Enter the Void is a remarkable, deranged hallucination of a film by controversial director Gaspar Noe. The plot centers on a drug dealing 20 something who lives and dies in Tokyo and his post mortem wanderings around the lives of his friends. Gaspar has suffused the film with lurid neon colouring, strobes, demented transition's, CGi drugscapes and disorienting music that will literally blast your noggin in half and the POV meanderings, flashbacks and attempts at re-embodiment by Oscar's consciousness create a bizarrely spiritual atmosphere amid the filth and depravity of the Japanese underbelly. I wasn't a fan of Noe's previous films Irreversible & Seul Contre Tous mainly as the shocking content appeared to have such limited ambition but the darkness, sex, drug taking and violence here seem to be somehow warranted given the film's nature. Anyways it's a dazzling film I'll watch again - next time hopefully in the cinema.
Essential Killing stars Vincent Gallo and sees Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski reunited with Brit producer Jeremy Thomas (their first effort together the enigmatic The Shout is a classic 70's oddity, go see). Anyways Gallo plays an Taliban fighter who escapes during his rendition and attempts to evade recapture while trekking through the Russian countryside. While Gallo's performance is strong and it's filmed beautifully, the paper thin plot and spartan dialogue left me a little bored and the nods towards metaphysics and something deeper fall pretty flat. It shares a particularly odd scene with O Lucky Man, a much richer film odyssey which on reflection makes this seem little more than an experiment in chin stroking.