Filmmaking provocateur Gaspar Noé is back with a surprise new film, “Vortex.” A mysterious, Instagram-style first-look image from the drama has been released, showing someone ghostlike under a bedsheet. Not much about “Vortex” is known yet, though it will have its world premiere at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival in the newly created Cannes Premiere section. The cast includes the iconic Italian director Dario Argento, plus Françoise Lebrun and Alex Lutz.
A report in Variety on the film’s Cannes premiere describes “Vortex” as “a documentary-style film revolving around the last days of an elderly couple.” ScreenDaily reports that Noé “had been racing to finish the film” for Cannes, as production only started this year. Some intel dug up by The Film Stage pegs “Vortex” as fusing the styles of French filmmaker Jean Eustache and the Italian giallo horror genre, of which Argento is a figurehead. No official details from Cannes or sales agent Wild Bunch have been disclosed.
“Vortex” will mark the seventh solo Noé movie to world premiere in the Official Selection of the Cannes Film Festival or one of the event’s parallel sidebars. Any time Noé head to Cannes, he always delivers one of the buzziest movies of the festival. Previous Noé efforts to unveil at Cannes include “Lux Æterna” (2019), “Climax” (2018), “Love” (2015), “Enter The Void” (2009), “Irréversible” (2002), and “I Stand Alone” (I998).
IndieWire chief critic Eric Kohn proclaimed Noé’s “Climax” as the greatest film of the director’s career so far out of Cannes 2018, where the film world-premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar. The review reads: “Gaspar Noé’s remarkable psychedelic ride is his most focused achievement, a concise package of sizzling dance sequences and jolting developments that play like a slick mashup of the ‘Step Up’ franchise and ‘Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom,’ not to mention the disorienting cinematic trickery of Noé’s own provocative credits.”
The “Vortex” logline has some already dubbing the project Noé’s “Amour,” the Michael Haneke-directed Palme d’Or winner. While “Vortex” does not yet have a U.S. distributor, Noé probably doesn’t want it going to Netflix or a streaming giant.
“I like making movies for big screen,” Noé told IndieWire in 2019. “I like watching my audience screaming, crying, or laughing when the movies are released. And it does not happen when you show the movie on TV or on Netflix.”
Check out first-look photos from “Vortex” below.