Film Micrœview #276: Love (2015)

03.08.2016 § Leave a comment

Rating: Good.

Love was much better than I was expecting, and I say that despite being a huge fan of his previous efforts. There was just something about Love walking into it that concerned me. Maybe I felt this would be Noe jumping his shark.

However, I felt that Love took some Noe themes and solidified them, in more subtle ways.

Time goes backwards as it did in Irreversible. But while in the former film this was like a structural gimmick, here it’s less strict, more surreal, and more expressive. More importantly, it starts to tap into this body of feelings around the fact that anyone’s personal story is by definition already at its end. We tell our own stories backwards.

Noe seems to want to be born again through his films. He builds them like surrogate parents. In Enter the Void this was literal. Here, it is wrapped in his naming the child after himself. And it’s not just there for that reason alone – the man names the baby he has which breaks up his relationship the same as he wished to name it with her.

Early on there is a Godardian title card. One grows concerned with the number of movie posters littered throughout. Of course there’s the 2001 poster at the end of Irreversible (and a spoken reference to it here as well). But blatant intertextuality like this is dangerous. Then the main character turns out to be a filmmaker on the same mission as Love itself seems to be. The blinky, almost jump-cut editing feels Godardian as well. Noe’s distinctive drunken fly floaty camerawork is nowhere to be found. Somehow the total of these references, reflexivity, and inspiration do not offend. It all seems to fit just right with his pessimism but not overly judgmental take on the passions of youth across the spectrum from art to lust. I do not believe Noe finds a difference between love and sex.

Generally beautiful use of color and shadow. Loved the music.


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