[UPDATED: And now it seems Enter The Void has appeared on Netflix’s Instant Watch service, making it free for those that are subscribed to the nearly ubiquitous service. Reiterating what I wrote earlier, see this in a theater if at all possible or Blu-ray if you can, but if you absolutely, positively can not wait- you’ve got options.]
Frankly, I’m ever-so-slightly hesitant to recommend you using the streaming service of Sundance NOW to rent (or even buy) Gaspar Noe’s Enter the Void. This is because no one has created a more mind-bending, visually-warped theatrical experience in the last few years than what Noe and company have put together for this film. Unfortunately, Enter The Void‘s theatrical outlook is grim, considering pretty much any market that was going to get it already has and the director’s cut re-release is essentially negligible in terms of getting the film out there for more people. Frankly, it was pure luck that I was fortunate enough to catch the film at particularly cool theater in Atlanta, but not everyone lives in that kind of a market, or has access to that kind of a theater.
So putting aside the beauty of seeing this film in a cinema, I would suggest finding the biggest screen with the best sound-system you can track down and porting in Enter The Void through Sundance NOW. I’m not sure if it streams in the kind of quality that can fill that sort of system out, but it’s powered by the Brightcove infrastructure and is supposed to be a high-quality, cloud-based system, so it’s worth investigating. Just know you’ll have to brave Adobe AIR to do so.
I know there are those of you who saw Enter The Void being lauded by some of the most interesting filmmakers out there and making tons of Best Of lists (including my own and Damon‘s), that are particularly desperate to see it- now’s your chance. At the very least though, watch it in the dark with good headphones and no distractions.
Here’s my mini-review of the film from the aforementioned year’s end list, which will hopefully give you a good idea if streaming a three-hour cinematic acid trip is a wise life choice for you-
Sometimes you have the pleasure of watching a film that seems like it’s trying to break the very concept of cinema in two, and on rare occasions you may actually come across a film that seems to succeed. Some would argue that whatever the fuck it is that Gaspar Noe keeps doing is more akin to assaulting or molesting cinema, and they may be right. Even if he is managing to cleave the art form in two, I don’t really want to think to much about what appendage he’s using to do it. Enter The Void is another film from the director that doesn’t give a fuck what you think a movie should be, how long you think a movie should run, or where you think a movie should go and yet… Enter The Void is pure cinema. An exciting, indulgent, perhaps over-long experiment in camera movement, scene transitions, lighting, subject matter, point of view, sound design, music, and naturalistic (or maybe just bad) acting that you’ve never seen anything quite like. 2001 is the clear point of approach here, but even that film ill-prepares your for Void‘s method of storytelling, for which Gaspar Noe has employed a camera that is able to shift lens length, shutter speed, aperture, focus plane, and means of movement at will, with no regard for what should be physical possible. I can not emphasize enough that the camera in Enter The Void can and will go anywhere. The story being told is recursive and fractured, told as much through memory and fantasy as actual recall, and it’s filled with symbolism so abundant that it would take a dozen viewings to catch it all, and dozen more to pinpoint their meanings.
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