Throwback Thursday: Irreversible

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Disclaimer: This is not for the faint of heart. Actually, this and the next two are nor. However, I like an art film like the next person, but for some, this may be a bit much. It is disturbing but watchable.

Irréversible is a 2002 French experimental psychological thriller drama film, written and directed by Gaspar Noé and starring Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel, and Albert Dupontel. The film employs a reverse chronology and follows two men through the streets of Paris as they seek to avenge a brutally raped girlfriend.

Irréversible competed at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival and won the Stockholm International Film Festival’s award for best film.

Irréversible has been associated with a series of films defined as the cinéma du corps (“cinema of the body”), which according to Palmer share affinities with certain avant-garde productions: an attenuated use of narrative, assaulting and often illegible cinematography, confrontational subject material, and a pervasive sense of social nihilism or despair. Irréversible has also been associated with the New French Extremity movement.

The film was particularly controversial upon its release for its graphic portrayal of violence, specifically the scene where a man is savagely bludgeoned to death with a fire extinguisher and its 10-minute long take rape of Alex (Monica Bellucci), who is then brutally beaten into a coma. It had accusations of apparent homophobia as well. American film critic Roger Ebert called Irréversible “a movie so violent and cruel that most people will find it unwatchable”.

If you’re still interested, check out the trailer.

F. M. Laster

“I only like two kinds of men, domestic and imported.” -Mae West

 

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