Sundance Film Festival follow up: ENTER THE VOID

To say that Gasper Noe’s “psychedelic melodrama” ENTER THE VOID premiered to a divisive audience is putting it lightly. Reactions to the film when it first screened at Cannes in 2009 were polarized, but the nomination for the Palm d’Or gave Noe the energy to continue editing and release a final, shorter, version at Sundance the following year. Audiences were again split, but those in favor of Noe’s two-hour trip were effusive, calling him a master manipulator of time and space and comparing ENTER THE VOID to 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY for its hypnotic influence on the perception of time. In fact, the special effects supervisor for 2001 was a jury member of the Neuchatel Film Festival where Noe won the award for Best Film.

ENTER THE VOID had been a passion project of Noe’s for some time before he was able to secure funding, something possible only after the success of IRREVERSIBLE in 2002. Many of the more psychedelic scenes in VOID were based on his own experiences with hallucinogens and Ayahuasca. The results are stunning, staggering visuals — a post-production nightmare as every single scene involves CG imagery. But I think Noe would agree that the year of post was worth it to create a truly mind-bending masterpiece.

Be sure to satisfy all your festival needs with the latest buzz, top stories, and celebrity interviews from Sundance Channel’s coverage of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.