July 30, 2021

Climax: Inferno disk | Culture

Climax: Inferno disk | Culture

There are filmmakers who camouflage their keys in a capricious way: a plaque placed on the facade of a building introduced the name of the mystic and spiritual master George Gurdjieff in the imaginary of Inferno (1980) by Dario Argento, projecting, retroactively, a revealing light on his previous film: Suspiria (1977), full-color expressionist nightmare where a dance academy served as Venus Atrapamoscas (or Atrapavírgenes) for a conclave of witches that could well be the choreographers of a perverse response to the sacred dances of Gurdjieff, whose movements were meticulously calculated to open the door to the other side and allow the dancer body access to a higher order.


Address: Gaspar Noé.

Interpreters: Sofia Boutella, Kiddy Smile, Romain Guillermic, The Carla Schott.

Gender: terror. France, 2018

Duration: 98 minutes

In Climax, Gaspar Noé decides to apply to the camouflage of his keys the strategy of Edgar Allan Poe The stolen letter: leave them, from the beginning, in full view so that the good listener can add two and two. The street dancers that make up the cast of the film are interviewed on a monitor framed by a motley set of books and films. On their backs, some names maybe unavoidable: Lang, Murnau, Cioran, Kafka, Bataille, Possession by Andrzej Zulawski, Saló from Pasolini, Querelle of Fassbinder and, of course, Suspiria. Is Noé trying to amend Guadagnino's plan before knowing what the Italian has done with Argento's work?

Basing, supposedly, on a real case that occurred in the nineties – and that seems to maintain a certain analogy with the black legends around the dressing of rave parties with estramonio-, Gaspar Noé poses a radical film-dance bombarded by violent graphic transgressions: the final credits parade at the beginning of the film, the seductive titles of credit split the footage in two and some labels between the Godardian and the advertising point the route with the nihilistic pretension charges that are the hallmark of the house. And, between impact and impact, bodies dance in virtuous sequence planes that allow the camera to defy the law of gravity and viciously traverse sweaty skins to the edge of ecstasy. A sangria with a lysergic attachment will turn the party into a macabre dance in a rapt crescendo that almost culminates in purely abstract cinema. Noé is not a master of subtlety, but he is a fanatical believer in the way he constructs meaning and here he has achieved a unique work, a trance film that tries to break free spasmodically from all narrative.


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