Naked and spectacular

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Climax [2018] by Gaspar Noé

CLIMAX is a dance horror film about people destroying themselves that literally turns upside down. 

I'm not sure Climax is supposed to be entertainment, nor am I sure it's supposed to be art, which makes me wonder what it is. I guess it's for people who feel like they've seen it all and want something more, bigger, weirder, more perverse, more extreme, more original and at the same time confronting nothing that is uncomfortable, except our ability to absorb violence, distress, hysteria and self-harm.

It will certainly provoke debate, I suppose, like his films usually do, but whether that will be a valuable debate is doubtful, especially when there are much more significant, sophisticated, subtle and sensitive films that are not sensationalist but that are nonetheless confronting controversial themes, rooted in deep human feeling and integrity. This film seems embodied, with all that dance, sex and flesh, but really it is disembodied, disengaging, it pushes you away with its fear and repugnance of flesh, of intimate interactions. The bodies merely damage themselves and each other. 

However, the dance number at the beginning of the film is spectacular and full-on, a much more artful and involving demonstration of intensity and self-destruction than the ludicrous, literal and repugnant rest of the film.

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