Enter the Void  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Enter the Void is a French film written and directed by Gaspar Noé, labeled by Noé as a "psychedelic melodrama". It stars Nathaniel Brown in his debut role, Paz de la Huerta and Cyril Roy, also in his first role on film. The story is set in Tokyo and focuses on Oscar, a young American drug dealer who gets shot by the police, but continues to watch over his sister Linda as a ghost. The camera follows Oscar from behind his head during scenes in which he is alive. After his death, the view hovers over Tokyo through walls and across buildings.

Having been the director's dream project for many years, the film was made possible due to the commercial success of Irréversible, the previous feature film by Noé. Enter the Void was primarily financed by Wild Bunch while Fidélité Films led the actual production. Co-producers included the visual effects studio BUF Compagnie, which also provided the computer-generated imagery. Principal photography took place on location in Tokyo and involved many complicated crane shots. The film makes heavy use of imagery inspired by experimental cinema and psychedelic drug experiences.

A rough version of the film premiered at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, but post-production work continued and it was not released in France until almost one year later. A cut down version was released in the United States and United Kingdom in September 2010. The critical response has been sharply divided.


After their parents die in a car crash, Oscar and his younger sister Linda make a pact to never leave each other. However, they end up being separated in foster care.

Oscar, now 20, lives in Tokyo and has saved enough money through drug dealing to reunite with Linda. As she becomes acquainted with the local scene, Linda becomes a stripper and gets into a relationship with her boss. Oscar disapproves of their relationship, while Linda disapproves of Oscar's addiction.

Oscar's mentor Alex gives him the Tibetan Book of the Dead, which describes one's experiences after death and before the next rebirth. Alex expresses his attraction towards Linda.

Oscar's client Victor discovers that Oscar has had sex with Victor's mother. Just after Oscar has smoked DMT (a powerful hallucinogenic), Victor orders drugs from him to be delivered right away in a nightclub called The Void. When Oscar enters, Victor apologizes to him, and there is a drug bust. Oscar flees into the toilet and gets rid of his supply of drugs, while police order him to open the locked door. They shoot through the door and kill Oscar. Alex calls Linda, but she's having sex with her boss and ignores the ringing telephone. Afterwards she is devastated by Oscar's death.

The deceased Oscar now has an aerial view of the world. He watches as Linda receives the news of his death and breaks down; Alex goes on the run, since the police are after him, and Victor falls out with his parents. Victor goes to Linda's house to apologize (apparently for assisting the police in setting up Oscar), but Linda tells him to kill himself. Interspersed through these scenes are Oscar's memories of his past; his relationships with his sister and mother are both sexually suggestive. The last scene is decided by the viewer: it is shot from the perspective of a baby being born to Oscar's mother. It is up to the viewer to decide if this is a flashback to Oscar's birth; either genuinely or as a false memory; or if his life starts over again.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Enter the Void" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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