Climax | Chicago Reader


After making several movies that resembled bad acid trips (I Stand Alone, Irreversible, Enter the Void), Gaspar Noé has made a movie about people experiencing a bad acid trip; the results may be described as thematic overkill. This takes place in the mid-1990s at a shuttered woodland boarding school where a couple dozen dancers (a mix of straight, gay, and bisexual men and women) rehearse their latest routine. One night someone spikes the dancers’ sangria with LSD, and the group devolves into madness and violence. As usual Noé sets an ambience of sensory overload with strobe effects, dizzying Steadicam shots (some of them lasting more than ten minutes), and a near-constant thumping on the soundtrack. Yet it all feels emptily show-offy and monotonously shrill this time around—maybe it’s because, in juggling so many characters, Noé isn’t able to humanize the drug's disconcerting effects by tying them to any one person’s experience. Regardless the various attempts at shock value (with scenes involving self-mutilation and abortion) seem downright desperate. In English and subtitled French.



  • Gaspar Noe


  • Sofia Boutella
  • Guillaume Romain
  • Souheila Yacoub
  • Kiddy Smile
  • Claude Gajan Maull
  • Giselle Palmer
  • Taylor Kastle
  • Thea Carla Schott
  • Sharleen Temple
  • Lea Vlamos
  • Alaia Alsafir
  • Kendall Mugler
  • Lakdhar Dridi
  • Adrien Sissoko
  • Mamadou Bathily
  • Alou Sidibe
  • Ashley Biscette
  • Mounia Nassangar
  • Tiphanie Au
  • Sarah Belala


  • Gaspar Noe


  • Brahim Chioua
  • Danny Gabai
  • Eddy Moretti
  • Gaspar Noe
  • Michel Merkt
  • Olivier Père
  • Richard Grandpierre
  • Serge Catoire
  • Vincent Maraval
  • Édouard Weil

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