Festival Du Nouveau Cinema (Day 4)



Gaspar Noe never seems to settle for a conventional narrative. His latest is called Enter The Void and runs at more than 160 minutes. It is long, flawed, repetitive but is also something I have never seen before in cinema and I do mean that as a good thing. If he shocked us all with a 10 minute rape scene in Irreversible, the shock is not as nasty here but he instead decides to resort to trippy psychedelia and images that represent an other worldly existence. His inspiration is clearly Kubrick, most notably the last 20 or so minutes of 2001 expanded into 2 hours. Although there is a story at hand here and a clear belief of an after life.

Taking place in Japan, the film uses the colorful scenery of the country to tell the story of two Americans -brother and sister- that are literally lost in translation. The brother, Oscar (Nathaniel Brown) has turned into a junkie that is hooked on the drug DMT (the chemical your brain unleashes when you're dying) and his sister Linda has resorted to stripping for money- she also has a semi creepy affair with her Japanese manager. The brother gets shot and basically waders around the entire film in an undisclosed life form going through flashbacks, present time and another dimension.

Talking about creepy, there's hints of Incest throughout the film although it never really is revealed what that's all about. Suffice to say, I dug this film quite a bit because of its visionary reaches and the way Noe tries to bring a new way of expression to a cinematic medium that has all but failed in inventiveness the last few years. There's no short of originality here, although I felt completely drained by the time the film had ended. It's an experience that you will likely not forget, to say the least.

Romanian cinema has just been boomin' the last few years, what with that incredible stunner 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days garnering worldwide acclaim in 2007 and of course The Death Of Mr. Lazarescu. I had high expectations for Radu Muntean's Tuesday After Christmas which explores infidelity with long takes and a retainment of emotions. So far, so good right? and for the most part it is but there's only so much you could do with the a story about adultery and with the limitations Muntean sets out. The man in the marriage is cheating on the family dentist's assistant. even worse, Christmas is around the corner and our old buddy is thinking of making a decision that will likely change his life in a major way. Starring Dragos Bucur as the husband, Maria Popistasu a the mistress and the brilliant Mirela Oprisor as the lost and bewildered wife, a memorable performance that sneaks up into you. A Pitch perfect ending helps the film hve a bit more of a groove near its conclusion. A bewildering film I will likely need to thoroughly think about.

Greg Araki's new film has not found a distributor since its auspicious debut at Cannes in early may, which kind of sucks considering I enjoyed many parts of it. It's just a plain old, goofy, stoner comedy with lots of female (and male) flesh. Kaboom will not change the world and will likely not get the cult or critical acclaim Araki managed to get with his last film (Mysterious Skin) but Kaboom has enough interesting bits that I'd recommend it for a night of good old debauchery. Its College humor is unlike any comedy out there- whereas its last 20 minutes are so ridiculous that you need to just uncheck your brain and go along with whatever is fed to you. It all has to do with these damn cookies our main protagonist devours at a party. Lesson of the day- NEVER EAT COOKIES YOU DID NOT BAKE YOURSELF.

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