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in Filmmaking
on Oct 22, 2006

I came across journalism student Clementine Gallot’s blog Franco American after noticing a comment she posted to one of my postings on Gaspar Noe, below. Gallot posts in French and in English and here she is, excerpted, on Noe’s screening of his short We Fuck Alone to a group of NYU students:

…Noe’s 23-minute piece features a couple having sex on television and a young girl masturbating to a teddy bear while a punk jerks off to an inflatable doll. Shot with a small DV camera between Los Angeles and New York, it employs strobes and the soundtrack of a heartbeat and a crying baby — a few of his regular features. Student reaction was divided; some called it boring, but Noe explained that he enjoys working with non-professional actors and was basically performing an experiment.

“I tried to see how much people can take — what their physical reaction to the screen will be,” he said. “Strangely,” he noted, “there is no pornographic masterpiece.” A few other students, encouraged by the film, showed a bizarre interest for the director’s sex life. “I masturbated a lot as a teenager, sometimes smoking joints and watching films,” he confessed, shrugging….

With his shaved head and teenage manners, the filmmaker seems to not care about the visceral impact of his films on the audience. When The Reeler asked him about the way he depicts violence, he simply said: “It exists, so why not show it?”

So, is it black humor? “Some people think I’m doing something wrong, but they should try not to take my films so seriously,” Noe said.

Like Larry Clark, Noe is a skilled technician who manipulates explosive material without carrying a real discourse but, rather, by having an intuitive relation to cinema. Inspired mostly by his life and obsessions, he predicted, “I won’t make that many movies in my life. … I want to carry on by doing a documentary at some point, and now I’m focusing on my Tokyo project,” a “tripping” movie which will be seen from the point of view of a hallucinating mind.

A student who observed that Noe’s films tend to show a male dominant world suggested his next feature should include “a man getting his dick cut off.” The filmmaker didn’t agree.

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