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The act of looking/ Love (2016)

The french movie director Gaspar Noé is famous for the usage of unusual cinematic effects. For example in the extremely uncomfortable rape/revenge-drama 'Irreversible' he used a nearly inaudible 28hz tone that played throughout the first 30 minutes of the film. This was done efficiently in order to cause anxiety, vertigo, and nausea in the viewer, in case the violent scenes in themself was not enough. The sensual movie 'Love' is perhaps the direct opposite of 'Irreversible' as it deals with love and sensuality, not revenge and violence. But it would not be a Gaspar Noé-movie if it did not do something unusual. 'Love' shows explicit sex scenes throughout and it was shown in 3D in cinemas. Explicit sex scenes in 3D had never been done before so I guess it was about time. There is even a scene with a so called cum-shot aimed directly at the viewer (My friend sitting next to me looked at me, took off his 3D-glasses, demonstrably cleaned his eyes, put them back on and continued watching).


The movie was only shown for one week in the cinema of Bergen. Here is a photograph that I took when I was entering the move. The movie had not started yet and there was still just the commercials showing. These fellas had possibly missed the times when porn was still shown in cinemas. Or perhaps I am prejudiced, and they where there for the Arthaus-film that it also was. We will never know, and it does not matter. I am happy they got to see this movie, and I sincerely hope they enjoyed it. I did.


Perhaps the movie can be seen as a rebellion against the way our culture has a tendency of neatly separating love from sex, as well as pornography from art? If we think back on art history the impossibility of this last endeavour becomes obvious. Nudity and sexuality was always there, and cannot be separated from what we call art. We look with our eyes, our nervous system and thus our bodies! And our bodies react, sometimes with pleasure (as in 'Love'), sometimes with disgust (as in 'Irreversible'). And of course, these particular feelings are also sometimes hard to separate, and sometimes they are misplaced. Aesthetics does not exist in a separate realm where the body is not present.


When it comes to the relationship between love and sex the situation is perhaps more complicated, but what I am sure of is that giving pleasure is one possible way of expressing love, and that this is what Gaspar Noés film is about.

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