Camera as consciousness

Gaspar Noe before introducing “Enter the void”

“Enter the void” is a wonderfully mad film, experimenting with the subjective, which could possibly be the next breakthrough in screen storytelling.

This daring experiment in visual representation of consciousness is based on three devices: camera as a point of view, compression of key emotional memories, camera floating above after death.

During the Q&A Noe brings up studies of how brain stores memories, how consciousness reacts to visual stimulus, possibilities of using 3D to better represent life experiences on the screen. One sentence from his talk particularly jumps at me: “in many respects the future is more real that the past.”

While “Irreversible” had a 3 page long script and was done on the fly, “Enter the void” was written in 103 pages during several years. Yet, the structure in “Irreversible” is stronger. There are at least two possible explanations of that:

Perhaps it was meant to be like this. For Noe (at least from what he is saying) “The Void” was to be like a trip, with all pluses and minuses of a trip including an oppressing length (‘my trips were always too long”) and certain meandering. So it is rather an exercise in a state of mind than an exploration of the flow of our lives (which seems to be the theme of “Irreversible”.)


Noe believes in spontaneity and removal of any obstacles to the “creative flow” - he is his own camera operator and insists that the energy has to come to the set at the last minute. Yet, such directorial spontaneity did not seem to translate into the writing spontaneity/freshness and so the basic structure got surprisingly predictable in the long time it took to write/prepare the film. Noe “overcooked” the storyline a bit. If his directorial freshness could be applied to designing (writing) of such technologically complex film as “Enter the void” it could mean revolution not only in screen storytelling but also perhaps a step forward in our self-understanding.

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