Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
France/Germany/Italy/Canada, 2009. Fidélité Films, Wild Bunch, BUF, Les Cinémas de la Zone, Essential Filmproduktion GmbH, BIM Distribuzione, Paranoid Films, Eurimages, Filmförderungsanstalt, Canal+, Orange Cinéma Séries, Filmarto, Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication. Screenplay by Gaspar Noe, with the help of Lucile Hadzihalilovic. Cinematography by Benoit Debie. Produced by Pierre Buffin, Brahim Chioua, Olivier Delbosc, Peter Hermann, Vincent Maraval, Susanne Marian, Marc Missonnier. Music by Thomas Bangalter. Production Design by Jean-Andre Carriere, Kikuo Ohta. Costume Design by Tony Crosbie. Film Editing by Marc Boucrot, Gaspar Noe, Jerome Pesnel.
Visually splendid rumination on life and death that follows the experiences of American siblings Nathaniel Brown and Paz de la Huertaand their lives in Tokyo. Brown is a drug dealer who meets an unhappy ending at the film’s opening, then spends the rest of the narrative floating around the magnificent city, remembering the traumatic events of his childhood that led him and de la Huerta up to where they currently exist. Gaspar Noe has left behind the unpleasant manipulations of Irreversible, though there is still plenty to find provocative here (including an on-camera abortion), instead going ephemeral in his exploration of the world between life and death and a soul’s journey towards the next cycle of existence. It doesn’t go nearly as deep as it thinks it does, especially for a film that lasts almost three hours, but the constant feed of bright neon colours are highly distracting and the characters maintain a certain level of appeal.
Cannes Film Festival: In Competition
Toronto International Film Festival: 2009