“I think it’s a great film, but maybe 40 minutes too long.”
It happens to me really rarely, but I didn’t manage to finish “Enter The Void”. At the start the movie is really promising, it looks cool and edgy. But later on it just gets unbearable. Too long, too messy, too pretentious. It’s a pity, because there are some interesting ideas in it, but they are really bad-developed or over-developed. So I guess “Enter The Void” is fairly overlooked. But there is a positive side. I got to know the movie “Fear” by Gerald Kargl, which Gaspar Noé himself considers as a major influence on his directing. Have a look on this gem and you’ll find out why, the camera work looks pretty much the same.
I think there was a stranger version of The Book of The Dead that inspired Enter Void. He also watched some obscure movie while on shrooms so that may have inspired his psychedelic imagery and style.
About Paz De La Huerta:
She acts with her tits.
Then I guess I did enjoy her acting…
I greatly appreciate the graph representing the viewer’s response to the movie as time goes on. I’d like to see more of these.
He claims to have watched LADY IN THE LAKE on shrooms and been inspired by its first person storytelling. Not obscure, but understandably forgotten because of how weird the results are and how inadequate the technology at the time was to imitate human vision (I think VOID pulls it off quite well however).
@takaawesome: um, sure……they’re good actors, but they’re too small for me.
@Ben Simington: Incredible, watching this clip from Lady in the Lake feels like watching somebody play one of those old awkward interactive movie point-and-click adventure game. It has the same weird and almost indescribable atmosphere to it, surreal. I dig it. Very much so.
This is another film that I can’t grasp the hate for. I’ve heard adolescent as an argument; elsewhere, I’ve read that people dislike what they see as the psychoanalytical explanation (that one would seek an explanation says something, I’d think).
To me, this is the first film to take a CG-centered aesthetic and attempt to fashion something of the spiritual from it. In that sense, I think it’s also related to Tree of Life, which finds an end in what seems to be an incredibly resilient optimism, a real hope for light at the end of the tunnel. I find myself more attracted to Noe because he’s willing to set as his focus the most despicable, strange parts of humanity, he’s willing to dig in and attempt to find whatever beauty flows through and within us, what beauty, for example, could be sought in sex, something that for the film’s universe seems so degraded and meaningless, either a matter of commerce or of gross anatomical interchange (the vagi-cam referred to earlier is hard to defend, indeed).
So, I suppose I say all of this to ask: what do people who hate this movie hate about it?
“…he’s willing to dig in and attempt to find whatever beauty flows through and within us…”
See, I don’t think he digs in and attempts to find much of anything, really, especially not beauty. I think the next part of your sentence (about sex) “…something that for the film’s universe seems so degraded and meaningless,” is what he does attempt (and succeed) at presenting to us. He illustrates hollow, depressing sex in yes, a very adolescent way – hence the vagcamera – and he does this for what, 40 odd minutes? So for me, it really is in the last third that Enter the Void really lost me. It became so tiresome and monotonous and pointless for me by the time the film ended. And Noe has definite talent, I think that’s undeniable. it’s demonstrated in the first hour of this film, which is what makes this film as a whole all the more disappointing. A talented man who is more interested in trying to provoke rather than actually creating something with substance. Mostly everyone I know in real life who has seen/liked Enter the Void praise the aesthetics and on that level I could get on board with them. But whereas they may see the film as a masterpiece, I see a wasted opportunity.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen the film, but that’s my gut-response to your question. But I wouldn’t say I hate the film. I disliked it by the end, but it didn’t boil my blood or anything.
DFFOO that graph was spot on.
The car crash scenes were so powerful. It just went bang and then a few minutes later bang bang bang, so I understand why some people wouldn’t want to see this. I had to cover my eyes at some of the more gratuitous moments and the people behind me did not stop moaning about how bad the film was.
I didn’t think it was too bad, I’m not really much of a fan of Noe but it’s clear that this is his vision. The acting was also a let down, sure, and the back of the boys head wasn’t aesthetically appealing. I heard like most people it was based on the Book Of The Dead but the scene were he said “Hey check out this cool book, it’s the Tibetan Book Of The Dead” was surely one of the worst deliveries ever. Maybe to find it thought provoking you would have to also take whatever cocktails of drugs Noe has taken in his life.
“, I think Noe’s approach to filmmaking is remarkably amateurish”
Amateurish? you have got to be kidding him?
i’m not a fan of Noe, but that is the last word i’d use to describe his film making style.
He is the film maker that Aronofsky wishes he had the talent and balls to be!
Although truth be told i prefer Wrestler to any of Noe’s films, but that’s mostly because of Rourke.
I love the graph Drunken Daddyo ! hahahahaha it’s amazing !
Going back to Enter the Void, do check out our reviews and short interview on our blog :
“think the next part of your sentence (about sex) “…something that for the film’s universe seems so degraded and meaningless,” is what he does attempt (and succeed) at presenting to us. He illustrates hollow, depressing sex in yes, a very adolescent way – hence the vagcamera – and he does this for what, 40 odd minutes? So for me, it really is in the last third that Enter the Void really lost me.”
If we were talking about I Stand Alone or Irreversible, I’d completely agree with you. As much as I want to love those movies, I can’t quite bring myself to embrace them because of this kind of tail-chasing misanthropy. With Void though, the aesthetics create a surplus that I don’t think this kind of reading can contain. How are we to understand the glowing pulses of energy in that long scene in the cat house? How does the point of view and the way in which it interacts with moving in and out of energy flows move into this critique? This is where things get complicated. I mean, look, the vagi-cam stuff is pretty stupid, poorly-executed, whatever. But I don’t think it’s easy to explain or to find a reading that can fit it, at least not as easy as many critics of the film seem to think.
And would I be overstating my claim if I said that Noe’s one of the first guys to use a CG-centered aesthetic and to make that aesthetic work within its own specificity and logic? That’s where the Tree of Life connection becomes interesting for me because Malick wants to use this imagery in order to contextualize one movement within a larger movement that comprises the universe and everything in it, whereas Noe turns it inward, eschewing transcendence to get at the sticky points within us, in our unconscious, using the camera and POV to attempt to find something else in escapes into subjectivity, into the things that make us tick. Unlike his other features, Void seems to be looking for something like transcendence. But where Malick seems a bit overly sure of what he finds, Noe seems to end the film with a question mark regarding what he finds, but the question mark’s more appealing to me than the nihil-games he plays in the other films.
I like that people are bringing up The Tree of Life/Enter the Void comparisons. I thought I was the only one who saw the comparisons. Watching this it felt like Noe doing a Malick film. Visually. As for story I did not find it entirely deep and too obvious. I think mentioning the Tibetan Book of the Dead from the start was too pronounced. Maybe a quote or passage.
I didn’t hate the film. I loved its visuals and the way it is shot to tell a story. I wish it was better, deeper, and contemplative story though.
@Cait: “I didn’t hate the film. I loved its visuals and the way it is shot to tell a story. I wish it was better, deeper, and contemplative story though.”
I agree with you for the most part. But as thought provoking as Enter The Void sometimes is, I don’t think Noe is capable of making an entirely contemplative/Kubrickian work. I thought Malick perfectly executed everything in Tree of Life, from the visuals to the contemplative scenes to the more personal family scenes. Noe is more style than emotion, but he did find the perfect balance with Irreversible if you ask me.
Pretty sure we should have a thread dedicated to movie response graphs now
I don’t agree with many who believe Enter The Void is a pretentious movie. You are, in a way, giving it too much credit. While I did not admire the film besides its incredible visual appeal, I think pretention is irrelevant.
As Ben Simington mentioned above, he came up with the idea of the film by tripping shrooms and watching a first person film. It is pretty clear to me that once he had visual inspiration, he just threw in a bunch of “Noe-ish” outrageousness including death, sex, incest and whatever other weird shit he could think up. He disregarded plot, dialogue, reason, focus, meaning, and everything else.
Enter The Void is exactly what it looks like. It is as shallow as a Sandler comedy. I’ve watched the film again recently and well, it’s so fun to look at that I almost forgot how silly it is…