If it's crap ... We'll tell you
I know, it really took by surprise, I guess I shouldn't have doubted Gaspar Noé, and man, is so brutal and hard to watch, but I have come to realize that whenever I watch a great film that is also a tough experience (Antichrist, Enter the Void, Martyrs...) I love it even more.
Great performance by Vincent Cassel as always, but Bellucci and Dupontel were the big stand out for me. Loved that scene in the metro where they are just discussing relationships and sex, it felt so natural and real, and the last 15 minutes are so life reaffirming and beautiful, that I think people just focus on the extreme depictions of violence (the rape scene and the face smashing), which are great don't get me wrong, but there's so much more to it, for me the whole film is about the ugliness of mankind and the unpredictability of life, and the fact that underneath all out exterior layers, we are just brutal animals, like Bellucci's character says to Dupontel, that beneath all his intelligent talk, there's just sex (or something along those lines), but I think it applies to everything, beneath everything we say, think or do, our uglier side is there lingering waiting to come out, even if violence and revenge are unnecessary acts, and we know it, we can't stop it when we are blinded by our savage nature, and I think that's why the reverse chronology works so well, we are able to look at the results of their actions without even knowing the reasons that took them there, and as the film progresses, we realize that maybe we would have acted the same way even though it ended terribly.
Gotta love the camera work and editing as well which reflects the characters' emotions and state of mind perfectly, Noé truly makes movies like nobody else, I can't wait to get my hands around I Stand Alone.
Note: I envy you for watching Breaking the Waves, I've being trying to find a DVD for a reasonable price (and not the $90 for which they are selling it at amazon), and so far no luck, is good to see you liked it.
Damn you, with all those great things you said about Breaking the Waves, I'm now dying to watch it, even more so than before haha. And I Stand Alone sounds incredible as well.
I don't know if there's something wrong with me or what, but I just loved being moved completely by a film, whether is to feel joy or discomfort. When a film leaves an impression on me that big, it stays forever, I just feel that's the whole point of movies, you know?
As for Martyrs, just like Antichrist and Enter the Void, I really don't think I can recommend it, it's a tough watch for sure, and the violence and gore does get pretty extreme, but I think there's a beautiful movie with a lot to say under all of it, and I would love to discuss it with you, if you decide to give it a shot. But again, I can't tell you that you will like it, but if you are into films that make you feel uncomfortable but with a purpose (like the ones mentioned above), then I say go for it.