Cinematic torture

With the news that Gaspar Noe is premiering his next picture -Soudain le vide- at Cannes in May, I can't help but think of his last cinematic endeavour. One in which the word 'controversial' can even be seen as a major understatement. Irreversible was released 6 years ago to this day and people are still talking about it. When I first saw it in theatres close to 1/3 of the audience had already gone for the exits halfway through the film.

It is inevitable that the first thing anyone will mention regarding that film is the highly graphic 10 minute rape scene- some say its 9- depicting an innocent Monica Belluci getting raped in an underground metro tunnel. I'm still dumbfounded and highly critical of it as a work of art but I cannot deny the impact it's had on the cinematic community, if anything it has liberated filmmakers and broken barriers of what we can and cannot do. Although that infamous rape scene always gets a chunk the writing- there is another scene involving a brutal beating w/ a fire extinguisher. Its shaky hand held camera also does not help in indulging nauseating feeling and helplessness. sounds like fun eh ?

The film ends with a scene of utter delicacy. A man and a woman make love and the camera pans to the sky and ultimately to the heavens- the notion that 'time destroys everything' is hammered to us in its backwards storytelling style- reminiscent of Memento, a far better film- and ultimately when all is said and done you leave the movie theatre or pop open the DVD player knowing you've seen something unique and very special. now is that a good thing or a bad thing ? how far is too far ? Irreversible broke many barriers and -love it or hate it- it's an indispensably important film.