Gaspar Noé's IRREVERSIBLE: STRAIGHT CUT Heading to Movie Theaters
Over 20 years ago, Irreversible was the film that turned Gaspar Noé into an auteur known worldwide.
It was mainly notorious for two elements: its unconventional structure – kicking off with the end credits to tell its story backwards – and certainly its incredibly rough sequence that depicted rape. Noé was even associated with the so-called New French Extremity, though I personally think more in horror films like High Tension, Frontier(s) and Martyrs when that label is brought up.
In 2019, at the Venice Film Festival, Noé first presented his new approach to Irreversible: the Straight Cut (i.e., the film edited in chronological order). Thanks to Altered Innocence, Irreversible: Straight Cut is finally having a theatrical release in the US.
On Friday, February 10, it’ll open at the IFC Center in New York City and at the Landmark’s Nuart Theater in Los Angeles. It’ll open in other cities later, including Philadelphia (2/14), Denver (2/17), San Francisco, Chicago, Austin and Raleigh (2/24), and Atlanta (3/17). It’s worth noting that a restored version of the original theatrical cut will be also screened in select cities (in both digital and 35mm).
Some words of Noé himself about the Straight Cut here:
“Originally devised as a fun bonus for the release of the remastered Blu-ray edition, much to my surprise this new STRAIGHT CUT was powerful enough for the decision to be made to release it in theatres and on diverse media as a double feature with the original version, like a diptych. The experience is even more exciting since to my knowledge there is no equivalent in cinema or literature of a work that has been told both ways round. In this clockwise cut, a few passages without dialogues created lulls in the action and it is for reasons of rhythm alone, not any kind of censorship, that they have been removed, making this version five minutes shorter than the original.
“Until now, IRREVERSIBLE was a deliberate puzzle. Presented clockwise, everything is clear, and also darker, making it easier to identify with the characters and understand the tale unfolding. The same story is no longer a tragedy, this time it is a drama that brings out the psychology of the characters and the mechanisms that lead some of them to a murderous barbarity. While IRREVERSIBLE has sometimes been wrongly perceived as a 'rape and revenge' B movie, here the deadly outcome is all the more depressing. IRREVERSIBLE: STRAIGHT CUT can be more easily seen as a fable on the contagion of barbarity and the command of the reptilian brain over the rational mind. This new cut is another film. You will see. Time reveals all things."