As our avid twitter followers (nobody) will already know the factoseintolerant authors have been on a forced hiatus due to #beingbusy. I personally finished my semester the week before last but I couldn’t bring myself to write anything until now because for some reason this is starting to feel a bit like work. I have also decided to take a bit of an unforced hiatus from my top 5 list, or perhaps this is just a sabbatical or repose, it could be a possible furlough although I am not sure if any of those terms connote a specific length of time I promise to finish it up sooner or later. Back in the day, a good film was hard to find on Netflix instant play. I think the first thing I watched after getting my account was Logan’s Run (M. Anderson, 1976) which if you know anything about speaks for itself, but in recent years they have drastically expanded their selection in both quantity and quality. This has worked wonderfully for Netflix; a not so recent New York Times article said something to the effect of Netflix had added as many new subscribers last quarter as it did in the first five years of business. I also can’t help but assume this has contributed to Blockbusters recent bankruptcy and subsequent purchase by DISH Network. All of this is well and good but they forgot to take into consideration the unfortunate ancillary consequence that has now arisen in the form of my unmanageably long instant queue. Sifting through the mess and muddle of my queue for a decent film can now take just as long as watching it. Luckily, my good friend factoseintolerant (not to be confused with the website of the same name, we are legally obligated to make this distinction) developed a revolutionary new software program entitled the Netflix Instant Queue Decision Engine. It begins with the prompt “Hello there DonnyBagg, how many movies are in your Instant Queue?” Then you proceed to enter in the number of films in your instant queue, in my case 257 excluding television series, and it answers “I think you should watch number [x]…bitch.” Unnecessarily offensive but it is effective nonetheless. This particular iteration requested I watch number 8 which is Soudain le Vide [Enter the Void] (Noe, 2009). I have to admit I lucked out and landed on something I assume will be very good, but, as with all games of Russian roulette, it is only a matter of time before I force myself to keep my eyes open during Baby Geniuses (Clark, 1999). Now please excuse me while I go watch this film.
Well that was certainly something different. It felt like an entire feast for my eyeballs. I wasn’t even sure I could even be that visually impressed with a film. Describing the movie would be almost pointless it is just something you sort of have to see to experience but most people should find Enter the Void magnificently stunning to look at. There is some sort of story line but it isn’t tremendously important, most of the film takes place as flashbacks of the main characters life and a drug and bullet induced psychedelic out-of-body experience. I had heard of Gaspar Noe previously and Irreversible (Noe, 2002) had been floating around my queue for quite some time but this is the first of his films I have actually watched. How good a movie will be usually depends on some combination of the directing, acting, and writing abilities among other things. For Enter the Void, 90 percent (or any other arbitrary percentage above 50) of the score can be derived from its director. The acting is almost nonexistent and the writing is nothing to write home about but Noe manages to make some of the most creative and complicated shots I have ever witnessed and I have witnessed quite a few movies in my day. Enter the Void is an outstanding film and fun for the whole family, so long as the whole family is over 18, comfortable with graphic and hardcore sexual images, open to constant drug use and overuse, it wouldn’t hurt to be pro-choice, no history of epileptic seizures or traumatophobia, and I don’t know quite how to put this – just an overall loose standard of morals and ethics. On second thought, perhaps it is best to watch this by yourself or just with friends.
So I enjoyed Enter the Void overall but there are definitely a few drawbacks and downsides. The first problem is its length. The visuals are extremely interesting and unique in the beginning but after 161 minutes most of that luster seems to fade. It can be a struggle to get through in one sitting but I think it generally pays off. If it doesn’t ensnare you within the first 20 minutes, I doubt you will make it to the final 20 minutes. The second problem is its story. As I previously stated, Noe works wonders as the director but they really don’t bring much to the table in terms of acting or writing. Toss in some endearing characters and a few plot twists and this movie would be elevated from terrific to amazing. I just spent two and a half hours watching the movie and I can’t remember any of the characters names. Not a great sign but also not that big of a deal. This isn’t so much a drawback as it is a missed opportunity. The final problem is that you always have to list things in threes and I don’t really have a third problem, wait I might have something. At first, I was concerned that it was all a big rip off of the Prodigy music video for Smack My Bitch Up since it is shot almost exclusively in the first person and shares many similar thematic elements but Noe cited that video as one of his many inspirations for the film so I guess it is alright however this does take away some of the originality. So I give it:
4 out of 5 hits of dimethyltryptamine
On an unrelated note, I recently watched Ajeossi [The Man from Nowhere] (Jeong-beom, 2010) a Korean action/revenge movie (the only type of action movies they make) that was fairly phenomenal. I don’t have time (not true) or enough to say about it (more true) to write a full article but I felt it deserved an honorable mention because good action movies are few and far between. Most of the stuff we produce is aimed towards the large portion of mindless douchebags in our country and since the audience directly reflects the quality of the film e.g. Fast Five (Notgonnalookitup, 2011) it is usually necessary to go overseas to find anything worthwhile. The Man from Nowhere is worthwhile. Am I really the first factoseintolerant author to write something in almost a month?