Last Night's Screening
ENTER THE VOID: I'm coming to this 2009 film a bit too belatedly, I feel; it's now very hard, if not impossible, to think of it as anything but a counterbalance to Terrence Malick's THE TREE OF LIFE. Though akin to toxic eye candy with its increasingly fluorescent necrotic imagery of a gargantuan toy Tokyo, I liked this film to the same extent I found Malick's alternately boring and aggravating, though the void of its title is less indicative of the void of death than of the void of a life devoid of substance and exposure to nature. It's a painful film to watch, but its use of rhyming images is exceptional in its depiction of how events imprint us psychologically; I was particularly impressed when one scene of Paz de la Huerta cutting up vegetables in the kitchen was used a second time to show how something secondary and previously unnoted within that moment had also left its own imprint on the observer. On the other hand, Hitchcock's ROPE-learned maxim that scenes must be cut to become cinema still holds water; it's the cuts or dissolves from one image to another that give this story its meaning. Otherwise, the death motifs and the plays on its title are preposterously foregrounded and the film wastes entirely too much time floating through walls and bouncing from one building to another for the sake of sustaining the main character and POV's spectral fluidity. In one of those intervals, I found myself wondering how this film would have looked had it been made about a late 19th century farmer. All of them died too. Viewed on Netflix.