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*** Official IRREVERSIBLE Discussion Thread


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#1 of 101 OFFLINE   Justin_S

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Posted January 18 2003 - 02:45 PM

Lions Gate has announced they will be releasing IRREVERSIBLE (aka TIME DESTROYS EVERYTHING) uncut and subtitled in the U.S., with an NC-17 rating, on March 7, I believe. I don't know about you all, but this is one film I've been literally dying to see for a while now! I am very happy that Lion's Gate actually has the balls to release this film uncut, and they are one of my new favorite studios for such committment to original cinematic visions! I am so first in line when this film gets released!

#2 of 101 OFFLINE   Jason Whyte

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Posted January 18 2003 - 02:56 PM

Old news announced ages ago, but Lions Gate is to be commended for putting out a very ballsy film (which made #7 on my Top 10 films for 2002) that will no doubt shock many (if its previous festival runs are any indication Posted Image).

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#3 of 101 OFFLINE   Jason Seaver

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Posted January 18 2003 - 02:58 PM

Keen. I know it's due to play the Harvard Film Archive sometime in the next month or so, and I was planning on seeing it there, since you never know whether these movies will actually wind up playing at the big art houses (yes, I recognize the contradiction. I love living in Boston. Posted Image.
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#4 of 101 OFFLINE   MichaelPe

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Posted January 19 2003 - 08:24 AM

Oh my... this movie will definitely shock most Americans. I'm assuming you all know what happened at Cannes when it screened during the festival.

For the record, this was #3 on my Top 10 list.

#5 of 101 OFFLINE   Justin_S

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Posted March 06 2003 - 08:07 PM

Well, today all of my hard to maintain patience will finally pay off, as I will finally get to see this film which I have been so highly anticipating for an unbearably long time now! I'm going to have to travel quite a distance to see it, but I'll have seen it by midnight, and I can't bloody wait!

#6 of 101 OFFLINE   Peter Kim

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Posted March 07 2003 - 01:31 AM

I watched this on dvd a couple of weeks ago. Although my ability to understand French is limited, I was able to understand most of the story...

...and it's the most disturbing film I've ever seen. I knew the basic skeleton of the story and thought I was prepared to sustain a psychological blow. I'm not sure if I did.

Despite the incredibly violent imagery, the film possessed a resonance and ultimately found redemption in its portrayal of humanism. It is a stunning film, both literally and figuratively. An argument arises, whether the extreme and graphic nature of the portrayed violence shocks the viewer into a numbness, ultimately neutering the redemptive qualities of the film.

In the end, I found the finish of this film to linger for days, longer than any other. Its unraveling depiction of the chaos theory is powerful and ultimately very sad.

A true spoiler - for those who have seen this film, can you explain what happens near the chronological end of this film? At the start of the film, we see Marcus and Pierre kill who they think assaulted Alex. They got the wrong man. What happened? I think I know why, but would like another interpretation/perspective.


Anyway, this movie fucks with your mind or taps deep into your soul. Or both...and invariably does. Good or bad? Yes.
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#7 of 101 OFFLINE   Scott_MacD

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Posted March 07 2003 - 04:25 AM

I recently saw this film in the UK, and like so many of us here, I was blasted back by it's incredible and repulsive imagery.

My original feelings are that it's unlikely the film would reach my top 10 of any year, but an uncanny power and resonance lets it linger in the memory, far longer than most films I've seen thus far this year.

I did not look at the screen for most of the sodomy scene but could hear and feel every thought running through her head. Horrifying, just how real it felt. Her repeated failed attempts to resist, mindless with exhaustion, violated, and bleeding. Notice the camera never moves at all during this moment, unblinking, and unwavering in it's forced reality. Unlike much of the rest of the film where it's very freeform in either gentle smooth flowing moves, or alternately when the rage and revenge take over, the camera goes wild with it's own drugged and hatred, fuelled up energy.


I don't want to see this film again. I feel it's so weak minded of me to say that, but I felt it was just too painful to experience again. Peter was right, it is the most disturbing film I've ever seen.

#8 of 101 OFFLINE   Quentin

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Posted March 07 2003 - 09:51 AM

I'm curious to see how people react to this film. I was moved to tears afterward, and I don't mean in the weepy drama way.

Scott is right...there is no need to ever see this film twice. It is indelibly burned into your memory. Any film that does that gets a spot in my top 10.

Peter...

I'd like to hear your theory. I was under the impression they just screwed up...blinded by rage. Some critics missed this mistake and think they got the rapist. After watching that brutal rape scene, I wish they had.


#9 of 101 OFFLINE   Quentin

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Posted March 07 2003 - 10:17 AM

Since this is likely to become the official discussion thread...

I think there is something infinitely deeper here than "time destroys everything" (which is rather vaccuous and sounds like a bad fortune cookie). I think the film has a LOT to say about men and women as a sex. It reveres women and hates men. Men, both cerebral and physical, are brought low in this film. And, I don't think it is a coincidence that it ends/begins in a disgusting pit of a gay club.

There is also the moment at the end/beginning when Cassel is at his most gentle and charming...
he tells Belucci he wants to fuck her in the ass...recalling the earlier act of horrific violence.


On the other hand, you have IMO the most beautiful actress in the world looking wonderful, natural, ripe and gentle...a mother of life/earth. The film ends/begins on nearly worshipful shots of her.

So, what exactly is this film saying about men, their nature, their place in the universe? Or about women?

#10 of 101 OFFLINE   MatS

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Posted March 07 2003 - 11:47 AM

I am quite interested in hearing more about this movie
It obviously is one of those movies that stir reactions either good or bad
I hear a lot of what I heard from people in regards to Requiem For A Dream in that people felt they never needed to see it again after the first time because of how disturbing it was. I am one who admired that movie greatly and can watch it repeatedly.

looking forward to everyone's spoiler free reviews
may blurbs I have seen appear divided...like I said, not unexpected for a controversial movie
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#11 of 101 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted March 07 2003 - 11:54 AM

Ever since I saw the trailer for "Irreversible" in front of "Talk To Her", I've been hoping this would show up soon, so I will also make an effort to see this film when it shows up in Atlanta.
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#12 of 101 OFFLINE   Peter Kim

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Posted March 07 2003 - 02:28 PM

Quentin,

Glad to hear your insights. This film begs for a little interpretation, and your analysis speaks to the title, both Irreversible and Time Destroys Everything.

...on many levels. My interpretation? The fact that Pierre kills the wrong man speaks to the heart of the title, Irreversible. Where basic human instinct might lead us to believe that rage or revenge can assuage, if not 'reverse' the effects of being victimized - while at one point, we are the victim, powerless to the crime, the act of revenge reverses this power struggle. The filmmaker deliberately debunks this psychobabble by intentionally killing off the wrong man - after the meticulous, frenzied search for the killer, they end up finding the wrong guy. Hence, a statement against revenge or its depiction as an exercise in futility?

Or, per Time Destroys Everything...specifically, truth and innocence. Alex and Marcus playfully tease about anal sex near the chronological start of the film. This 'innocence' is corrupted to the nth degree with the vicious anal rape of Alex by 'Le Tenia'. The deterioration of the facts or the truth about the identity of the predator, culminating in the destruction of the man standing right next to the real killer. Time destroys everything, especially as time becomes protracted...'innocence' warps into foul corruption, truth twists into a quagmire of myth and fleeting rumors.

However, that which I found most profound about the reconciliation (and specifically, lack thereof) - how the director's vision/intent lept from the screen and manifested iteself on my psyche as bitterness, confusion, and sense of emptiness from the lack of closure.

Gaspar Noe filmed the most graphic and unflinching scenes of violence against women that I've ever seen. I lasted through the duration of the film in hopes of some reconciliation - although we learn from the start of the film that there is no justice, I grasped at the hope that the filmmaker would offer meaning if not retribution.

Nothing. The director subjects us to the most nausea-inducing, graphic portrayals of violence and leaves us wanting...an irreversible state of suspension. I've never witnessed a brutal beating or horrific assault on a woman. This film synthesizes the experience to what probably qualifies as near reality, I wished that I never took that first step into this film. But I did...

YMMV. Posted Image
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#13 of 101 OFFLINE   Quentin

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Posted March 07 2003 - 02:55 PM

Hmmmm...interesting, Peter. I can buy into most of that, except:

I don't think there is anything playful about Marcus' teasing about anal sex in the beginning/end, and I don't think he is EVER innocent. In fact, I think the film portrays men as devoid of innocence - as crude, primal beings.

I would submit that "Irreversible" also suggests the nature of men. We are the destroyers, the defilers. Women are the creators. And, eventually given time, we will destroy all women and then ourselves.

It is possible that the mistake made in the gay bar underlines just that. Through a lack of selection or true justice, we just follow the primal instinct to the violent end?


Nope...I don't think the film has a very high opinion of men at all...

#14 of 101 OFFLINE   Peter Kim

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Posted March 07 2003 - 03:50 PM

I don't believe this film intends to paint such a broad stroke about all men. I do believe Marcus is innocent in the sense that he carries himself in a way that he doesn't intend to hurt anyone, regardless of whether his actions can be construed as good or bad.

This in marked contrast to the villian, who calculates such a vicious and vile act. Marcus is 'innocent' or oblivious to the consequences of his actions (e.g., when he snorts coke or flirts with the women at the party, which starts (or does it really begin here or long ago?) the irreversible chain of events) and believes that they are harmless.

For me, I believe the director tries to portray how we all, men and women, are shades of grey, and despite what we, the innocent believe, one shade may not be such a far mile from the other. Anal sex vs. anal sex, Pierre's assault vs. Le Tenia's assault, etc.


This falls in line with my comment on film's exposition of the chaos theory - how what we may perceive as imperceptibly negligible or harmless ultimately and profoundly affects what is seemingly an unrelated yet inextricably intertwined event.

In your absolute definition of innocence, is Pierre guilty for what happened because he was unable to sustain a relationship with Alex? Thereby setting up the 'ending'?

If we interpolate enough, we are all guilty.
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#15 of 101 OFFLINE   Quentin

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Posted March 07 2003 - 04:05 PM

In your absolute definition of innocence, is Pierre guilty for what happened because he was unable to sustain a relationship with Alex?


My definition is moot. I think the film's definition (or my interpretation of its definition) is that Pierre, despite his cerebral nature, despite his words of wisdom and caution, despite his reluctance to join Marcus "the ape" is NOT innocent and is, in fact, doomed to his fate.

Because he is a man. It just takes longer for his primal nature to surface. Thus...time eventually destroys him...his masculinity eventually takes hold.

I also don't believe Marcus is ever innocent. The way he carries on at the party is very "pig" like. He is a complete ass, and not deserving of a woman as beautiful as Alex. He treats her without respect, and as a result, she leaves...would you allow your beautiful lover
and possible mother of your unborn child...don't forget, while she hasn't told him the result of the test, she HAS suggested to him that she may be pregnant
to leave ALONE in the city streets?

He is acting selfishly. Here, at the beginning/end
when he wants to "fuck her in the ass"
, and in his final attempt at revenge. It is ALL about him. If he were thinking of Alex, he would have gone to the hospital.

If we interpolate enough, we are all guilty.


Ahhhh, yes. That would be my guess as to one of the statements of the film. We are all guilty of being self-absorbed barbaric primates. I'm not saying I agree...I'm just saying that's the message I get from the film (and more and more as I ponder it).

But, the true genius of the film is that your interpretations could also be argued. I think the film is subject to multiple interpretations.

#16 of 101 OFFLINE   MatS

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Posted March 10 2003 - 02:13 PM

anyone see this over the weekend? anymore board member reviews? when does this open in Chicagoland?

#17 of 101 OFFLINE   Peter Kim

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Posted March 10 2003 - 06:56 PM

Yeah, MatS...I'm curious about our threadstarter, Justin S, and his thoughts. Although I can understand the delay...I spent a few days intentionally trying to disassociate and exorcise myself from this film.

My wife and toddler son looked at me askance in those following days as a result of my excessive hugging - I had to replenish my sense of humanity. Posted Image

MatS...according to Landmark's homepage:

Quote:
Starts Friday, March 14 at Landmark's Century Centre Cinema


Good luck.
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#18 of 101 OFFLINE   Jason Whyte

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Posted March 10 2003 - 07:06 PM

For you Vancouver residents, Irreversible opens at Fifth Avenue Cinemas on Friday, March 14th, with one HELL of a rating card:

R -
BRUTAL AND PROLONGED SEXUAL VIOLENCE,
REALISTIC AND EXPLICIT VIOLENCE
EXPLICIT SEX SCENES

For those unaware, R in BC is pretty much the same as the NC17 rating in the US. I'm be interested if any Van residents could report back on theater security, if any. Posted Image

Jason
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#19 of 101 OFFLINE   Justin_S

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Posted March 10 2003 - 07:31 PM

Hey Peter, its nice to know my thoughts are being looked forward to. Posted Image Anyhow, I'm still trying to combine my thoughts into a nice whole, and I'll post them as soon as I've done so, which shouldn't be too much longer. Simply put, this film is a very grim and emotional experience, and let's just say I have a new film to call the best of 2002. The rest of my more in depth thoughts will come later.

#20 of 101 OFFLINE   Peter Kim

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Posted March 10 2003 - 07:41 PM

Nice to hear from you, Justin. BTW...I thought Irreversible opened only in NY & LA on the 7th. When you said you had to travel quite a distance (from Texas?), was it that long of a trip?

Out of curiousity, for those that viewed this film at a theater, what was audience reaction? Specifically, silent aghast, screams, and/or walkouts?
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