You are on page 1of 4

Elise Muldrow Intro to Film

Editing in Irreversible Time and Consequence
Time Destroys Everything is the first line the audience hears when viewing Irreversible, a French Film. Irreversible is a film that manipulates time itself with editing techniques and a gruesome attitude in shocking the public. Irreversible is a movie that most cannot watch for its graphic violence and off-putting camera angles. If one were to suggest this movie to you and try to explain what feelings it will deliver they would be lying. Irreversible, is nauseating and resembles a snuff film with in the first few scenes. But the movie was not meant to entertain in a classical Hollywood way; it would probably never be made in America. Instead Irreversible is a thought provoking, controversial, dark film that forces the audience, with no apology, to look at our humanity with a raw unflinching eye. But If Irreversible had not been edited in reverse chronology it would merely be a savage film dismissed on any merit of being art. The editing vastly influenced Irreversible, raising the level and concept behind the whole film and made it notable in ways it otherwise wouldn t be. Irreversible is a French film made in 2002. The film shows Marcus (played by Vincent Cassel) and Pierre (played by Albert Dupontel) racing through town trying to track down the man, le Tenia - the Tapeworm , who ferociously beat and raped Marcus girlfriend. Monica Belluci plays the rape victim/girlfriend, Alex. This film was edited, written, and directed by Gasper Noe. The start of the story (chronologically the ending) begins with Marcus on a gurney, injured, and Pierre in handcuffs being lead of by police while bystanders hurl anti-gay threats at them outside a gay club called The Rectum . Earlier Marcus and Pierre arrive at The Rectum

lead them there and their goal for finding him is retribution for a rape. who promise to help them seek revenge rather than believe in the police for justice. Marcus attacks a man he believes is the le Tenia. The editing in Irreversible is what makes the movie because it gives the story to the audience from a different perspective. Marcus and Pierre are aided by a thug named Mourad and his friend. The audience does not know of Alex s gruesome rape as they watch Pierre bash a man s head in with a fire extinguisher. Pierre saves Marcus by attacking the man with a fire extinguisher and gruesomely bludgeons him to death in the skull. From the reverse chronological perspective in the begging of the movie. The second to last scene shows Marcus and Alex lying naked and Alex reveals she may be pregnant. During the commotion the real le Tenia is seen standing. Marcus and Pierre could simply . LE TEMS DETRUIT TOUT is displayed in the final title card meaning Time Destroys Everything (also heard in the beginning of the film). a reversal one. looking amused at the situation. It is also revealed that Alex has beaten and anally raped. Before entering The Rectum it is discovered Marcus and Pierre went in search of le Tenia because a prostitute transsexual named Concha. The final scene shows Alex reading in the park surrounded by children playing. The rape then takes place after Alex comes into contact with le Tenia beating Concha in an underground tunnel. she is pregnant and looks thrilled. but the man breaks Marcus arm and attempts to rape him. Marcus was happy to hear that and while he is away getting wine Alex takes a pregnancy test to confirm that yes. In the next scene Alex decides to leave the party due to Marcus inebriated annoying behavior. Le Tania turns his sight on Alex then by force.Elise Muldrow Intro to Film and frantically search for le Tenia. horrifyingly rapes her. and afterwards severely beats her. The camera spins faster and faster until it blacks out into a strobe light.

If we were to know what had happened to cause this it would be less surprising to the audience and they would have already their side chosen on who they wanted to cheer for. We know what s going to happen because we saw Alex on the stretcher but we don t know how and where. The audience is forced to decipher through the nauseating first scenes and make their own conclusions until more is revealed. Or the director could have skipped the whole rape scene and just showed Alex in the gurney and the implied rape. The director could have done a jump cut to her downstairs in the tunnel or a lap dissolve but instead we see her move toward it step at a time with silence. to the audience. There are montages but a continuous sequence of events with an unflinching camera work never letting much go unseen. But the audience would never have the same reaction if they did not witness the ghastly ordeal Alex went through. it as if the director is giving us warning the calmness is about to turn into unspeakable violence as she makes her descent in to the red underground. They don t know who the villain is or the hero and that is what separates the movie from just being plain gruesome to carrying some weight.Elise Muldrow Intro to Film look like gay bashers or gay men themselves with a personal beef to handle with El Tania. the audience has to sit an suffer with her through until your uncomfortably immersed in her anguish. and is suggest to take the underpass by a stranger. We see Alex hail a taxi. The pace feels too slow as Alex is being raped in the tunnel. The movie has a calm pace that seems to transform during certain scenes. fail to get one. then watch her as she turns and goes to the tunnel. The rape scene is harsh and edited . The film itself is very unnerving not just because we don t know what the original cause for all the drama is but also because of the how the film was edited.

Irreversible is not a movie that you would watch with your mother or when you need a cheering up. yet is edited in a manner that you really don t know exactly is going on and the details of the plot are hazy.Elise Muldrow Intro to Film in a way that you cannot turn your eyes but at the same time want to break your TV. to a performance meant to ponder and provoke thought from the audience. the shots are so unobtrusive. There are no swipes or reaction to implied action shots. Through mesmerizing editing the film transcends being a shocking exploitation only meant to repulse and entertain. Irreversible teaches us that time is a very precious commodity and it is people not time that destroy all things. wanting the viewers to catch every detail. Irreversible is a movie about time and not wasting it because all moments are fleeting and we all must fight to carry on and live. Beyond the reverse chronological editing the movie is very clear cut with no montages. There s irony to the movie. like el Tenia s penis. the viewers take it all in. As the plot sinks in the angles of the camera become less askew and the pictures are clearer to the viewers. If people thought Un chien andalou was shocking in the 1930s then Irreversible is the equivalent today. No. Every shot is realistic and makes the audience feel like they re a witness to devastating horrific events as they unfold. The pace makes you dig your nails into your seat while you have no choice but to watch contributing to the reality of the characters and how their lives have changed through one night. .