ENTER THE VOID BLU RAY ARROW REVIEW

Gaspar Noé became the epicentre for New French Extremism in cinema with his first film IRREVERSIBLE, but on its original release, ENTER THE VOID was both praised and panned by the critical mass for being in the shadow of its older brother. The issue was simple enough to see. IRREVERSIBLE, was a battle cry and one that left you winded like a gut punch. The reaction to it was awe and violent opinion. Stepping into this world was ENTER THE VOID. It had to up the ante and expect the comparisons no matter the result. Now 20 years since the first and 12 since VOID’s release, we can see it with fresh eyes, ears and mouths. We can see how Noe cemented his reputation as the enfant terrible of New French Extremity. We can also see that prehaps the meandering hulk of hallucination, meditation, drungs and death is a mixed bag.

American siblings Oscar (Nathaniel Brown) and Linda (Paz de la Huerta) live in Tokyo and eke out living in the night life of the city. She is a dancer and heis adealer. When a drug deal turns bad and Oscar is shot by the police, it seems their vague exsistence is over. However his death in a public toilet, begins the journey of a soul in flight. Searching his past, present and future. The neon-drenched Tokyo streets, streets of the US and rooms and roads of the night and city he lived in at the end.

Noe ENTER THE VOID is a challenging film visually, requesting as it does, the preamble of a spirit. It is certainly ‘mesmerising’ as Arrows own notes suggest but it is also makes this Benoît Debie (Climax, Spring Breakers) film. For the real power on offer here is the corruption of space and time. We dont really experience a fully coherent story in the directors cut, more a shared experience in a world of neon clash and sound thrash. It lacks a lot in many areas but the film is something that needs time to interact with. You need to be within it. The 1080p restorations have handed it back to us anew(ish). They have made the night light Neon and bulb glow, toned and warm. It has also cleaned up that fuzz from the terrible DVD version that floated around 10 years back.

The new extras are a mess. Alexandra Heller-Nicolas, who is everywhere indeed, has something to reveal but in the end it is rather less than the admission price would suggest. Confusing themes and words like a machine gun mouthed person, on a verbal diuretic. I liked it but I think a lot will be put off. The new video interview with typography designer and long-term Noé collaborator Tom Kan, adds nothing new or interesting to the mix. Where is Gaspar, cast, crew, someone….

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations of both the 143-minute UK theatrical cut and the full-length 161-minute director’s cut
  • Original lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and PCM 2.0 stereo soundtracks
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Enter the Sensorium, a brand new visual essay on the film by author and critic Alexandra Heller-Nicolas
  • Brand new video interview with typography designer and long-term Noé collaborator Tom Kan
  • 8 deleted scenes
  • Archival Making of – Special Effects featurette
  • Archival Vortex featurette
  • Archival DMT Loop featurette
  • French and international theatrical trailers
  • 8 teaser trailers
  • 3 unused trailers
  • Image gallery
  • Limited edition packaging with reversible sleeve featuring two choices of artwork
  • Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Jon Towlson and Rich Johnson, and an oral history of the film by Steven Hanley
  • Fold-out double-sided poster featuring two choices of artwork
  • Six double-sided, postcard-sized artcards

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