Climax

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Finch
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Re: Climax (Gaspar Noé, 2018)

#26 Post by Finch » Mon May 14, 2018 5:16 pm


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colinr0380
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Re: Climax (Gaspar Noé, 2018)

#27 Post by colinr0380 » Wed May 16, 2018 1:41 am


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colinr0380
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Re: Climax (Gaspar Noé, 2018)

#28 Post by colinr0380 » Tue May 22, 2018 2:40 pm

And here's a Guardian interview with Noé, getting upset that not enough people walked out of the Cannes screening! :)

Going back to that poster on the previous page "You hated Irreversible...You loathed Enter The Void...etc" and the seemingly more positive critical reaction to this latest film makes me think that Noé might have (inadvertently?) solved one of the major 'problems' in his last couple of films. It seems to me that it is not quite so much that people reacted against the extreme material of Noé's films (as implied by the poster), although such material does feature, but instead his work was grueling in a different form of just taking forever to reach a certain inevitable conclusion. Enter The Void, for all of its amazing visuals and camerawork, was the extreme end of this, especially in its longer running version. And a lot of this I think has to do with the filming style of constantly having a small scene have to have about a minute of 'entrance' and 'exit' in and out of a location, because it is all meant to be seamlessly flowing together as one shot. That sort of meant that, Enter The Void in particular but also Irreversible, ended up being 'baggier' in the sense of having a lot of time spent on transitioning between scenes (I found it that technique captivating and kind of disturbing in Irreversible, especially in the build up to the central tunnel assault scene. But in Enter The Void, perhaps due to the lack of engagement with the character and each scene having an easily graspable 'point' that could be noted in seconds, I found myself as a viewer constantly being dragged away from any character identification into more of a guessing game as to where and how the camera would leave each scene!). That coupled with Enter The Void having an extremely low key score (almost subliminal afterlife thrums) made it difficult to sit through, but in a different way from not being able to stand the extreme material on display! I actually thought that 'drone cinema' was going to be a primary characteristic of Noé's work - the need to create an interesting premise coupled with innovative visuals but then to almost undermine his own success by smothering the interesting aspects by gruelingly running past what even the most indulgent audience member could handle in terms of duration! (I also think there have always been moments where Noé breaks the fourth wall to acknowledge this and confront the audience directly with almost astonished bewilderment that anyone has managed to keep going so long into the film! The 30 second count down in Seul Contre Tous is perhaps the most blatant version, but there is also that cheeky "watch out!" jump moment just before the final Love Hotel sequence in Enter The Void, placed to seemingly tease/wake up the audience for the final movement! Interestingly in Love the most mechanically grueling, drawn out sex scene is placed at the very opening of the film)

Yet all the reports of Climax so far suggest that it is Noé's shortest film since Irreversible (even a couple of minutes shorter than that, at 95 minutes compared to Irreversible's 100, the 135 of Love and 160+ of Enter The Void), as well as that trailer suggesting that the action is going to be quite heavily soundtracked, rather than scored (which was something that really began in earnest over multiple scenes with Love). So I wonder if brevity and music has combined into making an (accidentally?) audience friendly Noé film! Maybe the soundtrack has forced the tempo of the film to speed up to match the rhythm?

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zedz
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Re: Climax (Gaspar Noé, 2018)

#29 Post by zedz » Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:17 pm

Climax, or, My First Improv Workshop does Reefer Madness. I probably liked this the best of any Gaspar Noe film I’ve seen, but that’s solely because of a few lively dance sequences near the beginning. The rest of the film is, as usual, dumb as a sack of hammers, a thirteen-year-old boy’s idea of what ‘adult’ means. Most of the film consists of unimaginative free-form communal freakouts that Noe thinks will become miraculously interesting if he turns the camera upside down and colours everything red. Alas, no. There are some stiff dialogue scenes at the beginning that are supposed to provide character background, but they’re really just more amateur-hour acting exercises, of a different nature. The characters remain a fundamentally undistinguished mass of ciphers with minimal differentiation (The Flamboyant Gay One, The Ladies’ Man, The Pregnant One, The Mother, The Incest Siblings), so I actually found it pretty funny at the end that Noe bothered to solve a whodunit that I can’t imagine anybody but himself cared about. As you’d expect, there are some whimsical and meaningless formal gimmicks imposed on the film, but for me this was all downhill after the end credits.

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Re: Climax (Gaspar Noé, 2018)

#30 Post by swo17 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:57 pm

Opening credits?

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zedz
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Climax (Gaspar Noé, 2018)

#31 Post by zedz » Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:11 pm

Oh swo, you’re so square. The real cool kids put the opening credits in the middle of the film. It’s more dangerous that way.
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The film opens with the final scene and the full closing credits. The opening credits come somewhere in the middle and the film ends abruptly with the penultimate scene and title card.

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Never Cursed
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Re: Climax (Gaspar Noé, 2018)

#32 Post by Never Cursed » Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:16 pm

The Captain, which I saw today, did this as well - the title card comes a good half-hour in and
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the final "scene" runs with the end credits over it

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swo17
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Re: Climax (Gaspar Noé, 2018)

#33 Post by swo17 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:27 pm

zedz wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:11 pm
Oh swo, you’re so square. The real cool kids put the opening credits in the middle of the film. It’s more dangerous that way.
SpoilerShow
The film opens with the final scene and the full closing credits. The opening credits come somewhere in the middle and the film ends abruptly with the penultimate scene and title card.
Oh. How anticlimactic.

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Re: Climax (Gaspar Noé, 2018)

#34 Post by black&huge » Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:59 pm

zedz wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:11 pm
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The film opens with the final scene and the full closing credits. The opening credits come somewhere in the middle and the film ends abruptly with the penultimate scene and title card.
That's how Irreversible was sans the middle thing. I don't understand repeating this esepcially if it's from the same director.

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zedz
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Re: Climax (Gaspar Noé, 2018)

#35 Post by zedz » Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:24 pm

Mungo wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:16 pm
The Captain, which I saw today, did this as well - the title card comes a good half-hour in and
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the final "scene" runs with the end credits over it
Claire Denis did this (very well) in Bright Sunshine In, since that scene really is integral to the film (and packed with dialogue). Loznitsa's Donbass does it too, but it's a single extended shot, so not that unexpected.

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Re: Climax (Gaspar Noé, 2018)

#36 Post by david hare » Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:30 am

It helps that Claire is an artist of the highest pedigree and Noe is now an ageing fratboy with erection problems.

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colinr0380
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Re: Climax (Gaspar Noé, 2018)

#37 Post by colinr0380 » Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:18 am

One of the best recent versions of playing around with the credits comes in Raging Sun, Raging Sky where they turn up three quarters of the way into the film with the big stylistic shift from mundane to mythic!

I think putting the end credits at the beginning of the film only really seemed appropriate with Irreversible, but all Noé's films since have featured it, even though the later films rearrange time in a more interesting manner than simply reversing it!

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furbicide
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Re: Climax (Gaspar Noé, 2018)

#38 Post by furbicide » Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:39 am

I guess once you’ve hit the peak that is Enter the Void’s credit sequence, there’s no other way to go but down.

https://youtu.be/dL0lNGXoP8E

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colinr0380
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Re: Climax (Gaspar Noé, 2018)

#39 Post by colinr0380 » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:04 pm

...and you get "THE VOID" at the end of the film, bookending the period of death and purgatorial ghostly wandering before the problematic reincarnation.

That's actually what I mean by the way Noé does not really need the backward credits post-the appropriate usage in Irrreversible. The most important thing is really "ENTER" and "THE VOID" are separated.

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R0lf
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Re: Climax (Gaspar Noé, 2018)

#40 Post by R0lf » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:53 pm

Given also that the subject matter is very close (I haven’t seen CLIMAX yet) is opening with the closing scene while the end credits roll just a callback to BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS?

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Re: Climax (Gaspar Noé, 2018)

#41 Post by eerik » Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:04 am


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Lost Highway
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Re: Climax (Gaspar Noé, 2018)

#42 Post by Lost Highway » Sat Sep 08, 2018 1:58 am

Saw this last night and didn’t think much of it. There is an early dance sequence where I thought this could be fun, but then it gets tedious soon.

The film takes place entirely at one party in one location. The first half consists of inane sex chatter by the party guests, during the second half everybody behaves like Isabelle Adjani during the freak out scene in Possession. That was great for five minutes in that film. It gets pretty boring when it goes on for 45 minutes and of course nobody here has the charisma or talent of Adjani. The scene in Possession also feels more like a dance piece than the interminable writhing here, which is disappointing considering the entire cast is made up of dancers. Not making enough of the cast’s talents by abandoning dance sequences after a poorly judged, overhead second dance sequence half way through, when talking the characters are as irritating, shallow and dislikeable as those of any Noe film.

The most surprising thing for a Noe film is how tame it is. I thought it would go much further in the depravity and atrocity department and sure,
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not everybody makes it out alive,
but in the end this is just one particularly shitty party rather than the decent into hell I was expecting. There were a few walkouts during my screening but I expect they were due to boredom rather than outrage.

The few moments of levity are supplied by the dancer from Berlin, which went down well at Berlin’s Fantasy Filmfest where I saw the film. Benoît Debie‘s cinematography, the music and the titles are the strongest point as with any Noe film and but even Debie’s green walls/red lights colour scheme has looked better in other Noe films. Otherwise I’m not sure why this was so well received apart that it isn’t as punishing as some of Noe‘s other films.

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Re: Climax (Gaspar Noé, 2018)

#43 Post by domino harvey » Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:39 pm

Coming in January from Arrow UK

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Brian C
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Re: Climax

#44 Post by Brian C » Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:10 pm

A24 finally got around to releasing this theatrically - that's some real IFC-level hold-it-for-a-year crap they pulled, but whatever - and so I was treated to the spectacle of a Noe film playing at my local AMC megaplex.

It's the kind of thing where I agree with both the rapturous reviews and the film's detractors. It's an immersive and original work, as cinematic as the day is long in terms of technique and visual artistry. For the first 3/4ths of its runtime, it's completely and at times even thrillingly watchable, although narratively it runs out of steam and stalls out over the final 20 minutes or so.

But I can't say that any of it meant a thing to me other than its watchability. There was never a point when it's engaging on a character level or when it feels like we're even watching what are supposed to be real people. It felt allegorical to me, although I'll be damned if I have any idea what the allegory is supposed to represent aside from some weird moralistic panic about the effects of LSD. Frankly, I think the movie would have benefited a great deal by jettisoning the LSD angle and just letting the party spiral out of control for unexplained and unaddressed reasons.

Overall, the crowd seemed pretty nonplussed, but it is downtown Chicago after all. There was a group of 5 twentysomethings a couple rows behind me, and when it was over, they were trying to figure it all out. "Noe's trying to tell us SOMETHING," one of them said, perhaps a tad bewildered. And I thought, if only that were really true.

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Re: Climax

#45 Post by dda1996a » Sun Mar 10, 2019 2:00 pm

You could conceivably say the film is about our base desires, the roles the sexes play and how each character's particular role gets undone. But honestly I watched this in a packed, rare screening and just let the fun pass over me. I do wish we would have gotten less top shots of dancing and two shots of sex talk, and more dancing like the first proper scene. But this was a fun film non the less

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Brian C
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Re: Climax

#46 Post by Brian C » Sun Mar 10, 2019 2:15 pm

dda1996a wrote:You could conceivably say the film is about our base desires, the roles the sexes play and how each character's particular role gets undone.
Conceivably.

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tenia
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Re: Climax

#47 Post by tenia » Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:55 pm

While I quite liked Enter The Void and (though a bit less) Love, but Climax left me totally cold after 15 minutes or so. The opening dance sequence is thrilling, but that's pretty much it. There's just nothing much to it, it's Noé as its most empty but also its most predictable. Noé's writing here seems on auto-pilot but unfortunately, visually speaking, this movie also looks like a parody of his usual tricks : sickly filtered photography (red, green), spinning camera, long tracking shots, even the striking credits are back. I've seen it all already, and when the LSD kicked in, I couldn't care less already. I think the high number of dumb superficial characters isn't helping either. They're 25 and I might remember vaguely 4 or 5, including 1 because Kiddy Smile is playing him and I've seen it on a TV show a few weeks earlier. All I could think was "they keep going from a room to another, can't they just go outside and get out of there if it's such a hellhole ?"

I guess the movie pretty much is about our pulsions, and how one can put a mask on when swimming through a crowd, but there's so little interesting about the characters that nothing in there made me want to look deeper. And the final 20 minutes are pure Noé self-indulgence, between the cheap camera thrill and the kid in the locker.

The movie doesn't particulary have a good reputation in France, but still, I expected a bit more than this, which in the end feels like a 30 minutes short pointlessly extended to a 90 minutes movie.

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Never Cursed
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Re: Climax

#48 Post by Never Cursed » Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:23 pm

I enjoyed this as a compulsively watchable and intermittently boring nightmare, something like Antichrist, but a lot less interesting. Everything is gripping and hyperstimulating without being headache-inducing, and Noé deserves at least a little credit for making some interesting images and long takes out of a seriously anemic script. Speaking of which, I'm a little torn on whether or not the lack of differentiation between the characters is such a glaring flaw, at least in the way that some have described it as above. It is meaningless (and a little funny) when any of the assorted partygoers talk about one person or another as though they're at all distinguishable by personality traits, and I question how valuable the looooooong interview introductions are when we get much flashier first encounters right afterwards in the opening dance sequence (and then again drifting through the party, and then again in the second dance sequence). At the same time, though, if Noé is saying anything at all with this movie, it's not something about the base desires of his loathsome characters so much as how objectifying and reducing people down to adjectives can have disastrous consequences when done to and by people with ill-intentions. That's certainly the point of a lot of the conversations (the aforementioned montage of two-shots, the manager's monologue about her limited self-worth, the various accusations over who spiked the sangria) and the awful things that happen as a result, but it, like everything else, still feels a little undercooked (surprise, surprise) when shit hits the fan for everyone. Still a stimulating and mildly impressive (at least technically) experience, though this definitely isn't either a runaway masterpiece or a middle finger extended at the audience (though it is closer to the latter than the former.)

As a side note, how this got away with an R-rating while The House That Jack Built has to slum it in a censored version stateside (unless you import) till the inevitable Criterion blu-ray is absolutely beyond me. This movie is straight-up less tame and more extreme than the Von Trier (and with a lot less to justify its extremes, too), and I cannot believe that of the two, this is the one that a group of people whose job it is to rate movies thought would play less extremely to a wide audience.

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Re: Climax

#49 Post by dda1996a » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:05 am

It's easy to see why though. The people here are drugged and go crazy irrationally. Jack is inside a demented serial killer's head. I dont agree but I can see why.

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Never Cursed
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Re: Climax

#50 Post by Never Cursed » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:40 am

I would agree, but this is so much more intense and stylized than the Von Trier! There's nothing visceral or slick about the violence in The House That Jack Built, whereas this movie is all about aestheticizing and prettying up various horrible things (which happen in just as much detail, or worse). I mean, Climax straight up has
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unsimulated self-harm (i'm pretty sure), miscarriage-by-kicking, graphic suicide, a child death almost as detachedly sad as in the Von Trier, and other bits of graphic violence and sex,
all of which is extremely flashy and filmed to be as "cool" as possible. I guess this is all subjective, but how is it that all that is okay, but the comparatively pedestrian murders of Von Trier's film need to be partially cut, especially when the "more objectionable" movie functions as an attack on the same excess that the "less objectionable" one is celebrating?

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