Jose here. When I show up to meet Gaspar Noé, he offers me a cigarette. I gladly accept it and we sit by a window where we puff the smoke to the beat of the sounds of a construction site below us. For a moment I feel like a teenager and remember having to wait to have the house all to myself so I could watchIrréversible when I was 16, without having people constantly interrupt me. For all its provocation and controversy, Noé’s oeuvre isn’t as much about shock value as it is about finding deep connections between people. This is a filmmaker who literally goes under the skin to uncover the miracle of life, how we’re made, how similar we are to each other.
In Love, he takes this concept to a place of utter sublimity as he chronicles the ups and downs of the relationship between Murphy (Karl Glusman) and Electra (Aomi Muyock), two young people who despite being enraptured by all-consuming passion, grow apart due to jealousy and secrets. To bring us closer to the characters Noé shot the film in 3D and he uses the medium playfully and sensually. Squeamish audience members might find themselves wishing they’d brought a poncho during some of the film’s most explicit moments, but Noé also finds true beauty in the curves of breasts, the pearls of sweat that appear on the backs of lovers during intercourse, and in the alien-like quality of tongues tangled in a kiss. As much as his films shock and alienate people, he just wants us to get closer. As we sit by the window he says “we’re in closer company because of the cigarette”, then he smiles.
More on Love after the jump.