I re-watched Gaspard Noé’s Enter the Void yesterday and thought that I should try to write about it as this film has been intriguing and fascinating many people including myself. The subjective point of view of the camera is forcing the viewer to become the main character and thus creating a continuous single shot from the beginning of the movie to the end. However, this unique cinematographic aesthetics should not make us forget the essence of the movie which is a wander in a certain interpretation of death.
Few minutes before dying, the main character, Oscar, hear indeed from his friend the way Buddists conceive death as a soul wandering as well as a look at this previous life, preceding reincarnation itself. The film constitutes Oscar’s death following such a process without any possibility for the viewer to perceive if this “soul wandering” is real or dreamed by him at the very moment of his death. As Marchel Duchamp put it, “it is always other people who die” (thanks Hiroko) i.e. time might exponentially decreases its speed when one is dying without ever reaching the limit for which life would have ceased completely. Of course, for external viewers, one actually dies and time continues but the perception of an infinite time does not presuppose the cessation of time in another scale of its perception – the one we experience “normally” when we are fully alive.
A while ago, I claimed that Kafka/Welles’ Trial was following the exact same wandering than the one introduced in Enter the Void. In fact, Franz Kafka’s friend Max Brod was the person who reassembled the disseminated and incomplete chapters of The Trial before its publication. He rationally thought that K.’s death was the final episode of the narrative when I claim that it was in fact the first one. In this interpretation, the endless wandering of K. in the administrative labyrinth that we know was actually his infinite “dream” experienced while dying during his exponential decrease of speed of his time curve. This wander of thoughts leaves us with one questions that Enter the Void asks: Does death really exists ?