictitious character that becomes real through Noe's techniques.
After the 2 hour 40 minutes-plus experience known as ENTER THE VOID, you will be exhausted. The film drains with you a style that makes you feel the weight of the life that it is depicting, and it is not afraid to show you anything, and in any way. And it is all worth it to witness a film that is so affecting and technically impressive. You will be awed, and you will need to lie down after as well.
Commenting Rules: Comments are intended to open up the discussion to our readers about the topics at hand, and as such should be offered with a positive and constructive attitude. If your comment is not relative to the above post or is disrespectful to the authors and readers, we reserve the right to delete it. Continued abuse of our good nature will result in banishment of the offender. Additionally, if you have any burning issues to point out to the GATW crew - typos, corrections, suggestions, or straight-up criticism - please email us instead of commenting here.
Pingback: Tweets that mention gordonandthewhale.com » Blog Archive » Sundance 2010 Review: ENTER THE VOID -- Topsy.com