98. Enter the Void (2010)
summary from imdb.com:
After living in Japan for some time and finding employment as a drug dealer, a brother sends for his sister to move Japan and live with him. With a story out of sequence, this film shows the brother and sister in their intimate moments. The experience is jarring at times and blissful at others. The setting is the Japanese redlight district of the very near future. The sister gets involved with sex and drugs and the brother lives dangerously. With their parents gone from a horrible car crash (seen more than once), all these two really have is each other in an exploitive world. The brother and sister associate with many deceptive people and the reveal of the deceiver’s true nature and actual motives is constantly surprising. It is the view from the otherworldly that makes this a thrilling story. From their childhood to recent events, this film builds with the significant facts. Within the tenets of a foreshadowed guide to the experiences after death, these young adult sibilings keep their pact not to leave the other.
written/directed by: Gaspar Noe
starring: Nathaniel Brown, Paz de la Huerta
Reviews from film festival screenings
Abortion/Life Content: [won’t even be playing in theaters until September]
Another scene shows doctors beginning to carry out an abortion and later provides a close-up of an aborted foetus.
To avoid ranting, let me conclude with a list of things that Enter The Void does that earns it zero stars: showing an aborting, showing multiple close-ups of an aborted fetus…
With the third act, Noé returns to Oscar’s disembodied POV and the visuals get even more surreal: a model city of Tokyo becomes a dream palace where past, present, and presumably future converge, Oscar bears witness to Alex’s degeneration into homelessness, and watches his sister’s abortion of her boss’s love child (and in case you weren’t sickened enough, floats closer to an eyeball-searing inspection of the bloody fetus—take that Mr. Castle, with your Percept-O and Coward’s Corner!). Gradually, Linda and Alex overcome their poor lifestyle decisions and come together as lovers, unknowingly presenting Oscar a chance at potential rebirth…
Initially, Oscar has to physically fly from location to location, but eventually, discovers a way to travel via light sources (into the light bulb in his apartment, out the table lamp in Linda’s strip bar), but towards the end of the film, he seems to be able to travel at random (and absurdly so—he flies into a burning stove element in Linda’s apartment and then out of her navel in the abortion clinic!).
…a swooping close-up of a screamingly fake aborted fetus swimming in a dish of very real-looking blood… […]
Even more graphic in its display of organs and orifices was Gaspar Noé’s Enter the Void. Like Resnais, Noé is enthralled by the crane-mounted camera, although the range of expression he wrests from its aerial maneuvers is far more limited. A neo-psychedelic trance movie, this visceral voidoid is shot entirely from the subjective point of view of a young man who, within the first 10 minutes, is gunned down in the filthy bathroom of a Tokyo club. Having promised his sister that he would protect her forever, he—or rather his disembodied spirit—hovers around, until he achieves reincarnation in a way that recalls a much-quoted line from Chinatown. Enter the Void is careless and dopey, but visually quite interesting, and I might have cut it more slack if not for the aforementioned fetus, which, although supposedly first-trimester, looks like a very tiny but fully formed infant. I’m sure that Operation Rescue would happily put it in their educational videos.
Worst Use of Close-Up: Enter the Void
Gaspar Noe’s sprawling psychedelic head-trip is a technical masterpiece, with each scene literally traveling to the next by floating over Tokyo rooftops or swooping through lightbulbs, sink drains and bodily cavities. Fine — but the slow, spiraling descent into a kidney-shaped tray holding a freshly aborted fetus proved to be a little….how do you say? … much.