Love 3D. What the fuck? Is what I thought when I first heard about Gaspar Noe’s next feature following Enter The Void. The 3D statement, and the posters more recently suggested more of a satirical look into modern cinema as well as LOVE in general, dumbed down in modern day terms. What is love? What is film? What the hell is Gasper doing?
And seeing through all the promo, the neon styling, and the overt imagery (I love a bit of neon), I can sit back and watch people get sucked in. I love it, I love how uncomfortable people get with stuff like this. They almost forget what teasers, and posters are made for.
So I saw the film with a friend at a fairly quiet screening at Cinema City in Norwich last night. The youngest in the room, best seats in the house (Screen 2, further to the front, don’t get caught out with back seat dreaming guys). No ads and trailers, Gasper’s short, almost uncomfortable intro, and were in there, smack bang in the middle of a couple’s tired efforts of intimacy, and in 3D. Drawn out, no cuts, and were all there, watching, daring not to move or make a sound. My eyes scan the entire frame, working out the depth of field, taking in the colour, the faces, and with no attempt at glossing over the scene, I do wonder what I’ve got myself in for. I’m fucking tired, and I start to wonder if I can handle it, but I can’t stop watching.
I’m a sucker for nice colour, art direction, and most importantly; films about film-makers. Murphy’s flat, the movie posters, VHS tapes, (I’m still craving a 3D image-viewer by the way), and I like how Noe’s toned it right down for Love with the camera work, but it’s all there, throughout, even in the washed out distressed looking scenes. The cinematography is my initial drawing point for seeing the film in the first place, and it doesn’t disappoint.
I don’t really want to talk about the sex, yeah there’s a lot of it, you know that before you even start watching, and there’s so much sexuality explored in the film that you are kind of desensitized by the end, which maybe is the point, you just look at the characters state of minds, and explore their emotions, which build up the bigger picture in your mind, amongst the colour, the depth of the visuals and the music (which was actually really cool).
I loved some of the dialogue, I really loved it, it gets a bit drawn out towards the ending and a bit annoying sometimes, but the character statements really worked, and I actually got a few laughs in there. Even though on paper Murphy is a complete dick, I liked him, I wanted him to be all right, the relationship between him and Elektra’s ex, the gallery owner was classic, and it just worked. I liked all the characters, they didn’t seem forced, or pretentious, which could have been a massive problem in such a story.
My only issue with the characters was the blonde, Omi, I kind of wanted more from her. She just came across like a bit of a stupid idiot, and I felt sorry for her and kind of wanted her to get a bit more out of the film by the end, but she just pretty much disappears. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a Mum myself, but every time I lost interest was because I started disregarding Murphy’s actions, and his lack of compassion to Omi, even though they’ve got a kid, but I guess boy’s are just stupid.
I’m a huge believer in film’s being an experience, other than black and white 3 act structure, like most recent disappointments I’ve had at the cinema. And I kind of let the lack of complete characterisation slip the net, because I still get it. The film kind of just rounds up life, it is sentimental, and there are points (quite a lot of them actually) where vulgarity is literally projected out of the screen, and I took the hit. The themes in it aren’t something most of us haven’t felt, but the film has been put together in such a way that is quite rare in film, and it does make you think.
I was quite disappointed by the recorded Q&A after, Gasper’s nonchalance didn’t quite fit with my reaction of thinking the film was a bit of a dig at modern cinema, audiences and restrictions in formatting that stop people seeing real emotions on screen, he just stripped the whole idea back to it’s most simplistic form. I’m kind of an over thinker, but I don’t think you can take an audience into the personal realms that he has with Love and then simply say he felt like it afterwards. But I do like the route he’s gone on with this one, even though there’s no hidden graces, no twists, no secrets, it’s like we are given complete control on what were watching, and it particularly worked in this.
Like most of Noe’s films, they’re undoubtedly made for the big screen, you get the full effect, and like he said in the Q&A, you are given a kind of tunnel vision with the shitty plastic glasses, that you wouldn’t usually have, so you are given this seedy experience personally. It’s a kind of one off to be honest, 3D as it is, is very short term in cinema’s future, and it’s not the sort of thing that could work with most independent films, it’s the first 3D film I’ve seen at Cin-City anyway, so it is interesting in itself because of that. I hate 3D, but it was kind of nice to get put in the picture this time round. And I must end on the credits, the font, the colour; the best looking creds I’ve seen in a while!