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Mind-Altering Cinema:

Enter the Void
Directed by: Gaspar Noé
Thursday, November 11th, 10 a.m.,
Thalian Hall Main Stage
Friday, November 12, 10:15 p.m., Thalian Hall Main Stage

Cucalorus comes armed this year not only with bugs, but with a wasp’s nest of lethal films worth screening. Believe me, I’ve seen many of them! But I’m prepared to pinpoint one movie as the most interesting —a film that movie fans should feel bad about missing. A film so entrenched in getting an audience’s creativity flowing, that it just may instantaneously breed a new swarm of innovative creators.

French filmmaker Gasper Noé goes against the grain of Hollywood filmmaking in his latest piece of art, “Enter the Void.” He takes the norm of Tinsel Town, chews it up, swallows it, and vomits it out over and over again. Folks who have seen “Irreversible” will know what I mean. Those who haven’t should make it a point to pencil in “Enter the Void” during Cucalorus to fully grasp this filmmaker’s immense talent.

We are very lucky to have this movie showing in Wilmington, thanks to the persistence of the Cucalorus staff. It has been floating around the festival circuit all year; I was lucky enough to see one of its first screenings at Sundance. It was a version that was cut down from the original 163 minutes from Cannes to 154 at Sundance. The wide release and final ride on the circuit has it locked in at 142 mind-altering minutes.

“Enter The Void” has a way of making the audience feel like they’re on a hallucinatory ride, weaving in and out of a very intense neon-filled, drugged-induced porn coma. Perhaps it will turn some on—or maybe it will turn them off and then on again. How so? The film literally takes on the viewpoint from its lead characters, creating a plot driven entirely through their eyes. The brilliant cinematography has a way of seeming like the camera is inside each viewer’s brain. Set in Tokyo, Noé takes us on the intense journey that his American characters are on. In essence, it’s first-person, interactive cinema at its best.

Sure, I could divulge what happens in the story. I could give the plot to readers in a sweet, little package. But I won’t. It would take away from the experience that each individual needs to have with this film.
“Experience” is the keyword here. When someone recommends a film to me that they really enjoyed, I don’t want to always know what it’s about. And, so, that is what I am doing—recommending the film to encore readers. As a movie fan, it gives me optimism in what else I will see from Noé. As a production designer in the industry, it sets the standard for something I aspire to work on in the future.

Though viewers may feel a little crazy in the end, there is no excuse to miss “Enter the Void.” It’s showing twice at Thalian Hall Main Stage on November 11th at 10 a.m. and on the 12th at 10:15 p.m.

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Encore Magazine regularly covers topics pertaining to news, arts, entertainment, food, and city life in Wilmington. It also maintains schedules and listings of local events like concerts, festivals, live performance art and think-tank events. Encore Magazine is an entity of H&P Media, which also powers Wilmington’s local ticketing platform, Print and online editions are updated every Wednesday.

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