Archive for October, 2010

Enter the Void Curzon Soho 29 September

October 3, 2010


The Tokyo sex industry

I had two goes at seeing this film.  The first time I went to the Dalston Rio for the 2045 screening and bought a ticket, then saw the people coming out from the screening three hours ago and realised the film was very long and I would never make it home afterwards.

So I had another go at the Curzon Soho on a Wednesday afternoon, with only a MenCap event in the foyer to contend with.  The film opens with American low-grade drug dealer Alex and his sister Linda in their shared bedroom in a flat in Tokyo;  she goes out and he smokes something hallucinogenic, with results something like those shown below.

Actually, a lot of the hallucinations were significantly spermatozooid

Then while still in a state of lowered awareness, he sets of with his pal Alex (a truly awful artist) to deal some drugs in a bar.  On the way Alex asks him about The Tibetan Book of the Dead,  and explains what it’s about.  Unfortunately he mumbles rather, but the general idea is that after you die your soul hangs about, revisits important places, sees a number of scenarios including that which you most fear, sees itself in a mirror (?), and finally decides how it wants to be reincarnated.

So what happens is that Oscar gets shot as the police attempt to arrest him, then we see his body from above and his soul puts the programme above into effect.  So we see his sister working as an erotic dancer and then having sex with her…employer…(almost a sighting of an erect male member there) before learning of his death and breaking down; Linda taking an overdose; Linda having an abortion; identifying the corpse.  All this is seen from above.

And we have the back-story (not seen from above, aaahh!–we see things from Oscar’s point of view throughout) where Linda and Oscar are orphaned as young children in a motor accident and then sent to different foster families after Oscar has promised they will always be together.  And Oscar has sex with Victor’s mother after she says she will lend him money so that Linda can join him in Tokyo.  This leads to Victor setting him up at the bar…

So at the end we go on a rather magnificent bird’s-eye tour of the love hotel earlier seen in the model Tokyo in Alex’s studio.  The partners in the different rooms have their genitals glowing and smoking  (a much better idea than it sounds in words) and after considering the different possibilities Oscar decides to be reborn as Linda’s child from her…meeting…with Alex (presumably this is OK since he’s white).  Or I think that’s what happens.

We saw a lot of the back of Oscar's head

Well, this film was rather long and for long periods had the interminable boredom of other people’s drug experiences.  Presumably the anti-acting was deliberate?  To distance the audience?  Otherwise many of the scenes would have been unbearable.  Nathaniel Brown as Oscar put in quite a solid performance though, helped by the fact that we only saw the back of his head.

Actually at the end I did find myself wishing it had gone on longer…