Time Destroys Everything

// August 7th, 2007

 

Le temps détruit tout.

It is the theme of Gaspar Noé’s Irréversible, which I finally saw last night upon a film friend’s recommendation.

Through the narrative of the film, much like Memento in which the story is told in reverse, time is indeed destroyed, not to mention the protagonists themselves in one way or another.

This film is very raw, powerful, troubling, and even nauseating for some at times. It’s infamous for having 200 people walk out of its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. This would largely be in part to the first 20+ minutes of the film during which the camera constantly moves & swirls & circles disoriented in a dark S&M club while a low 28Hz frequency noise (similar to an earthquake) hums in the background - a noise which can cause nausea & vertigo. Then there’s the extended rape scene of Monica Bellucci. Not for the faint of heart for sure.

Beyond the shock, however, the film is fascinating in its time narrative and cinematography. At first, the camera movement seemed to just be disorienting to mess with the audience b/c it could be, but then I realized that it strongly conveyed the strong emotions & experience of the scenes. It’s definitely the type of film that leaves an impression on you after you’ve seen it. Love it or hate it, it’s a work of cinema through & through & if you love cinema like I do & can bear it, then it’s worth a viewing.

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