Irreversible causes controversy at Cannes

BY Advocate.com Editors

May 24 2002 11:00 PM ET

The latest film from I Stand Alone director Gaspar Noë has caused controversy at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival, although Reuters reports that Noë told the press, "If people don't want to see it, that's fine. I have walked out of films too. It's not every day that you want to see this kind of thing." Audiences and critics have been taken aback by the film Irreversible because of, among other things, its 10-minute-long rape scene and a stream of homophobic and misogynistic epithets uttered by the film's underworld characters. The film also features a visit to a gay S/M club called Rectum. The film's star, Monica Bellucci (Malèna), defends its content: "The film is about vengeance. It takes us into a violent world, a space from which we can't escape, that is irreversible. The film is not a crime; it is about a crime." Noë added, "This is just a movie; it doesn't really change anything in the world. It is part of the knowledge of man to know the beast that lies within and to reject it." Noë also said he didn't expect U.S. distributors to pick up the film.

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