The most talked about part of Gaspar Noe's 'Enter the Void,' at least in polite company, is undoubtedly the opening credits sequence. Loud, fast and likely quite dangerous to epileptic moviegoers, the strobing titles are indeed very stunning and probably unlike any you've seen before (though they may remind you a bit of part of the 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' credits).
However, if you sit through the full 161-minute version of the film, which returns uncut to New York and Los Angeles cinemas this month ahead of its January 26th DVD release, the credits aren't likely to stick in your mind throughout. There are just too many other incredible, memorable visuals to occupy and electrify your brain, including a certain infamous cervical POV shot during one of the film's sex scenes.
One of the best films of 2010 (according to me, anyway), 'Enter the Void' is the eye-popping original movie spectacle that 'Inception,' 'Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,' 'TRON: Legacy' and 'Alice in Wonderland' wish they were. The psychedelic fantasy adventure, in which a junkie (Nathaniel Brown) floats through Tokyo after he's shot by narcotics cops, explores the world of the subconcious and imagination more brilliantly than any of those more mainstream titles.
It may not recreate drug-induced hallucinations as genuinely as the new documentary 'I'm Dangerous with Love' (unlike Noe, that film's director went tripping in order to get it right). But the visions here are more beautiful to look at. If only 'Enter the Void' had been shot in 3-D it might have overtaken 'Cave of Forgotten Dreams' as my greatest spiritual cinematic experience of the year. Still, it's one glorious smorgasbord of eye candy.
Another thing: in a year of remarkable performances by young actresses, the Ricky Schroder-inspired work of the Fanning-like Emily Alyn Lind (she actually played the young version of Dakota's character in 'The Secret Life of Bees') deserves some credit, too.
If you haven't yet seen 'Enter the Void' and live in either of the two cities re-releasing it, run to either the IFC Center (between January 14 to 20) or NuArt (on January 21) and do so.