In 2019 Gaspar Noé was commissioned to make a 15-minute commercial for Yves Saint-Laurent. Somehow, Noé being Noé, it turned into a 51-minute faux verite satire on moviemaking, with Beatrice Dalle and Charlotte Gainsbourg nominally playing themselves on the set of a postmodern witchcraft movie, “God’s Work”. Dalle is apparently the director, but behind her back the producer and DP are scheming to have her fired – leaving the star in a difficult position (burning at the stake, in fact). Like Vortex, the film is shot predominantly in split screen, and its largely improvised, but it’s also top and tailed with seizure-inducing stroboscopic lights interspersed with references and citations to some of Noé’s favourite filmmakers. Not for everyone, admittedly, the film is buoyed by the witty self-portraiture of the two stars, and by the director’s characteristically go-for-broke taste for trouble making.
Distills Noé’s talents to a more palatable serving size… a savvy indictment of the commercial industry and a wry comedy about filmmaking’s collaborative nature.
Eric Kohn, IndieWire
DP Benoit Debie, who has worked with Noe on all his features since 2002’s Irreversible, sanctifies the material immeasurably, with gloriously lapidary lighting schemes and swooping, soaring movements that always make Noe’s films feel so kinetic. He has a particular knack for shooting women so as to make them look stunning but also natural and even a little freakish at the same time.
Leslie Felperin, Hollywood Reporter
Béatrice Dalle, Charlotte Gainsbourg
French with English subtitles
This film contains extended sequences of flashing lights that may impact people with photosensitive epilepsy. Viewer discretion is advised.
Friday May 20
Sunday May 22
Monday May 23
Tuesday May 24
Thursday May 26
Anthony Vaccarello, Gary Farkas, Lucile Hadzihalilovic, Clément Lepoutre, Olivier Muller, Gaspar Noé
Also screening at VIFF Centre this week
Cinema of Gaspar Noé
Reminiscent of Amour, Gaspar Noé's essential film compels us to look at aspects of life we too often shy away from: declining cognitive powers, the strains and stresses it places on an elderly married couple, played by Dario Argento and Françoise Lebrun.
Enter the Void
Venturing where angels fear to tread, virtuoso filmmaker Gaspar Noé (Vortex) creates a dazzling journey into the Tokyo night, a mind-bending exploration of the outer reaches of human experience inspired by the Tibetan Book of the Dead.