Climax ★★★

I've never taken LSD, and I've learned from CLIMAX that it can lead to dancing yourself to death under red lights and an upside-down camera, although ENTER THE VOID made DMT look fun. Just say no! To get serious, my opinion of CLIMAX kept changing while I was watching it, and when I was standing in the lobby afterwards, I thought "there's no way I can be sure what I think about this without some time and consideration." Both of those are the sign of a worthwhile, if not exactly major, film. I'll just say that Neil Bahadur is not exactly wrong when he called this "kinda stupid." A racially and sexually diverse dance troupe having a collective bad trip that leads to violence as a metaphor for contemporary French life is forced, and feels like a thin justification for the film's narrative. (I kept thinking that this was a better version of the SUSPIRIA remake.) Yet Noe is a talented enough director that this has a primal, nightmarish power. Forget about what it's "trying to say," it expresses something real through its combination of color, camera movement, choreography and music (extremely well-chosen, from the use of Gary Numan covering Satie at the beginning.) It's harder to parse what exactly that adds up to. but it stems more from the unconscious than the ostentatious display of books by Bataille and Kafka and VHS tapes of Pasolini, Buñuel, Argento and Zulawski films in the first scene would lead you to think.

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