Are they horror films? Are they art house films? Or are they exploitation films? The topic has been debated since the earliest of Gaspar Noé’s films was released back in 1998. No matter what they are called they have shocked both reviewers and audiences alike and caused more discussion than films with budgets a hundred times larger.
Gaspar Noé, a French film maker that has been associated with the New French Extremity wave of horror, received immediate praise back in 1998 by his countrymen’s film critics with his debut movie I Stand Alone, a gritty and dark film about the bowels of French society. By taking a mirror to French culture, Noé’s film was immediately compared to such 1970’s American films as Taxi Driver and Hardcore.
Following the critical praise of I Stand Alone, Noé came back with a film in 2002 entitled Irreversible which caused an uproar at Cannes. With its graphic depiction of violence, its visual staging for shock, and its terrifying representation of human nature, the film put critics in a quandary on whether to recognize its brilliance or be blinded by its severity.
Having become a darling of critics yet trying his hardest not to be, Noé released his latest film in 2009 entitled Enter The Void, a dark and gritty film about expatriates living within the underground club and drug scene of Tokyo, Japan. Part supernatural thriller, part human drama, and part pulp fiction, the void may be actually more than death but an escape from the infinite sadness of the human spirit.
Philip takes the mic yet again and brings you the down and dirty of Gaspar Noé and his three films to date. Whether a fan or a detractor, everyone must admit that his three films have brought strong reactions to anyone having the fortitude to view them.