The following is partly a review of Climax and partly an exploration of what makes a film a good piece of cinema…
Directed by Gaspar Noé.
Starring Sofia Boutella, Romain Guillermic, Souheila Yacoub, Kiddy Smile, Giselle Palmer.
A young dance troupe rehearse for an upcoming American tour in a dingy school assembly hall. But someone spikes the mid-session break drinks with LSD and soon A Chorus Line Heaven becomes nightclubbed Hell in an escalating nightmare of intense emotions and apocalyptic actions.
Climax is a complicated film to review. Either it’s a work of genius and therefore takes a lot of unpacking, or it’s managed to trick people into thinking it’s a work of genius, in which case, a different kind of unpacking is needed. For that reason, I have decided to make this review/feature hybrid. It’s a long one, but I hope you find some of it at least partially enlightening.
Also, if you get part way through this piece and wonder “Why is he talking about Ant Man and First Reformed,” it’s because I want to do more than just review Climax. I want to open up a dialogue on what actually makes a film a good piece of cinema, and to do that I need to set the scene. Also, I expect to get a handful of comments saying that I missed the point of the film or that I don’t understand French cinema. I hope that by laying the groundwork you can understand why exactly I didn’t like Climax while, hopefully, understanding it. If you disagree with this groundwork, then good, I want to hear what you have to say.
Anyway, enough explaining myself. Let’s jump into this review right where it makes sense – with a discussion of genre’s in literature…