Noé outraged audiences with his 1998 debut, I Stand Alone (SFF 1999), and he’s been keeping our jaws agape ever since with his pungent celluloid mix of excessive violence and sex. The reviews out of Cannes this year, where Noé’s fifth feature debuted, are packed with adjectives such as “satanic”, “gobsmacking”, “depraved” and “unflinching” (to quote just a few!). Climax is reportedly based on the true story of a 1990s dance group whose post-rehearsal party descended into hell, helped by liberal serves of LSD-laced alcohol (it also features an astonishing choreographed sequence set to ’90s electro dance music). Noé was allegedly disappointed with the loving response of critics and audiences to his Cannes screenings: “Six people walked out of Climax? No! I usually have 25%.”
An extraordinarily intense experience that seems at once to revel in and deprecate the hedonistic culture that it depicts. – Jonathan Romney, Screen International
Climax isn't so much about the inevitability of chaos, but about the sadness of watching something beautiful fall apart. And it is never less than electrifying. – Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice
Flexipasses are not valid for Back by Popular Demand sessions Monday 18 June to Wednesday 20 June.