If you read my post about films to check out from Cannes, there's a chance that you are at least vaguely familiar with director Gaspar Noe's Love. While I do not have high hopes of it making the Oscars shortlist, or even a longer list for that matter, I do think that there's something interesting about Noe's work in general. He is an aggressive filmmaker who is very explicit yet stylish in how he portrays everyday life. For those with a strong stomach, there's a chance that you might find his work appealing. With his latest film Love already getting mixed reviews, it is interesting to see the first trailer for the film which yes, is a little NSFW as predicted by the subject matter. However, it does seem to promise something as surreal and bizarre as we'd come to expect from him.
To summarize Noe is to get into the darker side of world cinema. The director came to prominence with Irreversible which featured a notorious rape scene done in a long single take. He also incorporated sounds that would make the viewers uneasy. His follow-up was more surreal with Enter the Void, which was a literal out-of-body experience over the course of 161 minute running time takes us through a neon colored landscape full of car crashes, sex, and other bizarre things. It is also technically challenging, mixing practical effects with odd coloring in a hypnotic, largely non-narrative fashion. It is both beautiful and repulsive.
It is a perfect mindset to come into Love with. The director has made note that the story is going to be very sexual and explicit. Following last year's four hour epic from Lars Von Trier called Nymphomaniac, it definitely feels like an odd time for sex in cinema. However, where Von Trier explored the emotional side, Noe is likely to explore a more visceral and responsive side to the situation. Again, I don't feel like this is a film destined for Best Picture nor do I think it will be an easy recommendation. However, I do think that there's merit in recognizing directors who make non-traditional films, or just really good ones.
I want to restate that the trailer at hand is a little NSFW. If you had any concern about shocking imagery, just go ahead and do something else.
The film looks essentially to be selling itself on the shocking appeal of Noe. With the final moments implicating semen over the screen, it should immediately tell you if you're going to be into this. However, the trailer definitely shows off the more explicit side of this (and if the trailer gets pulled in the future, I apologize for those reading this later). There's nudity and a lot of sensuality bumping into an aggressive music. Still, the trailer doesn't have too many pretensions and thus allows us to get a sense of who this film is for. If you like Noe, then maybe you can like this. Even then, it's not immediately a guarantee.
Here's the plot description according to IMDb:
A sexual melodrama about a boy and a girl and another girl. It's a love story, which celebrates sex in a joyous way.
So who knows what specifically that means from a man who made films about rape and dead drug dealers in the past. Either way, it is likely to be a challenging film that may not end up on a lot of Best Of lists, but will make for a striking experience. I don't know that I will be doing a lot of coverage on it, but seeing as it vaguely interests me, it may get at least a review in the future. We'll just have to wait and see.