Enter the Void ★★★★½

Certain films you love because they touch you personally. Others you love because they tell a story so gripping you feel part of it yourself. Some you love for their part in shaping you as a cinephile, even as a person. Then there are the handful of films you love simply because you must love: because they represent so bold an authorial vision, so striking a view of the world, so wholly unique a perspective on life through cinema, that love is all you can respond with. Enter the Void, to my eyes, belongs in a very elite club. Its fellow members, those that come to mind at once, are 2001: A Space Odyssey, Synecdoche, New York, and The Tree of Life. These are films which, whether or not they struck me in any of the three other ways I mention, have a rare totality about them. They are not just the summations of their creators' imaginations, they are their creators. This film is Gaspar Noé, encompassing entirely his stylistic, thematic, and narrative proclivities. It's interesting that I should say this given that I personally still prefer Irreversible, but there is no denying that to watch Enter the Void is to spend 163 minutes in Noé's brain, to see the world through his eyes, to experience his vision of life. I have qualms with it, yes, but I respect it in a way I respect few films. Completely engaging throughout, a technical masterpiece at every level, an uncompromising presentation of sheer personal vision. It's brilliant.

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