March 30, 2003

Irreversible

This fascination with holding for just too long within the cameraís gaze the repulsive as well as an obsession the evils of the anus can also be found in Irreversible (2002, Gaspar Noť), a film I went to see later in the day. A strangely misogynist and homophobic movie, despite its hetero masculinity revenging the defilement of the woman plot and the mourning for an afternoon between lovers marred by tragedy to come narrative. Real life husband and wife, Vincent Cassell and Monica Bellucci, play the lovers whoís story of a hellacious day is told in reverse, with each scene blending into the one which brought it on, by way of dizzying hand held pans to the ceiling. In fact, the filmís almost exclusive use of hand held camera work made me want to vomit, not for itís lack of taste or polish, but for the sheer fact of feeling like youíre being jounced around in the bed of pick-up on an unpaved road throughout the picture. Noť uses his wayward camera to penetrate his places and moments of ultimate heterosexual male fear, like the S&M gay male club called without irony, the Rectum which his protagonist and friend searches for La Tenia, the Tapeworm, a name also bestowed with scant parodic self-awareness. Unfortunately for his viewers, Noť does know how to hold an uncomfortably long shot and does so, during the nearing-infamy sequence when La Tenia anally rapes Bellucciís character in an underground walkway. In these moments, the brutal bashing in of a club patron confused for the rapist included, the viewer longs for distraction, or at least for an eventual ejaculation, but Noť makes them a long time coming (no pun intended). Instead, he appears to want to revel in all the voyeuristic possibilities the camera offers, whether it be menacingly following a naÔve Bellucci two steps behind down the corridor, when we know sheís about to be assaulted, or while Bellucci and Casell cavort intimately nude in the way long time lovers reside just beyond each otherís skin. All of this detailed looking and yet, Iím not sure ultimately what it is that Irreversible sees.

Posted by karen at March 30, 2003 3:21 PM