Gaspar Noé Calls Watching ‘Gravity’ on Drugs ‘the Best Cinematic Experience of My Life’

“The whole room was spinning; it was like I was in a womb," the director said. "I was so happy.”
Gaspar Noe lors de l avant premiere du film Vortex du realisateur Gaspar Noe au cinema Max Linder en présence de Gaspar Noe, Alex Lutz, Dario Argento et Françoise Lebrun.Paris, 11/04/2022 (Sipa via AP Images)
Gaspar Noe

In 2020, Gaspar Noé suffered a brain hemorrhage that sent the Argentine filmmaker to the hospital and almost killed him. But the whole experience was not without its perks.

“Watching ‘Gravity’ on morphine was the best cinematic experience of my life,” Noé said in a new interview with The Independent.

While recovering in a Paris hospital room, Noé watched Alfonso Cuaron’s 2013 space drama, which stars Sandra Bullock as an astronaut forced to survive by herself after an accident leaves her stranded. The film’s stunning cinematography from two-time Oscar winner Emmanuel Lubezki, combined with the large amounts of painkillers Noé was on, apparently resulted in an incredibly memorable viewing.

He likened the experience to watching “2001: A Space Odyssey” for the first time when he was seven years old. He credits the wonder that Stanley Kubrick’s film instilled in him with inspiring him to become a director in the first place.

“The whole room was spinning,” he said. “It was like I was in a womb. I was so happy.”

The “Vortex” and “Enter the Void” director recently spoke to IndieWire’s Eric Kohn about the brain hemorrhage that put him in the hospital, and the many films that he watched while recovering.

“One year and a half ago, I had a brain hemorrhage and almost died. I survived it and miraculously I did not have any brain damage. But they advised me to stay at home,” he said. “Two months after I was out of the hospital, the confinement started all over the place. So I spent like six month quietly watching Mizoguchi movies at home. I was watching one or two Japanese masterpieces every day. It was probably the most peaceful moment of my whole life.”

But it sounds like none of those films compared to the experience of watching “Gravity” while stoned out of his mind.

“I enjoyed that movie so much,” he said. “That was one good part of being close to death.”

Interested in getting the same experience, but don’t expect to have a brain hemorrhage anytime soon? Noé suggests that doing “a load of ketamine” and watching “Gravity” will deliver the same results.

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