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Film Review: ‘Enter the Void’ Takes Viewers on the Next Ultimate Trip

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CHICAGO – “Dying would be the ultimate trip.” This line is uttered early on in “Enter the Void,” the extraordinary new film from Gaspar Noé, a director who enjoys referencing his previous work almost as much as his hero, Stanley Kubrick. This line pays subtle homage to the “2001: A Space Odyssey” poster prominently framed toward the end of Noé’s previous film, “Irreversible.”

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 5.0/5.0
Rating: 5.0/5.0

Just as Kubrick delivered on his promise to present moviegoers with the “ultimate trip,” Noé seems to be making a similar promise with this wildly ambitious feature, which he defines as a “psychedelic melodrama.” Yet while many audience members took assorted drugs to enhance their moviegoing experience during the initial release of “2001,” Noé aims to viscerally convey the sensation of a drug-induced high, allowing viewers to fully lose themselves within the world of his central character. “Void” comes as close any picture in the history of cinema to recreating human perception in all of its nuance and complexity. It is a staggering achievement.

StarRead Matt Fagerholm’s full review of “Enter the Void” in our reviews section.

As the film opens, we are peering at the vibrant landscape of Tokyo through the hazy eyes of Oscar (Nathaniel Brown), a small-time drug dealer scrounging to get ahead. He’s recently been reunited with his adoring sister Linda (Paz de la Huerta), who’s just moved in to his apartment. Both siblings are weary of each other’s chosen profession. Oscar has difficulty watching men ogle his sister as she performs in a strip club, while Linda is worried that her brother’s so-called friends will turn him into a junkie. This first section of the film seemingly takes place in real time, as we follow Oscar from his apartment, where he slips into a series of drug-induced hallucinations, to a club where a rendezvous with a wronged friend turns out to be a betrayal of fatal proportions.

‘Enter the Void’ stars Nathaniel Brown, Paz de la Huerta, Cyril Roy, Olly Alexander, Masato Tanno, Ed Spear, Emily Alyn Lind and Jesse Kuhn. It was written by Lucile Hadzihalilovic and Gaspar Noé and directed by Gaspar Noé. It opened on Sept. 24 at the Music Box. It is not rated.

StarContinue reading for Matt Fagerholm’s full “Enter the Void” review.

Gaspar Noé’s Enter the Void was released Sept. 24 at the Music Box.
Gaspar Noé’s Enter the Void was released Sept. 24 at the Music Box.
Photo credit: IFC Films

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