Love | Chicago Reader

Love

135 minutes 2015

Gaspar Noé shot this French erotic drama in 3-D, and I'm pleased to confirm that, yes, there is a slow-motion close-up of the star ejaculating into the camera lens. Lengthy scenes of hardcore porn, artfully framed and lit and often accompanied by austere classical music, punctuate a fractured, achronological narrative about a young, hung American in Paris (Karl Glusman), his unstable lover (Aomi Muyock), and the lissome blond teen next door (Klara Kristin), whose threesome with the couple snowballs into an anguished romantic triangle. Like Noé's psychedelic Enter the Void (2010) this is a nocturnal, claustrophobic experience, unfolding in stuffy bedrooms and murky dance clubs; his most frequent three-dimensional motif is a shot of the hero standing in a doorway with his cell phone, facing into a room. The sex scenes are pretty hot, though their power is diminished by the characters' limited intelligence—when the couple first meet, exchanging mundane thoughts about Stanley Kubrick and Robert Frost, you wish their mouths were busy with something else. In French with subtitles.

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