A young woman, Alex, is raped by a stranger in a tunnel. Her boyfriend Marcus and ex-boyfriend Pierre decide to do justice themselves. In 2002, Gaspar Noé created controversy (and controversy) by presenting his film at the Cannes Film Festival. 17 years later, he returns with a brand new version of his cult film. Initially operated in an anechronological form (the film starts at the end and ends at its beginning), with Irreversible "Full Inversion" (2019), the filmmaker offers us a completely different reading, offering it to us in a chronological order.
The French DVD release proudly proclaims in the blurb on the back that of 2,400 people at the film's Cannes premiere, 200 walked out. See more »
As the subway arrives, Pierre describes it as blue. Actually it is green and white. See more »
You want me to say it? Time destroys everything.
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The letters E, K, N, and R are printed backwards throughout the credits (as is the N in the StudioCanal logo). See more »
A new version, called "Irréversible - Inversion Intégrale" ("Irréversible - Straight Cut" in English), was screened in 2019 at the 76th annual Venice International Film Festival. It has been recut to put the narration in chronological order. See more »
Written by Guy Lux (as G. Lux) and Gérard Tempesti (as G. Tempesti)
Performed by André Bézu (as Bézu)
Editions Master Music / Fil Rouge See more »
Hits you in the face like a ten ton hammer!
Holy Macaroni! Believe the hype, folks...this really IS one of the most shocking, confronting and raw movies ever made! It actually is one of those rare purchases that makes you wonder what the role of cinema is in modern society. Irréversible certainly can't be classified as 'entertainment', that's for sure. It merely looks like a brutal eye-opener, highly unpleasant to watch at times and it sometimes makes you even feel ashamed to be human! Some of the stuff here goes beyond your most feared nightmares and could easily provoke depression, anti-social behavior and anxiety among influential viewers. It's real-life drama and that makes it so powerful and shocking. Irréversible is told backwards, 'Memento'-style if you wish...only it's a lot more effective here as it was in Memento, which actually was a pretty boring and extremely overrated movie. This very simple backwards-structure aspect gives Irréversible the opportunity to implement a couple of unique and rarely seen style elements. The first half hour (which actually is the end of the story) smacks you in the face right away sets the tone for a non-stop, raw experience. Also, you don't really get to know the characters until the last chapter (which is actually the beginning of the film) The characters are a riddle to you constantly and you can't symphatise with any of them, since you just know too little. Through wild camera movements and simplistic techno-music, a claustrophobic and horrifying atmosphere gets created and the violence is really hard to digest. The infamous scene in which Monica Belluci brutally gets raped is one of the most perverted things I've ever seen. It seems to go on forever and you can really visiualise the painful hell the poor girl is going through. I'd call Irréversible a successful combination of ancient, rough exploitation and modern art-house film-making. The brutality portrayed here is typical for the euro-shock cinema but the stylish shooting lifts it up to Cannes Festival material. Cult as pure as it comes!
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