Archive for July 11th, 2010

(France 2002 99m) DVD1/2

Time destroys all things

p  Christophe Rossignon  d/w  Gaspar Noé  ph  Benoît Debic  ed  Gaspar Noé  m  Thomas Bangalter  art  Alain Juteau  cos  Laure Culkovic

Monica Bellucci (Alex), Vincent Cassel (Marcus), Albert Dupontel (Pierre), Jo Prestia (Le Tenia), Philippe Nahon (Philippe), Stéphane Drouot (Stéphane), Michel Gonduin (Mick), Mourad Khima (Mourad), Jean-Louis Costes (‘fist’ man),   

The idea of having a film’s narrative run in reverse wasn’t a new one.  Memento had done it superbly, and surely had an influence on Gaspar Noé’s film, yet in all other respects the films could not be more different.  Christopher Nolan’s film was, to all intents and purposes, a mystery, and the backwards narrative aimed to get us to the point where we understood the beast.  Irreversible has no mystery, it just unravels slowly, falling backwards as if down a flight of stairs like that ball of wool in Delicatessen

            It begins, or should we say ends, with Philippe Nahon, naked in a sort of asylum cell, discussing how he came to be there, referencing the finale of Noé’s earlier Seul Contre Tous in which a slaughterhouse worker sleeps with his daughter.  A shocking enough start, but merely a way of saying we’re in the same primeval world.  From there, we descend below to the ominously named gay club The Rectum, and two people are being dragged out, one unconscious and another very much conscious, to be taken away following what seems to have been an unprovoked murder.  As the scene ends, we find ourselves with the said two characters as they first descend into the bowels of The Rectum in search of a man called Le Tenia.  They repeatedly battering a fire extinguisher into his face…only it isn’t him, we know the real culprit is rather watching the murder.  (more…)

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