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2002 film by Gaspar No\u00e9

Top 10 Irréversible related articles

Theatrical release poster
Directed byGaspar Noé
Produced by
Written byGaspar Noé
Music byThomas Bangalter
Edited byGaspar Noé
Distributed byMars Distribution
Release date
  • 22 May 2002 (2002-05-22) (France)
Running time
97 minutes[1]
  • French
  • English
  • Italian
  • Spanish
Budget€4.6 million[2]
Box office€5.8 million[3][4]

Irréversible (French pronunciation: ​[iʁevɛʁsibl]) is a 2002 French psychological thriller drama film, written and directed by Gaspar Noé and starring Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel, and Albert Dupontel. The film employs a reverse chronology and follows two men through the streets of Paris as they seek to avenge a brutally raped girlfriend. Much of the film's soundtrack was composed by Thomas Bangalter, one half of the former electronic music duo Daft Punk.

Irréversible competed for the Palme d'Or at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival and won the Bronze Horse at the Stockholm International Film Festival.

Irréversible has been associated with a series of films defined as the cinéma du corps ("cinema of the body"), which according to Palmer[5] share affinities with certain avant-garde productions: an attenuated use of narrative, assaulting and often illegible cinematography, confrontational subject material, and a pervasive sense of social nihilism or despair. Irréversible has also been associated with the New French Extremity movement.

The film was particularly controversial upon its release for its graphic portrayal of violence, specifically the scene where a man is savagely bludgeoned to death with a fire extinguisher and its 10-minute long take rape of Alex (Monica Bellucci), who is then brutally beaten into a coma. It had accusations of apparent homophobia as well. American film critic Roger Ebert called Irréversible "a movie so violent and cruel that most people will find it unwatchable".[6]

Irréversible Intro articles: 8


Irréversible contains fourteen scenes presented in reverse chronological order. They are arranged here in chronological order.

  1. An Italian woman living in France named Alex is reading An Experiment with Time by J. W. Dunne in a park, surrounded by playing children. Beethoven's 7th Symphony is heard in the background. The camera spins around faster and faster until it blacks out into a strobe effect, accompanied by a pulsing, roaring sound. A rapidly spinning image of a lawn sprinkler resembling the cosmos can be dimly perceived. A title card reads: "Le Temps Detruit Tout" ("Time destroys everything") – a phrase uttered in the film's first scene. The film ends. (The use of Beethoven's 7th Symphony also ties this film directly to Noé's next picture, Enter The Void, where the same composition is used in the title sequence).
  2. Alex sits on the bed clothed, her hand on her belly. A poster for Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, with the tagline "The Ultimate Trip", is above the headboard.
  3. Alex lies in bed with Marcus after having sex. Alex reveals she might be pregnant, and Marcus is pleased with the possibility. They prepare to go to a party, and Marcus leaves to buy wine. Alex takes a shower, then uses a home pregnancy test that confirms she is pregnant. She is elated.
  4. At a nearby Paris Métro station and aboard a subway train, Alex, Marcus and Pierre are on their way to a party. They discuss sex, and Pierre refers to the fact that he and Alex were once dating, but are no longer in a relationship. He implies that Marcus stole Alex from him.
  5. Alex, Marcus, and Pierre have arrived at the party. Alex is annoyed by Marcus's unrestrained use of drugs and alcohol and his flirtatious behavior with other women, and consequently decides to leave the party alone.
  6. On her way home, Alex sees a pimp called "Le Tenia" ("The Tapeworm") beating a transsexual prostitute named Concha in a pedestrian underpass. Once the man sees Alex, he releases Concha and turns his attention to Alex, who attempts to flee, but Le Tenia catches her and threatens her with a knife. Le Tenia pins Alex to the ground and anally rapes her for several minutes of screentime, after which he brutally beats her into unconsciousness.
  7. Marcus and Pierre leave the party and encounter commotion on the street. Marcus wails as he discovers Alex's bloodied body being wheeled on a stretcher into an ambulance by paramedics.
  8. Alex is hospitalized and revealed to be comatose. Marcus and Pierre are questioned by the police. They then talk to a street thug named Mourad and his friend Layde. The two gangsters promise, if they get paid, to help them find the rapist, who Mourad claims is Le Tenia. Marcus and Pierre go looking for the man who raped Alex. Marcus is still high on drugs and very agitated.
  9. The men track down Concha, Le Tenia's last victim. At first, she refuses to talk to them. After Marcus threatens to slash her with a piece of broken glass, she identifies Le Tenia as the rapist and says he can be found at a gay BDSM nightclub called The Rectum. They are soon chased by angry gay prostitutes seeking to defend Concha. Mourad and Layde run in a different direction.
  10. Marcus and Pierre hail a taxi. Marcus assaults the taxi driver and steals the car.
  11. Marcus and Pierre are seen driving in the taxi. They encounter people in and around a local bar as they attempt to locate The Rectum. While sitting in the taxi, Pierre begs to go to the hospital to see Alex, but Marcus gets angry and breaks the windshield with a wrench.
  12. Marcus and Pierre go to The Rectum, but do not know what Le Tenia looks like. Marcus finds Le Tenia standing with another man, Mick. Thinking Mick is Le Tenia, Marcus assaults him, but Mick wrestles him to the ground, breaks Marcus's arm, and attempts to rape him on the club floor. Pierre defends Marcus by using a fire extinguisher to crush Mick's skull, killing him. Le Tenia stands by and stares, shocked and amused that he got away.
  13. Police arrest Pierre and put him in handcuffs. An ambulance arrives, and Marcus is put on a stretcher and taken from the club. Outside, Mourad and Layde shout insults at Pierre and Marcus. The murdered man is revealed not to be Le Tenia after all. Rather, the man standing next to him in the club was the real Le Tenia.
  14. Across the street in a small apartment, two men are talking about sex. One of them is "the Butcher", the protagonist of Noé's previous film, I Stand Alone. In a drunken monologue, the Butcher reveals that he was arrested for having sex with his own daughter. The subject of their discussion shifts to the commotion in the streets outside. Without looking out the window, they derisively attribute the commotion to the patrons of The Rectum. Outside, Mourad is seen talking to a police officer.

Irréversible Plot articles: 13



Noé first found financing for Irréversible after he pitched the story to be told in reverse, in order to capitalize on the popularity of Christopher Nolan's film Memento (2000).[7] Noe has admitted in interviews that during the production of the film he would use cocaine in order to help him carry the large cameras needed to capture the rotating shots in the film.[8]

Irréversible was shot using a widescreen lightweight Minima Super16 mm camera.[9] The film consists of about a dozen apparently unbroken shots[10] melded together from hundreds of shots.[11] This included a 9-minute-long rape and sodomy scene,[12] portrayed in a single, unbroken shot.[13] Computer-generated imagery was used in post-production for the penis in the rape scene.[14] Another example is the scene where Pierre beats up a man's face and skull to pulp.[15] CGI was used to augment the results, as initial footage using a conventional latex dummy proved unconvincing.[16] During sixty minutes of its running time, the film uses extremely low-frequency sound to create a state of nausea and anxiety in the audience.[17]

Irréversible Cast articles: 7


Bellucci at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival

The film premiered in France on 22 May 2002 through Mars Distribution. It competed at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.[18] It was released in the United Kingdom on 31 January 2003 through Metro Tartan Distribution, and the United States on 7 March 2003 through Lions Gate Films. Audience reactions to both the rape scene and the murder scene have ranged from appreciation of their artistic merits to leaving the theater in disgust.[19] Newsweek's David Ansen stated that "If outraged viewers (mostly women) at the Cannes Film Festival are any indication, this will be the most walked-out-of movie of 2003." In the same review, Ansen suggested that the film displayed "an adolescent pride in its own ugliness".[20]

Critical response to the film was divided, with some critics panning the film and others considering it one of the year's best. The film holds an approval rating of 57% based on 122 reviews at Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 5.75/10. The website's critics' consensus states: "Though well-filmed, Irréversible feels gratuitous in its extreme violence."[21] The American film critic Roger Ebert argued that the film's structure makes it inherently moral; that by presenting vengeance before the acts that inspire it, we are forced to process the vengeance first, and therefore think more deeply about its implications.[6]

Irréversible won the top award, the Bronze Horse for best film, at the 2002 Stockholm International Film Festival. It was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Award by the Film Critics Circle of Australia. It was voted Best Foreign Language Film by the San Diego Film Critics Society, tied with The Barbarian Invasions (Les Invasions barbares). It grossed $792,200 from theatrical screenings.[3]

Irréversible received three votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound critics' poll of the greatest films[22] and in 2016 was listed by critic Andreas Borcholte as one of the ten best films since 2000.[23]

Irréversible Reception articles: 7


Film critic David Edelstein argues that "Irréversible might be the most homophobic movie ever made."[24] Noé's depiction of gay criminal Le Tenia inexplicably raping the female lead, Alex, remains the film's most controversial image. In his defense, Noé has stated, "I'm not homophobic", further stating that "I also appear in Irréversible, masturbating at the gay club", as a means of showing that "I didn't feel superior to gays."[25]

Overview of "David Edelstein" article


  1. ^ "IRREVERSIBLE (18)". British Board of Film Classification. 21 October 2002. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  2. ^ Palmer, Tim (12 December 2014). Irreversible. Appendix: Key Details: Macmillan Palgrave. ISBN 978-0-230-33697-1.
  3. ^ a b "Irreversible". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  4. ^ "Irreversible (2003) - International Box Office Results - Box Office Mojo". boxofficemojo.com.
  5. ^ Palmer, Tim (2011). Brutal Intimacy: Analyzing Contemporary French Cinema. Middleton, CT: Wesleyan University Press. ISBN 978-0-8195-6827-4.
  6. ^ a b Ebert, Roger (14 March 2003). "Irreversible". Archived from the original on 29 March 2010. Retrieved 22 February 2020.
  7. ^ Kohn, Eric (6 August 2016). "Gaspar Noé Says All Directors Are 'Sucking D*cks For Financing' And Women Enjoyed 'Love' More Than Men". Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  8. ^ https://www.indiewire.com/2015/10/why-gaspar-noe-directed-on-cocaine-masturbated-in-his-own-film-and-shot-a-live-birth-55975/
  9. ^ Palmer, Tim (2014). Irreversible – Controversies. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 77. ISBN 978-1-137-47862-7.
  10. ^ Sterritt, David (2005). Guiltless Pleasures: A David Sterritt Film Reader. University Press of Mississippi. p. 184. ISBN 978-1-57806-780-0.
  11. ^ American Cinematographer, Volume 84, No 2–6. ASC Holding Corporation. 2003. p. 20.
  12. ^ Brottman, Mikita (2005). Offensive Films (illustrated ed.). Vanderbilt University Press. p. 161. ISBN 978-0-8265-1491-2.
  13. ^ Renga, Dana (2013). Unfinished Business: Screening the Italian Mafia in the New Millennium. University of Toronto Press. p. 46. ISBN 978-1-4426-1558-8.
  14. ^ Allmer, Patricia; Huxley, David; Brick, Emily (2012). European Nightmares: Horror Cinema in Europe Since the 1945 (illustrated ed.). Columbia University Press. p. 83. ISBN 978-0-231-85008-7.
  15. ^ Palmer, Tim; Michael, Charlie (2013). Directoyr of World Cinema: France (illustrated ed.). Intellect Books. p. 22. ISBN 978-1-84150-563-3.
  16. ^ Palmer, Tim (2014). p. 88–90
  17. ^ Wilson, Laura (2015). Spectatorship, Embodiment and Physicality in the Contemporary Mutilation Film (Illustrated ed.). Springer. pp. 84–85. ISBN 978-1-137-44438-7.
  18. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Irréversible". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  19. ^ "Metro Cinema Society: Irréversible". metrocinema.org. Archived from the original on 18 March 2007. Retrieved 18 March 2007.
  20. ^ Ansen, David (3 March 2003). "How Far Is Too Far?". Newsweek. Archived from the original on 1 January 2020.
  21. ^ "Irréversible (2002)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  22. ^ "Votes for IRRÉVERSIBLE (2002)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  23. ^ "The 21st century's 100 greatest films: Who voted?". BBC. 23 August 2016. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  24. ^ Edelstein, David (7 March 2003). "Irreversible Errors". Slate. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  25. ^ "'Enter the Void' Director Gaspar Noe Talks Sex, Drugs and Narrative Cinema". 21 September 2010. Retrieved 24 April 2016.

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