- 02 Oct 18
Cinema's enfant terrible returns with dance party from hell.
French-Argentine director Gaspar Noé has become cinema’s enfant terrible, exploring the experience of sex, vice and violence on the body, evoked with a deliberately confrontational visual style.
This aggressive, taboo-breaking form of filmmaking has earned Noé many detractors, though even fans have occasionally criticised his lack of focus. But few could say that about his latest offering, Climax, which is structured to perfectly capture the director’s love of sensual excess. Reportedly based on the true story of a dance troupe’s after-show party in the 1990s, which saw attendants succumb to the effects of some LSD-spiked punch, Climax offers Noé the perfect setting to create a hedonistic, beautifully choregraphed and unapologetically demonic spectacle run wild. This is the end of the world, and it is fierce, in every sense of the world.
We first meet the dancers through a series of VHS audition tapes. Their confidence and self-assurance is seductive, and they’ve got the skills to match. A dizzily choreographed dance sequence set to throbbing EDM comes together in one enthralling, hypnotic shot. Afterwards, when the dancers take a break and start to chat, their individual personalities begin to emerge, and conversations around sex pose interesting questions about the role of toxic masculinity and objectification. However, that articulation soon fades away, along with any semblance of civility, when the spiked sangria is passed around and desire takes over.