Enter The Void (2009) – Gaspar Noe


Here’s a schizophrenic experience if ever there was one.

You are a small time drug dealer in Tokyo’s neon-lit Red Light district. Your apartment is literally right below the blinking fluorescent marquees of strip clubs, bars, restaurants, DVD stores. You are also a drug user, more precisely you take psychedelics because the changes in perception seem specifically appealing.

It is possible you are trying to understand your life from a holistic perspective.  You want to simulate disembodied consciousness. Every relationship in your life you connect to a previous memory. You suspect there is an original volition, a primal scene which serves as the basis of your whole existence.

In your ‘drug trips’ you imagine you die, you imagine you walk through walls, you travel places and time, and you can enter people and embody them. There is no boundary between your self and the world.


Here’s a movie to emulate.

A small-time drug dealer dies during a police bust at a bar called The Void. His soul floats over the city overlooking the emotional damage effected upon his sister. To justify his sentimentality he separates his life in three parts: Past, Present, and Future.

1. Past

He and his sister are orphans after a car crash takes their parents lives. Quoting countless ‘Amour Fou’ films typical of French cinema, an emotionally charged incestuous bond develops between the siblings.

2. Present

He deals drugs to make ends meet. She works at a strip club. He watches her. She is freer than he will ever be. After all, she is a woman. He is simply a man, which in this world is the destructive force of the universe. No better than waste.

3. Future

He decides to reincarnate as his sister’s baby. But she aborts him. A lifetime of unfulfilled desire, leading to a certain death.


“Enter The Void” is the pinnacle of what the French call ‘auteur cinema’. A statement-film which lampoons any emotional involvement by offering as an alternative to sentimentality a purely aesthetic experience of light, sound, and perspective– drawing on experimental ‘flicker’ films, and using top of the line special effects to simulate physically impossible viewing angles.

Think of Wong Kar Wai’s “Fallen Angels”, mixed with the best of Abel Ferrara, and the floating withdrawn timepast perspective of Terrence Malick’s camera, and you have this.


Categories: Notes

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