“Love” fits various genres: Romance, adult-themed or even softcore porn movie? Exceptional director Gaspar Noé’s uncompromising film aims at breaking taboos and shocking the audience. It shows in a love story what happens when couples in Hollywood productions disappear under the blankets or the camera goes dark – real sex.
To watch Gaspar Noé’s new movie I went to a film festival that showed the film in a independent movie theater that apparently was a porno cinema in the past (the red velvet seats should have tipped me off). A staff member of the festival introduced the movie with the words “I hope you know what you’re getting yourself into!”. Considering some reactions from the audience, apparently some did not, but I did. I was looking forward to this movie a long time because I already liked the previous works of the director and because the German history of the movie is interesting: When the German FSK (Voluntary Self Regulation of the Movie Industry that has to approve and rate movies) tested the film for the first time, it didn’t pass. Not until the second test the committee arrived at the conclusion that the movie is not harmful to young viewers. Although in Germany a lot of movies are censored or prohibited, with this one it would have been a huge mistake.
Because “Love” can be called the ultimate love movie. The story is about the American Murphy who moved for his studies to Paris where he meets the unstable Electra. The plot starts in the present when both are not longer together but Murphy still has feelings for Electra and tries to contact her. During flashbacks, the emotional relationship between the two is told until in the end the love story finds itself in the present again.
Even though you can already see the first male ejaculation in the first scene, “Love” can not be called a porno. It is rather the first love film that doesn’t want to cut after a couple kissed or disappeared under the blankets. It shows the reality what happens after that – sex and what it means. Because sex is just another form of communication, not with words but with the body. It reveals that love can be addictive just like a drug.
3D-Sperm In The Direction Of The Audience
But people who already watched movies of Gaspar Noé like “Irreversible” or “Enter The Void” know that the director wants to break taboos and shock the viewers with his works. In order to do that he uses the technical possibilities of the 3D. One time the audience is surprised by sperm that jumps in the direction of the camera. Or generally the fact that the two-hour flick basically only consists of sex scenes. But when you compare the movie to its forerunners, Noé shows himself in “Love” more harmless. In a lot of scenes he makes the audience laugh. Like when Murphy gives his future son the name “Gaspar” or when Electra reveals the name of her ex-boyfriend – Noé.
The film is a revolution because with its detailedness it criticizes other romances in which there has to be a happy ending or other movies that want to seem extreme but in reality they’re just prude, like “50 Shades Of Grey”. Especially for women the film is a step towards gender equality. Because normally you can only see female breasts in sex scenes but of men there are no intimate parts shown. With “Love” that changed because it seemed that there was more male than female genitalia shown (or maybe the big pubic hair of the actresses had that effect on me).
The director said himfelf that he expected that women would leave the theater crying while men would be aroused. But in his expierences it was always the other way around. So it appears that Gaspar Noé broke with his newest movie for the first time also his own biased limitations.