Gaspar Noe’s new hardcore 3D romance “Love” is finally in theatres, and although the film is said to be a mite less incendiary than the brutal likes of “Irreversible” and “I Stand Alone,” even Noe’s less shocking work is capable of making his contemporaries look like a bunch of timid schoolchildren. The polarizing Argentinian/Chilean filmmaker’s cinematic celebration of all things carnal has already attracted wildly mixed reviews, including one from our own Jessica Kiang (here’s her write-up) where she praises Noe’s unmistakable stylistic verve while also lamenting his inability to reign in his indulgences. The jury is still out on whether or not “Love” will eventually be seen as one of the director’s most memorable works, but this should not diminish the fact that the finished film itself is an uncompromising —and indeed extremely indulgent— work of screw-you radicalism.
One of Noe’s outlaw cinema forefathers is Abel Ferrara, everyone’s favorite druggy Catholic gutter poet and the twisted mind behind nasty modern crime classics like “King of New York,” “The Funeral,” and of course the immortal “Bad Lieutenant.” Like Noe, Ferrara is a divisive figure, often taking a undeniably perverse glee in blurring the line separating the arthouse from the grindhouse. It seems only natural that the two should meet and talk about their weird respective obsessions, right?
Well, while the resulting talk —available through the Talkhouse Film podcast— perhaps isn’t as scurrilously entertaining as one might imagine, it’s still a fun listen that gets right to the root of the outsider ethos that both directors clearly cherish and thrive on. Ferrara is his usual cranky, vulgar self, and Noe is reserved and thoughtful even when he’s getting raw and uncut about the details of his latest cinematic provocation. Over the course of the podcast’s surprisingly fleet thirty-minute runtime, the two directors touch upon a variety of subjects, including their reverence for vintage pornography, the dangers of censorship and the influence of radical Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini, who Ferrara used as the subject for the “Pasolini” biopic starring Willem Dafoe and whose appalling “Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom” is clearly a big influence on Noe.
Listen to the podcast in its entirety below. “Love” is currently playing in select theatres.