thu 21/10/2021

DVD: Love | reviews, news & interviews

DVD: Love

DVD: Love

Gaspar Noé finds human warmth amidst the penile provocations

Amour: Electra (Aomi Muyock) and Murphy (Karl Glusman) in bed, again

Sex sells, except in the cinema. So although it denies viewers the sight of Karl Glusman’s erect penis swinging towards them across a giant screen in 3D, home video is Love’s natural home. Director Gaspar Noé’s attempt to “make movies out of blood, sperm and tears” which also “truly depicts sentimental sexuality”, as his surrogate Murphy (Glusman) declares, has been overshadowed by further 3D close-ups of a penis ejaculating and entering a womb.

But the pounding, excessive attempts at the visionary of his previous films Irreversible and Enter the Void are quieter here. Love begins with a languid hand-job, but becomes a compendium of sex’s variety in a relationship, from lush, painterly compositions on a bed to back-alley ruts.

Some scenes are soft-porn risible. Asked for her biggest fantasy, Murphy’s great love Electra (Aomi Muyock) replies she’d adore having sex with him and another woman, preferably blonde. Funnily enough, this is a fantasy of Murphy’s too, and their new blonde neighbour Omi (Klara Kristin) doesn’t mind. Noe mostly left his cast of unknown and non-actors to improvise sex scenes, and the resulting threesome transcends its trite scenario to meet his ideal of convincingly warm and erotic love-making. A burst condom between Murphy and Omi later sends him tumbling from his Eden with Electra into the compromised purgatory (for this Kerouac/Bukowski/Last Tango-style macho romantic) of marriage and a kid.

The shape of Noé’s tale has a truth sometimes made tinny by his dialogue and actors. Though he’s labelled a provocateur, and rarely meets his intellectual ambitions, there is a genuine emotional core to his films. The brutal rape at Irreversible’s centre reels mercifully back in time to a warm idyll of loving sex, and similarly here, memories of his first days with Electra remind Murphy what he’s lost at the end. Though the central affair never reaches the tragic heights claimed for it, its unexceptional, enthusiastic nature normalises explicit screen sex outside porn as Noé hoped. And if you want 3D penises, they’re on the Bluray.

'Love' becomes a compendium of sex’s variety, from painterly compositions on a bed to back-alley ruts


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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