Wednesday, April 15, 2009

April Showers: Irreversible

April Showers evenings @ 11 all month long

I like to think that this is the only part of the horrifically vile Irreversible (2002). It's a short film about sweet lovemaking and the marital bliss of one of cinema's sexiest couples, Monica Bellucci & Vincent Cassel. That's it, a beautiful short film!!! I pretend whenever possible that the rest of the movie did not attempt to show itself to me.


Tangent: Shower curtains in movies are always so sparkly clean. No mold, no stains, nothing. You can totally kiss through them without once thinking 'god, i totally need to clean this bathroom!' ...hypothetically speaking. My bathroom is impeccable. Um...

Occasionally my pretending fails me. I recognizable the structural potency (to an extent) of Irréversible but I will never ever ever ever ever subject myself to it again. Never ever.

Weirdly, I have never seen any of the other collaborations between the Bellucci-Cassels (and there's quite a few). Cassel will next be seen in the portugese film Á Deriva (Adrift) and the Andrew Niccol's next project The Cross which stars Orlando Bloom... but I'm most eager to see what David Cronenberg will do with Cassel's closeted self-deluding "Kirill" in the Eastern Promises sequel.

We'll see Bellucci in the ensemble cast of The Private Lives of Pippa Lee this year. After Pippa, she reunites with director Guisseppe Tornatore. He fawned over her beauty in Malena (2000) to such an extent that the film won a cinematography nomination for its DP Lajos Koltai. Koltai isn't joining the Bellucci/Tornatore reunion, though. Enrico Lucidi got the DP duties on Tornatore's latest, Baaria -La Porta del vento. Such a thankless task, pointing cameras at Bellucci ;)


Bellucci and Cassel celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary this year. The knot, still tied. Here they are at the Cesar Awards (France's Oscars) earlier this year. I can't stop looking at pictures of them, today. They're regulars: Vincent has been nominated 4 times, winning once and Bellucci was nominated once for their first film together L'Appartement.



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14 comments:

Dom said...

Whoa.

Can you say:"Easily the movie star couple I'd most like to have a threesome with" ?

Yes, even more than Brad and Angie.

Anonymous said...

Oh man I strongly agree. That movie was horrific! I don't know what was is but I'm sure it was not art!

Paul Outlaw said...

I can't take much more of this series...Phillipe, Penn, Cassel...I'm dyin' here...

Adam said...

I really respect "Irreversible" in my love for exploitation films, and think it works perfectly as such. It reminds me of something like "Thriller: A Cruel Picture" or something from the grindhouse seventies. People have trouble digesting it and pegging it down because it's arthouse style meets graphic shock cinema. Maybe they're bothered by films that linger on the horror as much as the beauty.

But then I'm sure no one has trouble with lingering on such a beautiful couple. That scene is so fantastic and authentic given their real-life romance.

Adam said...

I really respect "Irreversible" in my love for exploitation films, and think it works perfectly as such. It reminds me of something like "Thriller: A Cruel Picture" or something from the grindhouse seventies. People have trouble digesting it and pegging it down because it's arthouse style meets graphic shock cinema. Maybe they're bothered by films that linger on the horror as much as the beauty.

But then I'm sure no one has trouble with lingering on such a beautiful couple. That scene is so fantastic and authentic given their real-life romance.

Tim said...

I agree with Adam in that the film's great triumph is tying Euro-art cinema to the very sickest kind of exploitation film; and not just for The Rape Scene, but for plenty of other little bits like that scene early on with the fire extinguisher... One of just a couple times in my life that I've actually had to convince myself that "It's just a movie. They didn't really do that."

I'd also point out, Nathaniel, that the whole structure of the film is based on the viewer wanting very desperately to pretend that the nasty stuff didn't happen, and Noé basically telling us that no, no matter how much we want to focus on the nice sweet things in life, the most unspeakable horrors are always somewhere waiting. So it's not just a "fuck you" to the audience in general, it's a very specific "fuck you" to people exactly like you, and I'd imagine that's even more of the reason that you don't want to ever watch it again ever - a view that I fully salute and support, by the way.

For me, I'd call it one of the best films of the '00s. I'm certain that doesn't say anything good about me.

Glenn said...

Sexiest couple around, for sure.

Whenever people talk about Brangelina and I just they're so vanilla compared to these two.

I don't even intend to watch this movie again, but I thought it was incredibly powerful and shocking and that's what it was going for, surely.

Wayne B. said...

Vincent Cassel was fantastic in "Eastern Promises", he should've got some more recognition for it.

An out of left field question. If "Grey Gardens" has a theatrical premiere (NY/LA) before it airs on TV, does that make it eligible for theatrical film awards even though it's a television movie?

Will said...

Monica Bellucci - the most beatiful actress in the world.
Vincent Cassel - the lickest man alive.

NATHANIEL R said...

Will... the "lickest" man alive? it's a Freudian typo!

Paul sorry ;)

Wayne B... you mean Oscar eligibility? The answer to that would be no. Because films need more than just a theatrical premiere to have awards eligibility. They have to play in theaters first and they have to have at least a one week / non festival / regular engagement in LA within the calendar year to qualify.

Tim agreed with your point about why it's directed at me... just don't really agree with Gaspar's extreme methods. I'm perfectly willing to accept the horrors of life in the movies (well apart from slasher films... yes, people are sometimes violently murdered in real life but given the amount of gorey movies out there you'd think it was as common a way to die as cancer or car accidents) I'm just not sure the movies should want us to watch those horrors as much as they do.

i dunno.

john said...

I'm sorry but how shockingly stupid is it that Monica Bellucci is not in Nine!?!

Will said...

Hahaha!!!!

Jer said...

Oh no, I had really tried to block this movie from my mind. It is one of the only movies I have ever seen in which I really did think I was going to throw up.

Ugh. Ick. Yikes.

Arkaan said...

Nathaniel, have you seen Haneke's FUNNY GAMES (either version) or Noe's I STAND ALONE? Both films (ditto IRREVERSIBLE) make my list of films I thought were gonna make me hurl.

Not that it's a bad thing - reading THE PILLOWMAN had a similar effect, except in a good way. The others.... not so much.