Enter the Void – Gaspar Noé (2009)

Enter the Void is a French film written and directed by Gaspar Noé, starring Nathaniel BrownPaz de la Huerta, and Cyril Roy. Set in the neon-lit nightclub environments of Tokyo, the story follows Oscar, a young American drug dealer who gets shot by the police, but continues to watch succeeding events during an out-of-body experience. The film is shot from a first-person viewpoint, which often floats above the city streets, and occasionally features Oscar staring over his own shoulder as he recalls moments from his past. Noé labels the film as a “psychedelic melodrama”.

Enter The Void is a visionary thrill ride that’s riveted audiences at the Cannes, Toronto, Sundance and SXSW film festivals. At Cannes, Manohla Dargis of The New York Times called it “an exceptional work… the work of an artist who’s trying to show us something we haven’t seen before.” The long-awaited follow up to his controversial IRREVERSIBLE, Enter The Void is an immersive and mind-bending experience. Oscar and his sister Linda are recent arrivals in Tokyo. Oscar’s a small time drug dealer, and Linda works as a nightclub stripper. One night, Oscar is caught up in a police bust and shot. As he lies dying, his spirit, faithful to the promise he made his sister that he would never abandon her, refuses to leave the world of the living. It wanders through the city, his visions growing evermore nightmarish. Past, present and future merge in a hallucinatory maelstrom. Nathaniel Brown and Paz de la Huerta star in a visceral journey set against the thumping, neon club scene of Tokyo, which hurls the viewer into an astonishing trip through life, death, and the universally wonderful and horrible moments in between.

Noé’s dream project for many years, the production was made possible after the commercial success of Irréversible, the director’s previous feature film. Enter the Void was primarily financed by Wild Bunch, while Fidélité Films led the actual production. The cast is a mix of professionals and first-timers. The film makes heavy use of imagery inspired by experimental cinema and psychedelic drug experiences. Principal photography took place on location in Tokyo, and involved many complicated crane shots.

Enter the Void is the film everyone wanted “Inception” to be:  mind-bending, transcendent, mesmerizing.While tough on the rear end and not for the squeamish, “Enter the Void” is a cinematic drug trip.

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