ALT | Altered States
Another hallucinatory vision from the fecund mind of Gaspar Noé (Irreversible), Climax is an allegory that you can shake it to—if only to keep from shuddering at its nightmarish implications.
Recruiting a troupe of Parisian dancers as his latest batch of playthings, Noé imbeds us in the narrative’s 1996 milieu through the propulsive techno rhythms of Gary Numan, Dopplereffekt and Daft Punk. The film’s opening salvo is a masterful blending of stunning choreography, uncanny physicality and sublime cinematography that leaves you bug-eyed and gasping. And then the LSD-laced sangria kicks in, and things rapidly disintegrate into a mind-blowing amalgam of horror tropes and visually stunning set pieces as the after-party turns into Hell on Earth.
One could not imagine (nor would most even dare to envision) a more dizzying illustration of the technical brilliance Noé brings to his immersive explorations of humanity’s darkest impulses. And, on this occasion, he also reminds us that the devil has always been a dancer.
"Noé has served up another hardcore agape-horror—visually extraordinary, structurally and formally audacious… [He] is giving us a cinema of sensual outrageousness and excess that makes other films look middleaged and tame… Noé makes you experience his cinema intravenously."—Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
Art Cinema Award, Directors’ Fortnight, Cannes 18