April 18, 2024


Climax (2018)

Hosted by

Carolyn Smith-Hillmer
Climax (2018)
The Final Girl on 6th Ave
Climax (2018)

Apr 18 2024 | 01:10:41


Show Notes

Experimental horror is not for everyone. I give many thanks to the universe it is my favorite cup of tea. Gaspar Noe's Climax is a descent into the minds of a drug-addled dance troupe inside of an abandoned school in France. What could possibly go wrong?


IMDB: https://m.imdb.com/title/tt8359848/ 

Climax: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climax_(2018_film)

Psychonaut Wiki LSD: https://psychonautwiki.org/wiki/LSD#Subjective_effects

Extreme Behavior and LSD: https://skywoodrecovery.com/lsd-abuse/extreme-behavior-related-to-lsd/ 

 Cinemaholic: https://thecinemaholic.com/climax-review/ 

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:20] Hello, everyone, and welcome back to the final Girl on 6th Avenue podcast. My name is Carolyn Smith Hillmer, and I'm 6th Avenue's very own final girl. [00:00:32] And this week, we're going to be talking about something that's slightly different than what I normally talk about. Because we are talking about an experimental film. [00:00:45] I don't always get the opportunity to talk about experimental films. I don't always have one that is, I would say, easy enough to, like, verbally explain to you. You know, when I do my play by play. Um, yeah, it's. [00:01:06] They're just. There's sometimes just too much going on, too much imagery to have to, you know, try to articulate. And usually, for me, they're like those movies that I can't really tell you what it's about. You kind of have to see it on your own. But this one is different. [00:01:24] This one is different. This week we're talking about 2018 film Climax from Gaspar. No. [00:01:33] Same director as irreversible. [00:01:36] Same director as, I believe, enter the void. [00:01:40] Obviously a very divisive filmmaker. [00:01:44] Not one that I would recommend to everyone, but I thought that this one was, you know, maybe better eat, more easy to digest than irreversible. Right? Like, I still feel bad that I recorded the episode about irreversible because I had to subject everybody to what that movie was and what it was about because that was. That movie was just too much. [00:02:14] And that's coming from somebody like me. So this one is not too much. [00:02:19] Right. But it is an absolute hellscape. Okay. There's no way to get out of what you're watching other than to turn it off. But you don't even want to turn it off, because if you did turn it off, like, what would you miss? Right? Like, you don't know. It's. It's just too crazy. [00:02:39] So let's. Let's go to our Bible first, right? That's what we always do. This is rated r, 1 hour, 37 minutes run time. Written and directed by Gaspar. No, guys, there's. The cast is so many people because they. And it's like, I would normally read you, like, the top three who appear in the film the most, but they all play such large parts in the film, it's. [00:03:08] It's kind of difficult for me to read you all these names. [00:03:13] So I'll pick, you know, the top three that are listed on IMDb. We have Sofia Boutella, Romaine Yermik, and Suella Yakob. It's, you know, it's basically just 20 people 20 plus people in a abandoned school in France. [00:03:33] And really, I don't think there's anything more simple than the premise of this movie. So our Bible says french dancers gather in a remote, empty school building to rehearse on a wintry night. The all night celebration morphs into a hallucinatory nightmare when they learn their sangria is laced with LSD. [00:04:00] Now, I know what you're thinking. LSD, the thing that they're using to help people improve their mental health. And it's also being studied to aid in addiction, both drug and alcohol addiction. So seems kind of weird, and I'll talk a little bit about that later, because typically LSD is associated with happy things, but this is beyond anything happy. So I say we get started and stick with me on this wild ride. I promise that you will not be disappointed by the story that I am about to tell you. [00:04:43] The opening of this film is, um, I would say important to the story, but at first, like, when you see it, it obviously doesn't match anything that you're about to see. So two main things happen at the beginning, and the intro is actually very long, so I'm not gonna bore you with all the, you know, individual minute details, but there's two things that happen. [00:05:12] One is we get this overhead or, like, aerial shot of a woman bleeding and rolling around in the snow. [00:05:22] And then we have basically, you know, we're watching a tv. [00:05:29] And around this tv set is a stack of books to the left and a stack of vhs tapes to the right. And the tv is playing a series of submission tapes from people that are auditioning and interviewing to be part of an upcoming dance performance group of sorts. Right? And looking at the tapes that are around the television set, these are films that I think people that know me super well would not be shocked to know that I own in my home, like, a physical copy in my home. [00:06:12] But I don't know that I would, like, display them for people who don't know me that well to see. So just looking at the tapes, there's possession, which we all know that I love. Suspiria, schizophrenia, un chen, Andalou, and 120 days of Sodom. Very interesting selection to display. And there's many more in there. [00:06:36] And in particular, they're basically, you know, these dancers who are interviewing and auditioning and, like, they're talking a lot about, you know, their sexuality. Some of them are open to experiences with. With sexual things. Like, open to. [00:06:53] They're not afraid of their sexuality. They're not afraid of promiscuity. There's a couple guys who say that they're afraid to, like, be around gay people. Like, they don't. They've never met gay people. They don't know what, you know, that looks like for them. [00:07:09] It's all very weird. But something that is interesting is there's one german dancer who's being interviewed, and everyone else is french because they all speak French and they live in France. But this one woman is German, and she does her interview in English, and her name is Psyche. She explains that she wants to try something new, and she needs to leave Berlin to come to France because she wants to try something new, but because there's too many drugs around in Berlin. [00:07:42] That is such an interesting complaint that I've never heard anyone have. I've never heard anybody go to Berlin and be like, there's too many drugs. [00:07:54] Maybe that's just coming from Americans that I know that have been there, but I find that incredibly interesting that that would be, like, a con that she has. [00:08:06] But she explains that, like, the drug scene is just so crazy there that even her roommate that she had in Germany had a bottle of liquid LSD that they used to, like, drop into their eyes. So they were, like, ingesting LSD via eyeballs. [00:08:24] Very interesting. Anyways, roll opening credits. I love to see the credits at the beginning of the film. So does our man Gaspar know? He likes to have them at the beginning. He thinks leaving them at the end is boring, and no one does a credit sequence like him. [00:08:44] I look forward to them in all of his films. They're electrifying. They're so amazing. [00:08:50] And now there's also quite a few credits. But to those of you that know this director, you will not be surprised by that. [00:09:00] We're directed to look at a cast of these dancers who are rehearsing for this upcoming performance that they have in an abandoned school building. And it's a huge choreographed routine. Everybody gets kind of their own little solo. The dancing styles are wild and jumbled, but, like, they look really cool when they're mixed together. It's hypnotizing from the beginning. There's a mix of, like, voguing and crumping. And I'm not gonna pretend to know the other styles that are mixed in there, but it looks like maybe hip hop, some contemporary. [00:09:36] There's some, I don't know, maybe ballet influence. I'm not a dancer. Please don't come for me. If you know exactly what is going on in the styles of dance, like, keep it to yourself. It'll hurt my feelings with how little I know about dance. [00:09:54] So after the rehearsal is over, they've completed it successfully. Oh, also, there's some, like, contortion stuff going on in there. Like, these people are obviously super talented. [00:10:08] The group decides they're gonna have a party to celebrate. And this party has been set up by Emmanuel, the manager, and she's. [00:10:20] She proudly announces that she made sangria for everybody, and she has her son Tito there, and he comes down to join the party a little bit. He's absolutely loved by everybody there. [00:10:32] He interacts with everybody. He dances with Selva, who is the choreographer of the routine. It's so cute. And Emmanuel takes him to bed and gives him a kiss so that everybody can party without having to worry about him being around and offending him and him seeing things maybe he shouldn't see. Very sweet, endearing moment. [00:10:53] But now they're all allowed to dance freely. While I didn't know this was his full character name until I, you know, was preparing this episode, DJ Goth daddy. But in the film, they only refer to him as daddy. So if you hear me say that, then that's who I'm talking about. [00:11:13] So he's playing music, and he relaxes, and then everybody in the group starts to gossip. And this guy David, who gives me the absolute heebie jeebies, is talking about how he slept with Selva, the choreographer, and other women in the group and about how he wants to sleep with, you know, others and who he's already slept with. And then, you know, there's, like, another shot where there's some other guys, they're gossiping about how they fuck women, which is 100% not presented in a pleasant way at all. [00:11:45] I don't even want to repeat some of the things that they say, but they talk about, essentially how they have sex with women and all of their different orifices and their penis size. And, yeah, everything is very graphic. I was uncomfortable to watch it. I was so happy when that part was over. [00:12:07] And while everybody's kind of, you know, hanging out and chatting and, like, you know, relaxing, after they have a successful rehearsal, Psyche and Ivana sit on the stairs, and Ivana is trying to get Psyche's attention, but, like, she's just not paying attention to Ivana. She, like, doesn't care. [00:12:29] And Saiki tells her she's boring. [00:12:34] Ivana is like, you're just a bitch. And Psyche's like, nope, you're just boring. Like, I don't want to talk to you. So as the night continues, everything's going swimmingly until Psyche stands in the middle of the dance floor and pees on the floor. [00:12:51] She just gets up and pees. And this is ultimately the turning point of the film. [00:13:00] Selva begins at that point to realize that something is very wrong with herself. After she helps clean up the pee on the floor, everybody starts to get agitated and, like, panicked, and, like, they just feel like something's wrong. They're dizzy, and everybody comes to the conclusion that they've been drugged with lsd in the sangria, which Emmanuel made. So Emmanuel has been drinking the sangria also, though. So why would she drug everybody, including herself? Like, that just doesn't really make sense, right? Like, why would she purposely do this? She's also been consuming it. So whenever she finds out that everybody else is, you know, freaking the fuck out, then she starts to freak the fuck out, too, because what else are you supposed to do? [00:13:52] So they all start to speculate on who could have possibly spiked this sangria and determine via, you know, essentially groupthink that this one dancer, Omar, must have done it because he doesn't consume alcohol at all. Like, he's totally sober. He doesn't believe in drinking alcohol. He doesn't want to do it, and so therefore, he didn't drink the sangria at all. So this attack is mainly met is mainly led by this other dancer named Taylor, who absolutely hates Omar for dating his sister Gazelle. [00:14:26] So they kick Omar out of the school building and throw him outside into the freezing snow. And I guess the door is locked from the outside so he can't come back. [00:14:36] Of course, if it ended there and solved the whole problem, then it wouldn't really be a movie, right? So, as if the night couldn't get any worse, Emanuel turns around and sees her son Tito drinking a cup of the sangria. Like, what the actual fuck, right? Everybody's afraid. [00:14:54] Everybody knows that they've been drugged, and now her son is drinking it, so she freaks out. So she takes Tito to an electrical closet and tells him not to touch the electrical panel, because if he touches anything in it, it will kill him. [00:15:10] I think that that's a bit of an exaggeration. [00:15:14] Okay. Like, let's not be dramatic, but that's okay. [00:15:22] I also understand the idea of, like, you know, really trying to drive home a point to a child and being like, you know, don't do this or you're gonna die. You know, it's like, worst case nuclear scenario. Anyways, she puts him in there, she locks the door, she takes the key, and the whole time, Tito is in this room, this closet. He's banging on the door and screaming and crying to be let out. Like, he's freaking out. He doesn't understand what's going on. Like, he doesn't know why his mom put him in here. He doesn't understand why drinking the sangria was wrong. And, like, of course, she's under the influence as well, so she doesn't really have the capacity to take the time to, you know, actually educate him on what's going on. [00:16:14] So Selva, at this point, can barely walk, and she's dizzy, and she looks, like, hot. Like, she's, like, sweating a lot. And she walks around the school. They've essentially, you know, made this abandoned school, like, a home, right? Like, they have bedrooms and, like, they have a kitchen, and, like, they're basically just, like, living out of it. [00:16:35] So Selva goes to find Lou in the bathroom, and Lou is throwing up in one of the sinks that is, like, in the room that they made into her bedroom. [00:16:49] And Selva is like, oh, my God. I mean, you feel sick too. Like, this is. This is horrible. Like, how did this happen? And Lou ends up admitting to Selva that she actually didn't drink the sangria because she's pregnant. [00:17:04] So Dom comes in. All these people are dancers, by the way. I have no way of referencing who they are because there's so many people. And, like, I have no way of. I would have to draw you a map, basically. But another dancer, Dom, comes in and finds Lou and Selva talking and accuses Lou now of spiking the sangria. And Lou is like, no. Like, I didn't do it. Like, I haven't drank any. Like, why would I do this? I'm sick. I'm pregnant. And Dom just starts kicking her in the stomach until Lou is wailing in pain and crying and screaming and asking for somebody to call a hospital. Of course, nobody does. [00:17:45] But Dom doesn't believe that Lou is actually pregnant. She's, like, so set in this conviction that she has that Lou is the one that spiked the sangria. She does not believe that this woman is pregnant. She's, like, thinking to herself, this is such a cop out. [00:18:04] So Lou, in panic and desperation to basically figure out what's going on, walks through the building and passes by a kitchen to see that Aaliyah and Jennifer are in there arguing. Now, a Aaliyah had earlier asked Jennifer for some cocaine, and Jennifer told her that she didn't have any. It was all gone. But that's not true because apparently she does have some cocaine, because she's in there doing it. So, you know when people don't want to share things, like, just don't lie. Can't you just say no? Cause, like, then that's how shit like this happens. So they're arguing about the fact that Jennifer did, in fact, have cocaine, and an altercation just totally breaks out between the two of them. And they're in this kitchen area, and it ends with Aaliyah pushing Jennifer into this, like, stove hot plate portable thing. And I guess it's on or turns on during the altercation, which causes Jennifer's hair to be caught on fire. And not just like, a little bit. Like, you know, when you're a kid and you put your head over a candle that's lit and you're not thinking about it, and so, like, you know, the tip of your hair catches on fire. Like, this is like, fire fire. Like, her scalp is on fire. [00:19:39] So, Lou, she's like, I don't want any part of that situation. I don't understand why, you know, no one is helping me. [00:19:50] So she makes her way back into the dance floor room to find Dom and confront her, but instead, the entire group turns on Lou. Instead, Dom is saying, like, she absolutely did this. Like, she. She drugged us. Like, it wasn't Omar, it was her. She's saying she's pregnant, like, she didn't drink anything, blah, blah, blah, you know, trying to get everybody to be on her side. So Lou finds a knife to try to defend herself because this group is turning on her, and they're angry. Like, angry angry. [00:20:31] But the group instead just relentlessly taunts Lou, this poor woman, and are, like, telling her all terrible things. And eventually it turns into, Lou, you should just do us all a favor and kill yourself. [00:20:52] So Lou just doesn't really know what to do here. It's. [00:20:59] I can't say that I blame her. Like, how would you know what to do in that situation? Like, you have this group around you, and they want you to harm yourself, and you're desperate and you're. You know, you're pregnant. You have a baby in your stomach that you want to keep, so you're fighting for your protection. You're fighting for your baby's protection. Like, there's so many things you're trying to do, but they just. They don't stop. Like, it's a painful scene to watch. And so she just punches herself in the stomach over and over and over again and eventually takes the knife that she had been using to protect herself and turns it onto her own body and starts to slice at her arm, and, like, she puts it near her face and, like, just, mmm, it's. It's so awful. But there's another dancer, Eva, and she sees the state that Lou is in, tries to comfort her. [00:22:06] Lou eventually stops harming herself, like, and all the while that this is going on, like I said, there's, like, 20 ish people right in this film. [00:22:20] And there's, like, some people who are just vibing to the fact that they are having a psychedelic experience. [00:22:31] There's people that are angry. There's people that are, like, sitting and just, like, hanging out. Like, there's so many people in this. In this film that play such a big part. And so, like, it's just such a weird thing to watch. Like, you know, this guy over here is trying to get laid, and these three people over here are dancing, and they act like they don't have a care in the world. And this other guy's sitting on the couch. And then there's, like, four people over here that are, like, bullying this woman to kill herself. And it's just so chaotic. And a whole time there's, in the background, you can hear screaming coming from Tito, who's still locked in the electrical closet, by the way. And the music, like, DJ Daddy had been playing music this whole entire time. And the music in the film never stops. It never stops. Like, it is on from the minute that you turn this film on till the minute that you turn it off. And it's loud and it's all electronic music, which just adds to, obviously, the overall experience of, you know, an LSD experience. But when you just need to collect your thoughts or, like, you need to figure out what to do, and there's something really, really loud. It's like when you're trying to. You're driving and you're lost, so you, like, turn down the radio as if that will somehow, like, help you find what you're looking for more easily. I don't know. It's very, like, confusing the way that humans do that. [00:24:12] But that's kind of how you feel. [00:24:15] Like there's so much happening, there's so much noise. You can't turn it off, you can't block it out, and it never ends. [00:24:24] So Selva, who is still just, like, stumbling around, walking aimlessly, she's decided that she's going to start walking through the building again. I don't know why she didn't, you know, find anything good the first time, right? The first time she did it, she found Lou throwing up in a sink and then Dom coming in to kick the shit out of her, but she's like, no, no, no, this time will be better. So she starts walking again and hearing screaming again, still from Tito, who's locked in the electrical closet and who is now having, right, hallucinations because he drank the sangria and now he is like a nine year old boy having an LSD trip. Like, what the fuck? [00:25:14] And so she's walking and she passes by Emmanuel and who is frantically looking for the key to the electrical closet. Because guess what? When you're on drugs, you lose things. [00:25:28] Who would have thought that, right? Who would have ever thought you would just lose something, right? Like, it's like when you're drunk and you're like, no, like, I can get myself home. Like, I can call my own Uber. Like, don't worry about it. And then, you know, you stand outside for 30 minutes waiting for your Uber that you never called because, you know, you were so fucked up you forgot to do it. [00:25:52] So anyways, she's looking for the key, and now she's screaming for help because Emmanuel is, because she doesn't know where the key is and she wants to get her son, I guess, out of the room. At this point, I'm not exactly sure what she wants to do, but she wants to find the key. [00:26:11] And so during Emmanuel's search for the key, that's happening, and Selva goes off to find Taylor and a bunch of other guys beating up David. Because like I said earlier, David has spent his entire night talking about women and approaching them for sex aggressively. Like, he does it with Selva, he does it with pretty much every woman there. Like, I think he's bisexual. I think he approaches men. Like it's, he's, he's only looking for sex. Like he's not looking for anything else. [00:26:47] All of a sudden, out of nowhere, the electricity goes out and the screaming stops. [00:26:59] Tito's not screaming anymore. [00:27:02] There's no music playing for probably 30 seconds. [00:27:08] The lights switch to, like, a red emergency lighting, presumably powered by some backup form of electrical output. [00:27:19] And someone shouts, Tito must have electrocuted himself. [00:27:26] And they start laughing. [00:27:28] So Emmanuel is obviously freaking the fuck out again, not that she wasn't before, but now she's doing it even more because she already told her son not to touch it, and in her drug addled state, lost the key to get her son out of that room. And now her son is dead in that room and she still doesn't know where the key is. [00:27:53] Ivana finds Selva and tries to find her a place to be comfortable and to calm down and escape the madness. By the way, the music starts again because, like I said, we can't escape the music. [00:28:06] And, like, up until, you know, the point where it went out for 30 seconds, when the power went out, the base had been booming throughout the entire entirety of the time we've been sitting here watching this, right? It's like, again, you can't escape it. It's permeating through the walls. It's. It's throughout the entire building is. Is how, you know, loud that this noise is. And somebody is like, oh, no. Like, I have a. Like a boombox, basically. So then, of course, the music starts again because you can't escape it. And Ivana and Selva are. Anyway, they're walking through the school, and they walk past a room with a door open, and it's Eva who's taking a shower. [00:28:55] She's hysterical. Like, absolutely hysterical, trying to get the blood from Lou off of her body. Because, remember, Eva was the one who was holding Lou and trying to comfort her after Lou started slicing up her body like a fucking butcher. Okay? [00:29:15] Eva is just, you know, they're. They're basically, Selva and Ivana are like, nope. Like, not dealing with that. That's its own separate issue. Like, I am in survival mode now, and I'm gonna get where I need to go. [00:29:30] So they go into a room, I guess it's maybe Ivana's room. It could be anybody's room. [00:29:36] And they start to have sex. [00:29:39] And then David walks in, and he's, like, clearly upset. Like, he just got the shit beat out of him. [00:29:47] Nobody wants to fuck him. You know, is he lives a very hard life, right? Nobody wants to have sex with him. So he is just devastated, right? [00:30:00] He's a man. He's entitled to sex. Don't these people understand? [00:30:05] Like, why would you not give the man what he wants? [00:30:10] Selva is not going to give him what he wants. And she kicks him the fuck out. So Ivana and Selva get back to their business. And you would think that David would have learned by now, but men like him don't learn, right? We know men like him. They don't learn. He tries again, by this time going into DJ daddy's room, who's in there with another man and gets kicked out by them. [00:30:36] So everywhere he's going, he gets rejected. [00:30:40] And he's walking around completely distraught that he's not gonna have sex today. I mean, just beside himself, like, you know, the tears the everything. Like, he cannot accept this. [00:30:55] As he's walking around, though, he finds Gazelle and her brother Taylor starting to have sex. [00:31:10] Guys, I, like, there's only a couple lines that, like, I have right when it comes to what I'm willing now to watch or what I'm willing to read or what I'm willing to, like, media that I'm. Or art that I'm allowed. I allow myself to consume. And my hard lines are anything bad that happens to children. [00:31:39] I mean, like I said, I'll watch it, but, like, it's. It's something that, like, if I am not prepared to see it, like, I am done for the night, usually. Like, I can't. I can't continue. [00:31:54] It's too much. So the things are shit that happens with kids, right? [00:32:00] And incest. [00:32:04] Like, it makes me physically nauseous. [00:32:10] It bothers me to no end. Like, I. Like, I can't. Okay, whatever. [00:32:15] Gazelle runs away because, you know, David has caught them. So gazelle runs away, and she goes back to the dance floor area. And the state that these dancers are in right now is like. [00:32:33] It's just sad. It's just sad. There's nothing else. There's no other way to describe it. [00:32:38] Some are, like, dancing. Some are rolling around on the floor. Some are having sex in the middle of the floor. Some are in the process of beating the shit out of each other. Some are in a psychosis. Like the whole bag, just the whole kitchen sink. [00:32:57] That's what you're getting here. [00:33:00] And when Taylor finally catches up to her, he tells her that he's in love with her and that only he can make her happy. None of these other guys will ever make her happy the same way that he can, etcetera, more manipulation, etcetera. [00:33:20] So gazelle starts to cry because this is all just, like, too much. But she's not really saying a lot. She's just, like, throughout the whole night, right, she's been trying to. Everybody. Everybody is very sexual, like I said already, right? So she's been, you know, letting herself be free with her promiscuity and, like, I don't find anything wrong with that, but Taylor obviously does. [00:33:50] And so she's so overwhelmed, she starts to cry. [00:33:53] And then she has a seizure, and Taylor is like, oh, here's my fucking shot. Right? [00:34:04] Takes Gazelle to his room, and then David's still, you know, in. He's just not having a good day. He's getting the shit beat out of him. People are slamming his head into the floor, like, everything is not good. [00:34:21] The next morning, the police arrive. [00:34:28] Why would the police there? I don't know. Do they often frequent abandoned school buildings in France? I'm not entirely sure how the french police operate, but, like, that probably wouldn't be my first, you know, stop of the day as a french police officer. Like, let me go check out this school that's been abandoned. You know, feel like there's other things to be worried about. But anyway, when the police get there, they find that all the dancers are either dead or unconscious or sleeping. [00:35:03] And the only one still up and moving is psyche. She's still dancing. [00:35:11] Dom is crying, alone by herself. You know, maybe she's feeling bad about kicking a pregnant woman in the stomach repeatedly. [00:35:21] Maybe she is, you know, desperate for some sort of clarity to come out of this situation or just wants it to be over. [00:35:35] Omar froze to death outside, remember? Because they kicked him out. He was the first person that they kicked out and accused of spiking the sangria. [00:35:45] Emmanuel killed herself out of grief for her dead son, Tito. [00:35:54] Dead, right. He touched the electrical panel. Apparently, Gazelle wakes up in bed with her brother Taylor, and appears to have pretty much forgotten everything. And she looks kind of confused, like, she doesn't move or say anything. [00:36:13] And Taylor tells her not to say anything to their parents about it, but he doesn't really look. I mean, he remembers, right? Like, he knows what happened. [00:36:25] Eva, who's still in the shower, is naked and curled up without the water running. [00:36:33] Jennifer is splashing water on her scalp where her hair cut on fire. [00:36:38] And I cannot imagine how bad that would hurt, but she's trying to, I guess, rectify the situation. She's screaming. [00:36:52] Psyche goes into her room, and we see that she has, like, a bag, like, maybe a book bag or a travel bag. [00:37:01] And there's several books in her possession related to hallucinogenic drugs and LSD and gives herself a dose of liquid LSD drops in her eyes. [00:37:18] Interesting, because she said that her roommate back in Berlin was the one who had a problem with drugs and was putting LSD in their eyes, but now she is doing it to herself. And also, I'm just sitting here wondering, like, what would be the. I mean, I've never. I've obviously never done LSD, but, like, there must be a point where, like, it can't be helpful to, like, redose while you're still. [00:37:51] While you're coming down from another, you know, trip that you're having. Like, I don't know, the whole. It just seemed odd to me. [00:37:59] LSD users if there's any of you out there, please hit me up. Let me know how this would work. [00:38:05] And Lou runs out of the building and is writhing in the snow. [00:38:12] She's laughing uncontrollably. [00:38:15] She's, you know, she's bleeding. It's the same shot from the opening, and I like the ending shot of her because there's some sound dissonance here, which basically means that the music doesn't match the tone of the scene. Like, we're looking at someone who has clearly lost their fucking mind or is in shock over what happened, and there's, like, happy music playing over it. And I don't know about y'all, but that is so effective in scaring the shit out of me. So I love that it was used. [00:38:52] And that's the end. [00:38:56] You might think that I didn't give you a lot of details surrounding dialogue. [00:39:00] Well, a lot of the dialogue I don't find to be particularly important or, you know, there's not. [00:39:09] There's not a ton of meaning in what the people are saying to each other, honestly. It's just kind of that there are a lot. A large group of people and they're talking, but there's not a ton of meaning in the, like, line by line analysis. So if that was something you were hoping for, I apologize, but that's just not really something that I felt like was important to include. [00:39:36] But as with anything from Mister Gasper, it's time to ask ourselves, what does it all mean? [00:39:44] Well, this film is loosely based on a story of about a french dance troupe from the nineties that had their drinks spiked with LSD. But nothing bad happened to those people. That's literally the end of their story. So where the hell did this idea of insanity to ensue come from? [00:40:10] And, guys, I tried to find, like, whatever report or possible news article was written about this dance troupe from the nineties, but, like, I couldn't find one. I looked on Reddit as well, and none of the people there could seem to find one either. [00:40:28] So I don't know if this was, like, a rumor or like, it very well could have possibly happened. I'm not entirely sure, but that's the basic premise, is that Gaspar, like, heard about this story and was like, that sounds interesting. Let's make a movie. [00:40:47] None of the cast had any acting experience, but all of them were experienced dancers. And you can tell, like, that opening scene. And honestly, the way that they continue to dance throughout the night, like, the way that they move, they're not just, you know, people pretending to be dancers. Like, these are very experienced dancers. [00:41:15] But Gaspar wrote no script at all. [00:41:19] The cast were like, hey, can you give us a script so we can, like, you know, rehearse our lines or, like, try to memorize them? And he was like, I don't have one. He essentially gave the cast the premise. You're a dance troupe and you're having a party, and you find out that you're drinks were spiked with LSD. [00:41:44] He gave them some, like, basic character traits, and that was it. And he let them decide where their characters would go with it. [00:41:56] So the only things that were planned were the basic premise, basic character personality traits, and the opening dance scene. [00:42:05] That's it. [00:42:08] He let the cast essentially create their own movie. I think that's a beautiful thing, to be honest. Like, that's why experimental films are so unique and impactful. Like, it's a very avant garde style of filmmaking. [00:42:23] It often includes other types of art. It's considered underground sometimes. Like, this is certainly not a film that I would consider to be mainstream by any circumstance other than if you're a fan of and keep up with the films that appear at Cannes Film Festival. This did and won an award. I think it won the art award. [00:42:50] I don't think that needs any follow up explanation. I think we are all pretty comfortable with why that is. [00:42:59] He didn't have the actors do, or the actors, the cast do anything that they didn't want to do. So he would basically say, like, hey, what's an idea? Where do you think your character goes from here? And, you know, if Ivana said, I think that my character has sex with Selva, then he would go to Selva and say, selva, is that something that you're okay with? [00:43:25] Yes. If so, is there anything you'd like to add to that? Or is there something you'd like to take away from that? Or how would you like that scene to go? So everything was consented to by all the parties that were participating in whatever scene they were filming. [00:43:40] I think that's pretty cool. [00:43:43] He never wanted them to do anything that they didn't want to do. And he wasn't going to dictate where the story was going to go. He wanted them to do it. [00:43:54] What's even more interesting, I think, is that a couple things. This was shot in an abandoned school, actually was in France in 15 days. [00:44:06] That's wild. [00:44:08] And it was shot in chronological order. So imagine you do this beautifully choreographed, like, dance scene at the beginning, and then he just is like, okay now what? [00:44:21] And the story just has to evolve from there. It all happened in chronological order. That's pretty fucking cool. I feel like a lot of times, like, if somebody's writing something or trying to come up with an idea, you often start with, like, what you want the end to be, or, like, what. What a climax would look like. No pun intended for this. Like, you would. You would start with, like, pivotal moments. But that's not it. [00:44:52] He stated that. [00:44:55] And in a Wikipedia article that I'll link that. He basically had this opening shot, right, of Lou rolling around in the snow simply because. And it wasn't planned. It just so happened to be snowing, and he wanted to take advantage of it. So he found himself a drone and was like, we're gonna fucking figure this shit out because I want to use a drone and it's snowing. [00:45:24] So couple other things before we get into again, because I know everybody's wondering what the elephant in the room is. Is this actually an accurate depiction of the behaviors of those that consume LSD? I'm gonna get there. [00:45:41] This features a 42 minutes continuous shot in the second half of the film, which I personally find to be outrageously impressive. Like, I wouldn't even know where to begin to film something continuously for 42 minutes. [00:46:02] And it's not like, you know, anything in irreversible, essentially. I mean, there's a 15 minutes, you know, still camera shot or scene in irreversible of the pivotal rape scene, as we know. But in irreversible, the camera work is fucking crazy. Okay? Like, it is wild. They're spinning. There's, like, you know, swooping down and up and turning on your side and, you know, shooting these from above, and there's things that are spinning. [00:46:37] This doesn't really have any of that. Like, it's pretty simple camera work for the most part, but a 42 minutes continuous shot is wild. [00:46:53] The soundtrack, amazing. So good. Large focus of the film. [00:46:59] And there's obviously a focus that I've talked about a little bit already about how loud it is. The music never stops except for a little bit through the entirety of the whole thing. It's full of energy. It's full of bass. It's electronic music. [00:47:17] It kind of makes it so that the audience feels like our brain is loud and we're not able to focus because it's like you're showing me something on the screen that's obviously troubling and, like, difficult to keep up with and chaotic and all of these things. But on top of that, it's sensory overload. Like, you're also giving me this loud music and this screaming and, like, the sound is probably the most important part of this entire thing. This entire experience is based on the sound. [00:47:58] We can't focus. The characters can't focus. [00:48:02] Even when the characters are not in the dance floor room and they're not next to the dj, you can still hear the music. You can hear it all the time. It features daft punk, Apex twin soft cell. There's so many more featured on the soundtrack. Like, if you haven't ever seen this movie or listened to the soundtrack or even been curious about it, I highly recommend. [00:48:28] And basically it makes you feel like we're in the same hell that the dancers are in. It's a common, you know, theory. I don't know if it's real. I honestly don't even know if it's in the Bible. Like, I couldn't tell you. I don't remember it. [00:48:47] But it's a pretty common theory that in hell, if it's real, is super loud and the noise is constant and it's like a buzzing or like a low frequency hum and it's just loud and it's constant and there's nowhere to go. You can't get out, you can't escape. [00:49:05] So that accompanied with the constant and the constant screaming, which is louder as you get close to it and quieter as you get away, but it never actually stops. [00:49:20] Hell seems to be the only word to describe the environment. [00:49:26] Sorry to rant about, you know, the actual making of the film and, you know, the sound and the camerawork, but even if you don't like the story, I think it's worth watching for that alone. [00:49:44] But back to the elephant in the room. [00:49:47] LSD. You take LSD? Is this how you feel? [00:49:52] Well, according to some very helpful research from psychonaut wiki linked in the show notes, physical effects include, but are not limited to, obviously, dizziness, nausea, extreme body temperature changes, hot or cold stimulation, spontaneous bodily sensations, physical euphoria, tactile enhancement, pupil dilation, stamina enhancement. These people are awake all night. [00:50:29] Bodily control enhancement. You feel like you're more in control of your body, difficulty urinating, psyche obviously didn't have any issue on that front. [00:50:41] And neurogenesis, there's obviously many, many more. [00:50:47] Visual effects include enhancements such as pattern recognition, frame rate enhancement, magnification, color enhancement, visual acuity, distortions like tracers after images, slicing, perspective distortion, environmental patterning, depth perception, distortions. That sounds like a nightmare to me. I already struggle with depth perception and hallucinations. Such as transformations, internal external hallucinations, machine scapes. [00:51:37] Cognitive effects include, but are not limited to, anxiety, paranoia, novelty enhancement, increased libido, increased music appreciation, fits of laughter, delusion, time distortion, wakefulness, personal bias suppressions. [00:52:00] LSD is not marijuana. [00:52:06] LSD is an experience, right? Like, that's. That's what we can gather. [00:52:14] It's not, you know, whenever we think. I think. Whenever I think. Anyway, I'm not gonna speak for everybody. Whenever I think about marijuana, think about somebody who sits on the couch and, you know, consumes their marijuana product of choice, and they watch something funny and they eat some food and they go to bed. [00:52:35] That's not happening here with LSD. That is not what's happening. [00:52:41] So truthfully, after what I just said to you, what I just told you about all the impacts, visual, cognitive, and physical, it doesn't necessarily sound like climax is an accurate depiction or representation of people on LSD. [00:53:05] So why are the people so angry? These characters are so angry and agitated and so quick to, like, turn. [00:53:15] Why is that so? [00:53:18] Well being that I just told you that LSD can cause paranoia and anxiety, those are very intense and very, very real feelings, right? It almost instills and often does this internal sense of just fear, absolute fear. And out of that, sometimes it can make you overly confident and thus engage in potentially violent or dangerous behaviors. It truly alters your sense of reality in a way that can make the consumption of LSD potentially dangerous. [00:54:09] Your mental health state is also important to take into account. Like, it will have a huge impact on how you react during your trip. So I, as someone who's never taken LSD, would say that you should probably consume very responsibly and do it in a positive state of mind. [00:54:37] I think there's research about if. About its impact with depression. [00:54:42] That's obviously something that's going to continue to be ongoing to be studied. But, like, I don't know. After seeing what I saw and reading what I read about all of these different impacts that it can have on in every aspect, I could tell you that I would certainly not do it if I was in a bad mood or if I was, like, really sad about something like that does not sound like something that I would want. [00:55:12] This is not an influence that I would want to be under. So even though these violent behaviors are rare, they are possible. [00:55:23] Please consume responsibly. [00:55:28] But what might even be the bigger question is who actually did spike the sangria? [00:55:35] I have two theories. [00:55:38] Theory one, which is probably the most obvious, is that psyche spiked it. [00:55:44] She talked about in her audition tape that she wanted to leave Berlin because of the drug scene and that her roommate had a liquid form of LSD that could be, you know, processed via putting it in your eyes. [00:55:57] We see her at the end with the books about psychedelics and LSD and hallucinogens, and she's putting the liquid in her eye so she appears to have no ill side effects. [00:56:10] And when the cops get there the next day, she's still up and moving about and, like, not troubled in any way. Like, she's the only one who didn't experience anything bad. [00:56:21] Her name, for God's sake. Psyche literally means mind, spirit, soul. Like, it. [00:56:29] That one, to me, though, because of this director, is just too obvious. [00:56:35] So theory two I like a little bit better. Theory two is that Taylor spiked it. [00:56:43] This is something that I hadn't initially thought of. [00:56:46] But after reading a review on the cinemaholic, which I have linked in the show notes, I kind of buy this one the most. [00:56:55] Taylor was in control of himself the entire night, and he had one intention, like, the whole night. If his sister was ever talking to another guy or making out with another guy or showing any interest in another guy, he was always there. He was watching. [00:57:14] His intention was to have sex with his own fucking sister. Like, he's so in control of himself, in fact, that he either didn't consume any of the sangria at all or consumed very, very little. [00:57:35] But, like, he was the only one with such a clear intention. [00:57:44] Taylor does end up completing his mission of lying with his sister. But whether or not that is consensual, I can understand, might be up for debate, in my opinion, if he intentionally spiked the sangria so that he could take advantage of Gazelle while she was impaired and everybody knew they were brother and sister, you know, maybe he was afraid of, like, people judging or people, I don't know, trying to intervene because, hello, it's your sibling. Why would you want to fuck them? [00:58:21] So maybe he tried to, like, lower everyone else's inhibition so, like, they wouldn't care, so that he could have this opportunity with her. And maybe that's the case, but, like, I didn't really realize how in control of himself he really was throughout, because until the end. Because when he looks at Gazelle while they're laying in bed together and he says, don't tell mom and dad, well, the only reason he would say that is if he knew what happened. [00:59:00] And she looks confused, so doesn't appear to me that she knows what happened. [00:59:09] So I think it's very likely that this whole thing falls on Taylor. [00:59:15] I think Psyche doing it is.com is just a little too. [00:59:21] It's too obvious. Too obvious for me. And if he intentionally spiked the sangria so that he could basically get gazelle alone in order to take advantage of her while she was impaired, like, obviously that's non consensual. Again, I don't know how much of this he consumed at all. [00:59:46] Y'all can let me know what you think, but that's. That's the one that I'm gonna. I'm gonna land on. I'd be willing to put money on it. [00:59:55] The New York Times called climax a party that assaults the senses. And I totally feel like that is accurate. You're sucked in from the very beginning. For a film with no script and characters that have no acting experience, this film never feels disjointed, ever. It never feels put together carelessly. The only thing that, for me personally, was that not everybody was always in the room at the same time or not everybody was always in the camera at the same time. So, like, there would be times where I would be like, oh, my God, like, what happened to so and so? Where are they? [01:00:37] That would be my only thing. But I guess that's kind of the point, is that it's not really necessary that I know where all those people are. [01:00:48] You can watch it and let me know what you think. I feel like maybe that's the case. [01:00:53] It never feels like it was put together carelessly. Right. Because it was, you know, filmed in chronological order. [01:01:03] Overall, I think that this is a film illustration of what, you know, the worst case scenario for an LSD trip in a group of people could look like. It's hypnotic. Like his other films, Gasper confronts the audience head on. We're not really hidden from anything. And when the end finally came, I felt like the dancers did. Like, I felt exhausted, I was confused, I was disturbed, and I was almost in a state of, like, I can't move from the couch because I really. I literally cannot process what I just watched. [01:01:48] I think that one thing that this director really has that other directors maybe don't, they don't illustrate to the same extent is how to use things other than what's on the screen to make you feel uncomfortable, afraid, disturbed. [01:02:16] His use of sound is it's like there's no one else that does it better. There's just no one else. I will die on that hill. [01:02:28] He's so incredibly talented at making you feel stuck in this hell that you just. You can't get rid of, and you can't get out of it and you don't want to turn the movie off because then you feel like you're going to miss something. And obviously you will if you don't finish it. [01:02:48] But you almost feel like some compassion and empathy for the characters in his films because it's like, well, if they had to endure it, why can't I watch it? [01:02:59] You almost feel like you, you're like part of their group and you have to, like, almost be complicit in it. Michael Henicke does the same thing in his films. Like, he makes the viewer complicit in what is going on. We're allowing this to happen. [01:03:18] Right? That's so effective if you're someone like me who could never imagine being in a situation like this. [01:03:27] And from what I've been, you know, reading on, on Reddit and other forums, like, I gained the sense that the general consensus of Gaspar's fans don't find this to be their favorite film of his. But no one can deny that it's worth the watch. [01:03:53] And like most things we talk about on this show, this is not, this is not going to be for everybody. [01:04:02] Experimental films, I find, often have a pretty, they don't have, like, a clear plot. There's not really, like a definite resolution or a finite resolution. There's, you know, there's, most of the time you're just being immersed into this world, in this environment. [01:04:27] There's not really, like, a point to drive home. There's not really, like, you know, anything that you can focus on or you can't say, like, oh, well, that didn't follow the storyline because there isn't one. [01:04:37] So if that's something that's going to trouble you, I would certainly say skip this one and just take all experimental films, like, out of your, out of your mind. Just, you know, you don't need them. They're just going to frustrate you. [01:04:55] That's my opinion. [01:04:57] But I feel too, like, in terms of, like, what I think this movie is about is honestly just self explanatory. [01:05:11] I know that sounds like a cop out, but I do feel that way. Like, you have these people, they either have no acting experience or little to no acting experience, and you tell them, like, I want to make a film with this basic premise. Like, show me what you want to do. Like, I want you to be the ones that make this. I also feel like it's an incredible act by a director of not having any control. Like, he was willing to relinquish all control over the story, to let these other people have their time, to show themselves as individuals, to demonstrate who they are and where they want the story to go and what they think would be effective on the camera and, like, what they think audiences would find entertaining. And, like, I think that that is the coolest thing ever. [01:06:13] There's not many opportunities that people have within their lives to truly have self expression to the magnitude of something like this. [01:06:30] I just think it's a, I just think it's impactful. [01:06:35] Experimental films can accomplish things that other films just can't. And this is particularly true with studio films, right? Like any, like things from Universal Studios or Disney or what have you, right? Like they want a definitive ending. They want, you know, a clear story. Like they have a formula when it comes to horror. Of course, in horror, we've never had really a formula, right? Like slashers have a formula or like certain subgenres will have like a sort of loose formula. [01:07:14] But like, horror has always been about never following the rules. And when you make an experimental film within that genre, you basically have nowhere to go than up. [01:07:34] The world is your oyster. You know, if you have a horror film or if you want to make something in the horror genre, like, you're already gonna be, people are already divided, right? Like, they're gonna be like, oh, I don't know if I want to watch that. Because if you tell someone that you like horror films, they'll be like, oh, like Friday the 13th. And it's like, there's so many other subgenres of horror that, like, it's, it's not that simple. [01:08:02] And I think this really showcases how complex something like that is. [01:08:10] So I am thankful personally that this was released. I am thankful for a 24 because this is one of their films. I'm thankful that this went to Cannes. I am. [01:08:25] Yeah, I'm thankful that this movie exists. [01:08:31] So enough listening to me. [01:08:34] Let's wrap up our show by allowing me to remind you that the final girl on 6th Avenue is part of the incredible, morbidly beautiful network. Please go to morbidlybeautiful.com. [01:08:48] Check me and all of the other talented contributors out. There's so much media, there's so much content for you there. It's your home for horror. You are welcome if you're a horror fan. You know, we have a little bit of everything. Please check us out. Show us some love. You can find this podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon music and pocket casts. If you enjoyed the show, it would mean the world to me if you left me a five star review and subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts. For any questions, comments, concerns, suggestions or requests, you can email [email protected] or you can send me a message on Instagram iinalgirlonsix thanks so much for listening to the show today. I am going to be on vacation starting on Friday morning, the day after this gets released. So I am going to be very excited when I return back to see what all the feedback is and hear it from those of you that listen, that know me personally. So thank you so much for hanging out with me today. It's always a pleasure to do what I love and do what I'm passionate about and share it with you all. [01:10:10] Until next time, never forget that I am 6th Avenue's very own final girl. [01:10:17] Bye.

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