Sara Ramirez
Subscribe To
Out Magazine
Scroll To Top

Up-Close and Juvenile

Gaspar Noe Love

Every generation thinks it invented sex. This is especially true after the license granted by the 1960s sexual revolutions and particularly true of French filmmaker Gaspar Noé (born 1963 in Argentina) who uses sexual and violent hyperbole to sell his banal narratives. Noé’s latest film, Love (you can’t get more banal than that title) shows his unoriginality by co-opting sex for a 3D art movie.

The semi-autobiographical plot about Murphy (Karl Glusman), a young filmmaker going through romantic angst with two women Electra (Aomi Muyock) and Omi (Klara Kristin), is calculated to impress Millennials in their first post-virginal experience of media gimmicks and sexual excess. Noé is one of those con artists who come around every decade with a tactic to exploit the naïve. And predictably, reviewers respond by extolling Noé’s slick manipulation of narrative (Love’s saturated colors often make it look like a Fauvist videogame), while the public, after initial curiosity, gets its jollies — then drifts off.

Sexual cinema (from Hollywood to Euro-art films to Porn) frequently produces game-players—such as Mike Figgis, Lars Von Trier, Michael Winterbottom, Larry Clarke, Catherine Breillat—who are more inventive than Noé, who seems stuck trying to straddle all three genres. Love’s storyline goes from Murphy’s Hollywood meet-cutes. Euro-art film angst about passion and fidelity then porn’s blatant titillation. And all of it way too long, as if length meant depth—a formula that, even when it comes to sex, doesn’t always work out.

Gaspar Noe Love

Noé’s recurring delusions about inventing sexual cinema each time out coincide with the latest fads in erotic and techie fetishism. Love’s luxurious, time-shifting voyeuristic style has less to do with examining intimacy than satisfying individual delusions, predilections, and fantasies. Fancy words aside, even the gamahuching seems juvenile, like in Blue is the Warmest Color.

3D is the one way this primarily heterosexual romp can appeal to gay curiosity: The 3D sex body parts and lubricious exchange are up-close, almost personal. Glusman’s penis—and Noé’s own in a cameo appearance— loom like Macy’s Thanksgiving floats. And the eruption one wears special glasses to see—the biggest mainstream movie deluge since Kieran O’Brien’s in Winterbottom’s 9 Songs—deserves horny teenager comicbook exclamation: Splat! Splooge! Spack! Spunk! Get the Kleenex! Noé wastes little time in keeping gay porn’s dick-first porn rule. (Take that, Judd Apatow!)

But Noé also forgets a basic rule of cinema: Unlike the Macy’s parade, you can reach out to 3D, but you still can’t touch.

Love is currently in theaters. Watch the trailer below:

From our Sponsors

READER COMMENTS ()