In ‘Vortex’, a provocative director explores the horrors of old age

Gaspar Noé is a conductor known for his nightmares, and with Eddy, he delves into actual trauma and horror. The story of an elderly French couple battling developing dementia, Eddy is something that turns left for Irreversible and Culmination auteur, patiently charts its protagonists as they navigate their difficult final days, full of confusion, fear, frustration, and danger. Much less flashy than his earlier works, Noé’s latest work remains a bold and distinctive drama, employing a meticulous design aesthetic and two stellar lead performances. to create a chilling portrait of the end times.

Given its theme (and the director’s consistent sense of humor), it suits Eddy begins with its conclusion, as well as a dedication: “For all those whose brains will decay before their hearts.” His main characters – an unnamed pair played by legendary Italian horror director Dario Argento and actress Françoise Lebrun – are part of that group. He is a longtime film critic and she is a psychiatrist, both living in the apartment they have called home for decades. This was followed by a shot of the couple looking at each other from opposite windows, and then sharing a glass of wine and some food at a table in the courtyard — in which she commented, “Life is a dream, right?” and he replied, “A dream within a dream” – the movie picks them up in bed, where Lebrun’s wife wakes up, and when she does, the frame actually splits into two equal square quadrants. , thus creating a split-screen design that will be maintained for the remainder of this 142-minute love affair.

EddyNoé’s branching image scheme is Noé’s means of highlighting the growing disconnection of Argento and Lebrun, a concept exacerbated by the many cases in which two adjacent people are viewed. see facing or moving in different directions. As they continue to live together, this estrangement is not physical but mental, caused by Lebrun’s amnesia. That state of affairs isn’t apparent at first when Lebrun tells of her morning routine of lighting up the kitchen for her husband’s coffee, and as they pass each other back and forth in their home — all this creates should sound like a radio program about the grieving process. However, it didn’t take long for it to reveal itself, Lebrun ventured outside to put a trash bag in the trash and wander aimlessly through the many neighborhood shops, a mystic expression telling the story. The fog was enveloping her mind. .

Argento located his wife before disaster struck, but an air of misfortune pervaded these procedures, and not only because Lebrun’s illness was – as her spouse well known – incurable. out, and so fate will get worse before it completely destroys her. A later incident involving Lebrun leaving gas in the stove proves that the two are in danger due to Lebrun’s deterioration, and that turns out to be a concern not only for Argento but also for his son. of the couple Stéphane (Alex Lutz) who show up from time to time to help. take small risks and try to convince his parents that they need support. Alas, those efforts are mostly in vain, his mother often goes missing on a run and his father is adamantly convinced that they can manage on their own, this despite the fact that Lebrun may be on the run. prescribed medicine for herself, gave the wrong medicine to her husband. his own serious heart condition, and could at any time commit intentional and/or unintentional harm to them in a context of disorientation and despair.

“Slowly but surely, things are falling apart for this family, and Noé’s length, and long, non-musical silence evokes the heavy weight of time, and the painful nature of withdrawal. of this final stage.”

That Lutz’s son is struggling with drug addiction and tumultuous personal circumstances — his wife is in a mental hospital, leaving him to care for his son Kiki (Kylian Dheret), all while he We give out free needles on the street to people to use – just to confuse the action. Eddy Immerse yourself in this domestic environment through parallel perspectives, while looking at Argento and Lebrun as they occupy the offices, hallways and bedrooms of their home, en route to search for its rays. compassion and close friendship (especially as Argento crossed the line of separation to hold Lebrun’s hand). Slowly but surely, things are falling apart for this family, and Noé’s length, and long, non-musical silence evokes the heavy weight of time, and the painful nature of withdrawal. of this final stage. The director’s approach matches the banal and long-running rhythms of his characters’ plight, full of tweaks — gentle cuts that push the material forward in intervals. unexpected — suggesting, in form and theme, how life passes in the blink of an eye.

Despite going with the same terrain as its predecessors like Away from her, Love and FatherNoah’s Eddy is a unique contemplation of the abyss, where pain, fear, and anger freely flow. Since Lebrun’s mother had mostly been having an affair, those feelings were mostly felt by Argento and Lutz, each of whom had their own concerns: the past story about his wife, the book in progress on the film. and his dreams, and his broken love with his longtime mistress; and the latter concerns the degeneration of his parents and his own precarious sanity. However, the longer it collects towards its inevitable end, the Eddy feels like an introduction to Lebrun’s sophisticated turn, the actress completely lives in her lovely matriarch’s home — and conveys, through small gestures, communication, panic fear and self-loathing — it’s often easy to forget that she’s performing at all.

Dario Argento, Alex Lutz and Françoise Lebrun star in Gaspar Noé’s Eddy


Noé’s portable camera tracks his subjects closely as they move, doing their best to take their time on their way into the void. His split screens instantly connect his characters to each other and isolate them from each other (and from themselves), the director treats dementia with admirable honesty and frankness. important. They are a twilight time living in “fear” and “among drugs,” and destined to end in unseen terrible pain and loneliness, in the process leaving behind discarded objects, empty apartments and a peaceful world would go on without them. Noé captures this anguish with empathy and consideration. And with touches that are both overt and subtle — including Argento’s conversation about his book and Metropolis and A woman is a woman poster hanging on the wall of his home – he also conveys the close relationship between cinema, life and dreams. In ‘Vortex’, a provocative director explores the horrors of old age


Hung is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Hung joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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