There is no other working director, be it in America or internationally, that makes films quite like Gasper Noe does. He’s maybe the biggest boundary pusher on the scene today. Both in terms of his innovative style and the level of controversy that surrounds his films. Both 1998’s – ‘I Stand Alone’ and 2002’s ‘Irreversible’ (maybe in my top 25 favorite films of all time) blew me away and instantly made me a fan. One of my favorite things about Noe is his ability to enter into and fully takeover his audience’s subconscious. “Enter The Void’ is also one of the first films I’ve seen that it could be 20 minutes into it or an hour and 20 minutes in, and you literally wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. It’s as if you were stuck in a time warp. One thing that I particularly enjoyed about the film this time around, was that it felt very much like a companion piece to the ‘Tree of Life’ (my favorite film of 2011). They both explore a lot of the same existential themes (creationism, birth, life, death, reincarnation, etc). Though unlike Terrence Malick, Noe looks at these same themes from the opposite paradigm. Malick may look a bit more into the beautiful aspects of birth, life, death, and everything in between, while Noe looks at these same things from a very nihilistic point of view. He’s not afraid to show you things that you don’t want to see, which I personally think is very commendable. There is some very disturbing imagery within each of the social contexts, characters, and themes explored in this film. Drug dealers and addicts, strip clubs, sex/prostitution, homelessness, car wrecks, death, family separation, abortion, the list goes on and on. He is depicting the underbelly, the nastiness of life, in an unflinching way, and he is the only filmmaker on the planet who has the audacity to do so. This probably wouldn’t make my top 25 films but definitely my 50 favorite films of all time, which says a lot. Highly recommended if you haven’t seen it already.
Grade: A/borderline A+