The setup is definitely not new. A boy and a girl in present-day Paris experience the ups and downs of their emotional and erotic entanglement. They hungrily explore their sexuality, broaden their horizons and philosophise about the nature of love. When another girl appears on the scene, an ill-advised mistake seals their falling apart. Argentinian-French director Gaspar Noé, to whom many viewers still owe certain traumas from movies like I Stand Alone and Irreversible, depicts the fragility and tragedy of a love that is lost, although it once seemed as if it would last forever, and the terrible nostalgia following.
Love brings a passionate relationship to screen, between American film student Murphy (Karl Glusman) and painter-manqué of uncertain nationality Electra (Aomi Muyock) – unnecessarily connotative names for this incredibly simple romantic story. It seems like the voids of his screenplay were so vast that Noé decided to enter them with a brainstorming approach. With added throbbing red filters to signify a lusty past and clean greyness for the disillusioned present, as well as a cool, blinking jump cut method, this is a giant of a movie with a single idea.
The film aims to show the joys, quarrels and passions of a human sentiment by explicitly including a crucial component that is usually left out in major moving pictures: the sex. And, to properly compensate for this neglect, it does so in 3D. From every possible angle, in every imaginable situation and with every conceivable associated meaning, the viewer is invited to witness young desire. First there is sex, then cheating sex and then reconciliation sex. When a 3D ejaculation gushes out of the screen and onto the faces in the crowd, many are unable to suppress their laughing. There is little else to do than to applaud this extraordinary, daring director.
Usually though, the sex has not been put in there for its own sake. On the contrary, it is merely given the important place that it occupies in many relationships, particularly young and fresh ones. Noé brings a process of cinematic liberation to a momentous close. This is a probe into new territories, to say the least, but it couldn’t have been done like this anywhere else.
Love does not yet have a UK release date.
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Watch an excerpt of Love here: